This brief and incomplete history of AICCM was put together by the Victorian Division in 2010. The information in this history was largely drawn from available National AGM minutes and Executive reports from the National Newsletter. It includes significant AICCM activities and decisions as well as relevant events from the Australian cultural sector.

Like most histories there are many gaps and no doubt inaccuracies, however it is posted here as a starting point for a fuller and more accurate documentation of our history.

When What
1973 ICCM is formed (Perth meeting). Interim constitution adopted. Anticipated that ICCM would later merge with IIC.
1975 The Bulletin first produced. Published quarterly. Partially paid for by ANU? Memberships first opened. Museums Inquiry report tabled in Federal Parliament (The Pigott Report) – recommended establishing conservation training course.
1976 Revised constitution presented. Based on rules for incorporated association under the Incorporated Association Ordinance 1953-1962. ICCM becomes incorporated.
1977 $1 per member paid to each division for operating costs. Student membership rate approved (3/4 of full membership)First regional divisions created.
1978 Reciprocal memberships first introduced. ICCM becomes an incorporated body with a constitution. ICCM Library first suggested. Conservation training course opens at the CCAE – two-tiered program
1979 First graduates from CCAE
1980 Canberra PO Box obtained. National Newsletter first published. Travel grants system for members initiated
1981 Bulletin no longer produced by Dept Prehistory, ANU. Council resolved to hold national conferences biannually instead of every year. Submission by ICCM to Department of Home Affairs & the Environment re legislation to protect cultural property
1982 Code of Ethics/Practice and By Laws first proposed. Bulletin changes to twice yearly publication
1983 Conservation research survey conducted. First paid ICCM employee – Country Museum Conservator for WA (funded by WA Lotteries Commission)Membership list on word processor for first time. Calls for paid Secretariat. Grants received from Australia Council and Australia Japan Foundation to bring speakers to conferences. Possibility of affiliating with CAMA raised – pros: greater influence, improved government backing; cons: annual fee payable, conservators less visible?
1986 Professional membership panel elected to review new membership category. ‘Conservation on the move’ project begun (continues until at least 1990)
1987 ICCM Code of Ethics and Code of Practice adopted and distributed. ICOM 8th Triennial Meeting held in Sydney. Name changed to AICCM. Recommended that state divisions become incorporated in their own right (SA Division becomes incorporated). Part-time administration officer employed
1988 Australian Bicentennial Exhibition tours all states and territories. Professional membership category established. Conservation of Rock Art Graduate Diploma (1 year) offered by CCAE (in conjunction with Getty)
1990 The 90s declared the Decade for Natural Hazard Reduction by the UN (natural and man-made)
1993 AICCM Membership votes not to amalgamate with CAMA affiliates to join the new association MAHCC formed
1994 Conservator of the Year award launched
1995 National Conservation and Preservation Policy for Moveable Heritage published
1996 Bulletin copy and production commercially outsourced. Credit card payment available
1997 Asian Pacific Directory developed with grant from AH
1998 25th anniversary of AICCM; 20th anniversary of UC course (event at UC)$3000 received from HCC to develop and trial a Code of Practice. $7500 received from HCC to conduct a Skills Gap Audit
1999 DEI approached for grant for Secretariat services. IE transfers member database to Access (Y2K compliant). Development of new training courses at US and UWS
2000 IIC Conference hosted in Melbourne, managed by AICCM. Skills Gap Audit presented and Research Activity Audit and Needs Assessment in progress; both funded by HCC. New Code of Practice accepted. reCollections and Be Prepared published by the HCC (content written by conservators), published online via AMOL
2001 Reconciliation statement adopted. Publications Committee established. HCC closes. Privacy Act came into effect – members required to authorise the publication of some personal details (e.g. for membership directory)
2002 Guidelines for Environmental Control of Cultural Institutions published by the HCC, published online via AMOL. UC announces closure of conservation course – no new student intake
2003 National Training Summit organised by AICCM, in response to UC course closure; outcomes referred to CMC; contributions by UM, UNSW, UWS & CITGVEHO grant obtained for administrative activities
2004 Moved to web-based Secretariat. Production of SIG Procedures Manual (converted By-Laws). UM Masters by Coursework program begins
2005 Unsuccessful application to Getty Foundation to establish professional membership (joint AICCM & NZ). Renewals due 12 months after last payment (instead of by calendar year). CCA established. Last UC students finish. CIT developing 2 year diploma syllabus. First graduates from UM Masters by Coursework program
2006 Committee to oversee Public Fund established; applied for Government Register of Cultural Organisations and Tax Deductible Gifts. Agreement signed with CCMC to provide AICCM ongoing professional development program. Became a CAN partner (have own page on CAN site). CCA conducted survey to determine conservation skill requirements of Australia’s collecting institutions over the next 3 years. Published October 2006 on CCA website. Bushfires in Canberra – ACT Division response
2007 Public Fund committee established. Secretariat services no longer outsourced to commercial company; review of Secretariat services begun. Final instalment of GVEHO grant (for administrative activities)
2008 New AICCM website launched – online renewals; online payment via Paypal, online membership directory, list of members in private practice, publications archive
2009 UC starts new undergraduate Conservation courseBushfires in Victoria – Victorian Division response
2010 CCA closes



  • AH: AusHeritage
  • AICCM: Australian Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Material Inc.
  • AMOL: Australian Museums OnLine
  • ANU: Australian National University
  • CAMA: Council of Australian Museum Associations
  • CAN: Collections Australia Network
  • CCA: Collections Council Australia Ltd
  • CCAE: Canberra College of Advance Education (became UC)
  • CCMC: Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation (University of Melbourne)
  • CMC: Cultural Minister’s Council
  • CIT: Canberra Institute of Technology
  • DEH: Department of Environment and Heritage
  • DEI: Department of Environment and Infrastructure
  • GVEHO: Grants to Voluntary Environment & Heritage Organisations (administered by Department of Environment, Water, Heritage & the Arts)
  • HCC: Heritage Collections Council (initial Heritage Collections Working Group); active 1993-2001? AICCM represented on the Collection Management and Conservation Working Party.
  • ICCM: Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Material
  • IE: Institute of Engineers
  • MA: Museums Australia
  • SA: Secretariat Australia
  • UC: University of Canberra
  • UM: University of Melbourne
  • UNSW: University of New South Wales
  • US: University of Sydney
  • UWS: University of Western Sydney