Outstanding Service to the Conservation Profession

This award recognises an AICCM member or institutional member who has contributed to the profession either over the long term or a single project by active involvement in delivering conservation seminars, workshops and other educational/learning opportunities; mentoring of other conservators; promotion of conservators and/or conservation within and beyond the profession by working with allied professions and the public.


Sophie Lewincamp

Sophie is a current AICCM member, who has mentored students and routinely promoted the profession during her long-term involvement with the RSL LifeCare War Museum and recent work with the War Heritage Roadshow.

In April 2017 Sophie coordinated the first Museum Week held at the RSL LifeCare Village. The regular presence of student conservators during the last five years has done much to promote the conservation profession, as students have been able to work with residents in collection management activities and share conservation principles. The workshops held during the Museum Week built upon these foundations, seeking to actively educate the local community in conservation principles and promote the museum. While Sophie led some sessions, she also ensured students and volunteer residents led workshops demonstrating the strong community and mentoring emphasis that has underpinned the project from the beginning. The RSL LifeCare War Museum project will have long-term benefits for the profession, helping to produce more experienced and community focused graduates.

During the last five years at the RSL, Sophie has liaised and worked with a number of allied professionals including architects, builders, display case companies and researchers. Some project examples include; overseeing the replacement of faulty LED lights, consulting with builders regarding rising damp on the airplane wall, and providing advice for the safe construction of a motorbike display case. Her involvement ensured conservation principles were integrated into the new building design and promoted the conservation profession to the architects and contractors that have been involved in the various building stages. The project has also enabled students and graduates to work with a variety of allied professions including the Omeka team at the University of Melbourne, Legacy and oral history staff at the RSL LifeCare Village.

Another project that Sophie recognized had potential for mentorship is the War Heritage Roadshow, which is an initiative of the Department of Premier and Cabinet and running currently. Sophie was part of the organizing team and liaised with the Student Conservators At Melbourne (SCAM) so that students could assist professionals during the community appointments. Students are able to sit with staff from the Conservation Commercial Services (CCS) as they consult and advise community members on how best to preserve their personal collections. They are also able to assist in delivering workshops covering a range of best practice advice. Eleven students participated in the first North Melbourne roadshow, with further opportunities available from students during the next ten venues. By identifying the mentoring opportunity, Sophie has again enabled students to gain valuable experience and networking opportunities. The Roadshow project has also emphasized the importance of community engagement to the students, and demonstrated how conservators can clearly communicate with the public.


Past recipients

As you see, our records are incomplete. If you can help fill in the blanks we would love to hear from you. Email us: secretariat@aiccm.org.au