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Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry

Victoria Burns

Meet Victoria Burns, a Multimedia Producer in the Digital Education Studio 

picture of female staff member smiling

Q.1 Can you describe your career path, current role and what attracted you to work at Queen Mary?

Initially I studied Art History at Goldsmith College, thinking I would eventually pursue a career in Art Curation. Upon graduating and having spent some years working in the museum and gallery sector, I spotted an initiative by the BBC for new entrant researchers. After applying I was incredibly lucky to be selected, and so began my first step into the media world as a TV researcher.

Eventually, I went on to pursue an MA in Documentary filmmaking at UAL, segueing into a career as freelance documentary Director and Producer for several years. Most recently I have worked as a Content Producer at  (an online learning platform for creatives).

I was keen to join Queen Mary and particularly the Digital Education Studio (DES) team, given their innovative work on designing digital learning courses to advance digital learning and teaching practices. As a keen online learner, myself, I’m excited to contribute to helping support and shape the growth and transformation of digital education in FMD.  

Q.2 How has your personal identity(ies) intersected with your work and role at Queen Mary?

Born to an English father and I-Kiribati mother, I spent my childhood growing up in Kiribati and Fiji in the Pacific, before our family settled back in the UK in my teens. This background has shaped my own identity and I’m committed to raising awareness of my home country of Kiribati, as well as the Pacific Islands more widely.

A huge part of Island culture is storytelling, and my mum’s family are wonderfully gifted narrative orators. Upon reflection I believe this has helped shape my own identity and love for the craft of storytelling, though in my case my chosen medium is the moving image.

Growing up in a multicultural home and within diverse communities, has naturally opened me up to different perspectives; whether they be socioeconomic or political. In some ways it has also been hugely formative to how I relate to the world. Being a producer, you must have a curious nature, enjoy meeting new people and learning new things. I’m therefore incredibly fortunate to have worked on lots of varied projects, collaborating with different people along the way. This was most evident when filming intimate portraits, which could take me from a Portsmouth football club superfan or an Irish owner of London's largest bingo hall, to a young Sevillian Holy Week devotee.

Widening participation is such an important part of QMUL, making a world class education accessible to all, regardless of background. I’m incredibly aware of the privilege my education has afforded me growing up, and so working as a multimedia producer at Queen Mary allows me to lean into my natural interests while simultaneously helping to amplify diverse voices and in some way helping to democratise learning along the way.

Q.3 What does Equality, Diversity and Inclusion mean to you and how important is Queen Mary's EDI work to you as a staff member and your sense of belonging at Queen Mary?

To me, EDI principles are rooted in fairness, recognition of diversity and the creation of inclusive environments. Within the context of Queen Mary, this is important to me because I believe all individuals, irrespective of their backgrounds, should have the opportunity and access to participate fully in education and research. As part of the DES team, I am now in a position to ensure that our mission aligns with these fundamental principles. It is meaningful and has given me a sense of purpose to be part of a growing team that is made up of diverse perspectives and backgrounds, all working towards integrating these values into progressing educational equity.   

Q.4 What one piece of advice or information would be you give to others in the Queen Mary community to help them foster an inclusive environment and / or be an effective ally?

Be open, whether that's continual development and education of perspectives, or experiences. This approach of ‘openness’ has truly benefited me throughout my life, and equipped me to better engage and understand others, while simultaneously supporting inclusivity.



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