The newest team member of the Western Plains Cultural Centre (WPCC) is looking forward to a fresh challenge and building connections with the community.
Phil Aitken has spent his first weeks in the role of education officer at the facility in Wingewarra Street.
He has two decades of experience in teaching art and design practice in tertiary education and recently completed a doctorate with Griffith University in Brisbane.
The New Zealand-born recruit is enthusiastic about his move to Dubbo.
He finished his PhD at the end of last year, saw the WPCC role advertised and applied.
“It sounded really exciting, interesting, another challenge and a new place to live,” Mr Aitken said.
On arrival he was struck by the mix of old and new at WPCC, officially opened in 2007 on the site of the former Dubbo High School.
“I think the centre itself is a fantastic place,” he said.
“I’m really impressed with how it is, how we’ve utilised the old school and built on to it and making a contemporary wing to it that changes the use, but yet there’s still that history of the previous institution as in the school buildings here.
“And again, how those connections start becoming important with people who know the school that was here... now see it in a different perspective, a different way to experience it.”
His role will involve “reaching out into the community” through a variety of WPCC programs.
On Monday he was there as the first dementia art tour of the museum and gallery for 2019 took place, working with Dementia Australia and WPCC volunteer guides.
Cultural services manager Andrew Glassop welcomed Mr Aitken.
“We are really happy to have Phil join us at the WPCC,” he said.
“He brings a wealth of experience across a range of educational programs and I’m sure he will help push education in the WPCC to new levels.
“Education is at the core of what we do as an organisation so Phil will be integral to our success as a centre of heritage and culture in the region.”