It is my pleasure to briefly reflect on my student experience in attending this year’s AICCM National Conference Illuminating the New: Contemporary Issues in Materials Conservation, in Hobart.
This was my first experience participating in a professional development conference and I was very excited to be part of such a dynamic, approachable and collegial student and industry professional body. It was both an exhausting and rewarding three days of stimulating academic discourse, with an enjoyable diversity of presentations. Recent developments within the field were well, if not slightly intimidatingly highlighted. Most notably the exponential expansion of information technology modalities within the heritage sector, prompting us to consider the implications of this within conservation as a whole and how we may implement such developments.
The networking opportunities available to students during the conference were invaluable not only for enabling professional development but also for inspiring current and future research interests and it was great to see the invigorating scope of research and publications being conducted by conservators across Australia. I thoroughly enjoyed Thursday’s materials-focused itinerary of multiple conservation streams as well as the extracurricular social functions which enabled more networking opportunities. It was encouraging to see a strong representative student cohort both past and current, to speak with past students about their experiences and their current opportunities within the profession, as well as the chance to meet new colleagues and teachers within the conservation community.
Gratitude is extended to our University of Melbourne and University of Canberra lecturers for their emphasis on emerging student engagement within the profession. I felt discussion on this subject (as well as papers and presentations given) was highly relevant and validating to many of us considering our future aspirations within the industry.
It was a great and exciting three-day professional intensive and I very much look forward to Sydney’s 2017 AICCM conference!