This award recognises the unique skills brought by volunteers to the conservation of Australia’s cultural heritage and rewards volunteers who have made an outstanding contribution. The award encourages the two-way sharing of specialist skills between conservators and volunteers and acknowledges potential these relationships have to bridge identified skills gaps.

2023 – Eric Deshon & Peter Baldridge

Eric and Peter have made an incredible and sustained commitment to the conservation of maritime vessels and large technology objects at the Australian National Maritime Museum. Over the course of a decade they have spent countless hours on the care of the HMAS Karak Kara steam engine on display at the Museum. They bring an essential set of specialist skills and knowledge that saved it from certain deterioration and loss of function. Eric and Peter’s professionalism and generous spirit is evident in their interactions with museum visitors and conservation interns. They boost the morale of all the museum staff, interns and other volunteers they work alongside.

Museum Volunteer Eric Deshon polishes the brightwork on the engine – Image by Nick Flood

Museum Volunteer Peter Baldridge topping up the engine’s oil reservoirs – Image by Nick Flood

Past recipients

As you see, our records are incomplete. If you can help fill in the blanks we would love to hear from you.