Focus on IWD: Naomi Mullumby

In celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8, the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning is shining a light on the integral work and careers of a selection of our staff. Naomi is an Architecture, Building and Planning librarian.

Naomi profile picture
What is one thing that you are most proud of as a woman working in the built environment and University sector?

For me it’s an intangible thing - it’s the culture. What gives me the most joy is being able to provide opportunities for other people to succeed in their endeavours. At the University there are so many privileges and opportunities, so to being able to contribute to the cultural environment and to use this to help others achieve is incredibly rewarding.

What is your  favourite aspect of working at the Melbourne School of Design?

My favourite part of working at MSD is the building. Having a space where everyone is together under the one roof and having spaces that allow for incidental conversations makes work so much better. I’ve just learnt that Voula has left us (apparently, she’s now working in another building on campus) which is terribly sad because she was the unofficial gatekeeper of knowledge about what was going on!

My favourite moment in the building occurs at winter solstice; the sun sets through the glass western doors at just the right angle so that it lights up the entire ground floor. If you are lucky enough to be standing at the library desk you get to bask in the glow of the setting sun in the depths of winter.

Who has been influential in guiding, supporting, or mentoring you? 

Librarianship is a very female profession, and like many such, the work we do is often unnoticed –  also when we do our job well you don’t know we are there. So, the many of the influential people in my career are mostly unknown – they are the librarians who have come before me. They have worked to set up structures and systems to make knowledge available to all. We don’t always get it right, but we constantly consider how to build inclusivity and access, and we take a very long view of the world. This has been so influential - when I start a new project my hope is to leave things slightly better for those who come after me.

Naomi IWD card