Posthumously awarded to Emeritus Professor Dr Colin Pearson
On 17 April 2017 we lost a man who can rightly be called the ‘Father of the Conservation Profession in Australia’. The AICCM and its membership owe much to Colin; he was there at the establishment of the organisation and was always a highly involved member, serving as National President for a time, and being awarded the first Conservator of the Year award in 1995. Colin could always be counted on to ask a difficult question about AICCM finances from the floor at an AICCM AGM.
First among any list of Colin’s achievements would be the 24 years he ran the Materials Conservation course at the CCAE (later the University of Canberra). Colin was appointed the head of the program on its establishment in 1978 and remained there for 24 years. Over that time the course produced 338 graduates who went on to populate the public and private conservation laboratories of the country.
To this growing band of professional conservators Colin was friend, mentor, teacher, researcher, disseminator, author, colleague, advocate and exemplar. He helped bring Australian conservation into the modern era and insisted that it be taken seriously; conservation in Australia became a discipline, a profession, a calling.