This new award recognises a conservator, or group of conservators who have undertaken a conservation treatment that has significantly contributed to the conservation field, nationally or internationally and promoted the profession of conservation and its activities to the wider community.a

Uncle Jimmy Clements: O’Sullivan Conservation

Eoin O Suilleabhain, Emily Bramich, Katherine Rosenthal, Hannah Newman

Eoin relocating Uncle Jimmy in the workshop

This award recognises the incredible results, research and collaboration undertaken by O’Sullivan Conservation (OCS) to undertake the major treatment of a life-size plaster sculpture for the Australian Museum. The sculpture was constructed in 1925 by the artist Rayner Hoff and depicts an Aboriginal man, based on the appearance of the model Jimmy Clements, a Wiradyuri elder who in 1927 made the first recorded sovereignty protest at Parliament. Treatment included complex structural repairs and cosmetic reintegration of significant breaks and losses. It also involved collaboration between specialists within OCS as well as with external stakeholders and other experts. To achieve aesthetic and culturally sensitive results, the project involved the First Nations Collection and Conservation teams at the Australian Museum, and initial contact with a descendant of the family. The treatment resulted in excellent structural and visual improvements, and was partly documented for an upcoming documentary.