Museum curator awarded PhD

15 November 2010

Dr Geraldine Mate, Senior Curator

Dr Geraldine Mate, Senior Curator

The Workshops Rail Museum’s Senior Curator, Dr Geraldine Mate has been awarded a PhD in Archaeology for a fascinating study into the social intricacies of an historic 19th century gold mining town in central Queensland.

The basis of Dr Mate’s thesis was examining cultural landscapes by looking at the emotional and cultural meaning that people give to physical places.

Her research involved travel to Mt Shamrock, now a remote farming property, located west of Maryborough.

Here, Dr Mate and a team of volunteers surveyed the area, mapping approximately 8,000 artefacts and 50 features including the remains of buildings and machinery.

The research undertaken for this PhD will also prove to be a valuable resource for Dr Mate’s work at The Workshops Rail Museum. 

“Any research that enlightens stories about Queensland’s past is important. Knowing about mining towns like Mt Shamrock, that were instrumental in bringing the railways through the State, also gives further depth to Queensland’s rail history,” Dr Mate said.

Director of The Workshops Rail Museum Mr Andrew Moritz congratulated Dr Mate on completing her PhD.

“This is a remarkable achievement and Geraldine’s skills and research are valuable assets to the Museum,” Mr Moritz said.

Dr Mate said the thesis took five and half years to complete and has resulted in many personal gains.

“It gave me a fantastic sense of achievement and I met so many good friends,” Dr Mate said.

“Archaeology is such an exciting career – it’s a real thrill to discover traces of the past.”

The Workshops Rail Museum is part of the Queensland Museum and is winner of Australian and Queensland Tourism Awards for Heritage and Cultural Tourism.

For further information, steam train bookings and ticket prices, phone (07) 3432 5100 or visit www.theworkshops.qm.qld.gov.au.