The 2020 AICCM Awards were announced at a Zoom event on 1 December. Normally the awards ceremony is attached to an in-person conference or workshop event; this year we had to make do with virtual toasts and applause.
We are indebted to the Association of Australian Decorative Fine Arts Societies (ADFAS), who have supported AICCM and Australian conservators in various ways since the fund was established in 2009. Through the Patricia Robertson Fund, ADFAS has generously provided professional development funding for this year’s mid-career fellowships and student conservator of the year awards. (To read more about the Patricia Robertson Fund, see https://www.adfas.org.au/what-we-do/adfas-in-the-community/patricia-robertson-fund/).
Many thanks to everyone who nominated a person or project for the awards; your recognition and support for your colleagues strengthens our profession and is an award in itself. We received many excellent nominations and we regret not being able to formally recognise them all!
Congratulations to our winners!
AICCM Student Conservator of the Year
This award recognises student conservators for both high academic achievement and contributions to the conservation profession. The student awards are supported by the ADFAS Patricia Robertson Fund.
University of Canberra – Clare Kirk
Through this difficult year Clare stood out due to her commitment to the profession and her ability to seek out advice from professional conservators to assist with her work. She is currently working at the Australian War Memorial as a Preventive Conservator while completing her studies.
University of Melbourne – Lisa Mansfield
Lisa has contributed significantly to the AICCM over a short period of time. She has served as a branch member on the Victorian Division and is currently both the National Council SIG/Event Coordinator and the Emerging Conservators SIG Co-convenor. She was also a member of the organising committee for both the 2019 National Conference and the 2019 Managing Risks to Collections Preventive SIG conference. Lisa has acted as Treasurer and President for the University of Melbourne’s student body (SC@M) and initiated the SC@M/AICCM mentoring program.
ADFAS Mid-Career Scholarship
The mid-career scholarships are supported by the ADFAS Patricia Robertson Fund.
Nick will attend a metal coatings selection and specification course with the Australasian Corrosion Association, to build on his knowledge and expertise in outdoor sculpture and metals conservation. Nick plans to share this knowledge with conservators locally, and has been invited to Taiwan in 2021 (if international travel permits) to lecture on the conservation of painted sculpture in a week-long workshop held by the Juming Museum.
Tess has been awarded the mid-career scholarship to further her research into the potential of a commercial biocide to treat mould. Tess has completed master’s-level research in this area and is currently working with a manufacturer to create a viable commercial product. The scholarship will support further research and product trials.
AICCM Outstanding Conservation Volunteer
This award acknowledges a conservation volunteer who has made an outstanding contribution to the conservation of Australia’s cultural heritage.
In March this year, at the onset of pandemic closures, Margaret recognised that there were no resources available in Australia to assist people to navigate the shutdown of museums, particularly for non-conservators. Margaret very quickly collaborated with others to write a guide and arranged for it to be distributed via AICCM and Blue Shield Australia.
The guide has been praised in Australia and internationally and has since been translated into other languages. It has so far received nearly 5,000 views on the AICCM website. (Download the guide here:)
AICCM Outstanding Conservation Treatment of the Year
This award recognises an outstanding treatment undertaken in the last 12 months. It is judged on the results, treatment innovation, collaboration and public exposure.
International Conservation Services (ICS) – Fremantle Prison Murals
In late 2019 a team of ICS conservators led by Adam Godijn undertook treatment of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Fremantle Prison murals. Team members included Matteo Volonte, (principal paintings conservator), Julia Mauny-van den Berg (paintings conservator), Eden Christian (paintings conservator), Fei Chen and Lily Bennion (graduate conservators), and Simone Dowd, Emma Morrison and Jackson Davies (student conservators).
The team consolidated brittle and extensively damaged paint layers. Through examination and analysis they also revealed the current imagery was not original; rather, there were layers of murals painted at different times. The treatment was innovative in its approach of conserving not only the murals’ convict history but also later additions.
Students and recent graduates worked on this project alongside experienced ICS conservators, providing a wonderful opportunity for knowledge exchange and skills transfer. Team members also discussed their work with visitors and tour groups during the project.
AICCM Outstanding Service to the Profession
This award recognises an individual who has demonstrated a strong commitment and contribution to the profession over a long period of time. It looks for evidence of active involvement in delivering learning opportunities; mentoring of other conservators; promotion of conservation; and working with allied professions and the public.
Adam Godijn has made a significant contribution to the profession, including but not limited to his research into mould remediation methods; his contribution to AICCM as both National Treasurer and NSW State President; and his leadership in delivering many successful conservation treatment projects, such as the conservation project at the State Theatre and completing David Hallam’s great work to dismantle the Desoutter aircraft at QVMAG. Adam also acted as a first responder after the recent Tasmanian floods, saving over one hundred artworks, and treated water-damaged paintings of Birrunga Wiradyuri from Bathurst, NSW.
The AICCM Medal recognises career-long achievements in conservation.
The AICCM Medal is not often awarded, but this year we have the great honour of presenting it to Kay Soderlund. Kay has contributed an enormous amount to our profession; she was one of the founding members of ICS, and established Conservation Resources and Preservation Australia. Through these businesses Kay provided essential conservation services to clients and imported tools and materials into Australia to support others in the profession.
Kay recognised the importance of preventive conservation from early on in her career, contributing to many resources that conservators rely on such as the Preservation Needs Template and Be Prepared. She has also volunteered for many roles within AICCM, including National President from 2009 to 2012.
Throughout her career Kay has mentored staff, interns, volunteers, and emerging conservators. She has delivered countless workshops to community groups and regional museums. Kay has consistently shared her skills, knowledge and understanding with others, with incalculable benefits to the preservation of Australian heritage and culture.