Newsletter Issue Number:
AICCM National Newsletter No 157 April 2022
Lucilla Ronai and Alice Cannon

2021 Zoom celebration of the AICCM Awards.

In 2021, AICCM celebrated individuals and groups contributing to the conservation profession in Australia across six award categories. On Tuesday 14 December we ‘gathered’ together on Zoom to present the awards with AICCM President, Alice Cannon, acting as Master of Ceremonies and Quiz Master.

Thank you to all who joined in for the online event, and for those who nominated a person or project for the awards. Congratulations to our 2021 winners! Below you can find out more about their achievements.

We are indebted to the Association of Australian Decorative and Fine Arts Societies (ADFAS), who support AICCM and Australian conservators. The aims of ADFAS are to promote aesthetic education and the study of decorative and fine arts, and to advance the preservation of our cultural and artistic heritage. Patricia Robertson was the Founding Chair and a current patron of ADFAS, who recognised that conservation is a significantly under-funded area of the arts.

Announced at the awards night was the 2021 mid-career scholarships. These scholarships are generously supported through both the ADFAS Armidale branch and the Patricia Robertson Fund. In 2021, ADFAS will support three ADFAS scholars.

ADFAS Armidale Branch Mid-Career Conservator Scholarship: Sherryn Vardy

Sherryn has been awarded the ADFAS Armidale branch mid-career scholarship to support a skills exchange with conservators at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG). Sherryn is a paintings conservator in private practice at Gippsland Heritage Conservation. The scholarship will allow an exchange of ideas and approaches for conservators working in different parts of the country.

Sherryn Vardy. Image credit Sherryn Vardy, Gippsland Heritage Conservation.


ADFAS Mid-Career Conservator Scholarship: Lisa Charleston

Lisa has been awarded an ADFAS mid-career scholarship for specialised frame gilding training at Melbourne-based artisan framers Rich and Davis. Lisa is a conservation technician at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, where she cares for historic frames in the collection. Her scholarship addresses an identified skills gap in historic frames conservation.

Lisa Charleston. Image credit Lisa Charleston, November 2021.

ADFAS Mid-Career Conservator Scholarship: Charlotte Walker

Charlotte has been awarded an ADFAS mid-career scholarship to undertake fashion pattern-making classes. Fashion industry skills are necessary in order to create bespoke underpinnings and supports for historic costume, specific to the measurements of individual garments. Charlotte is an objects conservator at Museums Victoria in Melbourne.

Charlotte Walker. Copyright Charlotte Walker /All Rights Reserved. Image credit Charlotte Walker, courtesy of Museums Victoria.

ADFAS also supports two AICCM student awards, for an outstanding student at the conservation training programs at the University of Melbourne and the University of Canberra.


AICCM Student Conservator of the Year (University of Canberra) – sponsored by ADFAS: Ange Costello

Ange has distinguished herself through her highly developed understanding of conservation and conservation ethics, and her impeccable practical work. Ange is active in the conservation community and is highly committed to become part of the profession.

Ange Costello


AICCM Student Conservator of the Year (University of Melbourne) – sponsored by ADFAS: Cheralyn Lim

Cheralyn’s research thesis investigated the ethical and practical challenges of preserving self-adhesive photograph albums belonging to the Kanamkek-Yile Ngala Museum in Wadeye in the Northern Territory. During her studies, she has also worked with contemporary artist Brook Andrew’s studio and the City of Melbourne collection. She is an active member of the AICCM Bulletin’s Editorial Assistant Committee and an arts advocate with the Footscray Community Arts Centre.

Cheralyn Lim.


Outstanding Service to the Profession: Jennifer O’Connell

A previous president of the AICCM, Jennifer championed new initiatives such as future planning, updated web resources, and partnerships to deliver conservation expertise to regional centres. This award recognises Jennifer’s contributions to the conservation profession through her activities as National President, and her commitment to advocacy, sustainability, collaboration and resource sharing. Jennifer’s tireless work has improved the AICCM as a professional organisation, and as a direct result has improved the entire conservation community in Australia.

Jennifer O’Connell. Image credit Jenny O’Connell 2021.


The Colin Pearson Outstanding Research in the Field of Material Conservation Award: Asti Sherring & Rosemary Goodall

There were two recipients of this award!

Asti Sherring is recognised for her research in the field of time-based art conservation. Asti held the first time-based art conservation role in Australia and her research work has significantly advanced the field in Australia and beyond. Asti’s passion, willingness and enthusiasm for sharing knowledge, and her tireless promotion has ensured she is a leader in developing the specialisation both within Australia and internationally.

See ‘Divergent conservation: cultural sector opportunities and challenges relating to the development of time-based art conservation in Australasia’ – Asti Sherring

Asti Sherring.

Rosemary Goodall is a materials scientist at Museums Victoria and her research has revolutionised the Museum’s understanding of hazardous materials within its vast collection. Identification and characterisation of hazards such as mercury, lead and asbestos has directly improved both collection management and health and safety practices. Her nomination acknowledged her unwavering generosity with her time and expertise outside of her role at Museums Victoria.


See ‘Measuring and mitigating mercury vapour in the collection cabinets at Museums Victoria’ – Rosemary Goodall and Danielle Measday

Rosemary Goodall. Image credit Rod Start, Museums Victoria.


AICCM Conservator of the Year: Lucilla Ronai

Lucilla’s passion, professionalism and social media expertise have made her an international face for Australian conservation. Through blog posts, social media, podcasting and community work, Lucilla has connected conservation and AICCM to new audiences. Her YouTube channel ‘The Conservation Starter’ has amassed over 32,000 views and her videos are used as an educational resource by numerous organisations. Amongst her professional and community outreach work, Lucilla has also shared her expertise with emerging conservators through webinars for the AICCM Emerging Conservators group and Student Conservation at Melbourne (SC@M). Luci’s nomination also praised her contributions to cellulose acetate film research.

See The Conservation Starter 

Lucilla Ronai. Image credit Kate Pentecost 2019.


Outstanding Conservation Volunteer Award: Marsha Swensom

Marsha has worked for over 30 years as a volunteer at the Art Gallery of NSW, contributing countless hours in support of its activities. Marsha performs essential work for the conservation team by managing the Artists & Artwork files, an enormous task that also involves continuously improving the system to ensure this valuable resource is accessible. Her nomination also recognised her dedication and good cheer.

Marsha Swensom.


Outstanding Conservation Treatment of the Year – Grimwade Conservation Services (Peter Mitchelson, Christine Mizzi, Libby Melzer, Jordi Casasayas, Jacinta Brown, Victoria Thomas, Noni Zachri, Briony Pemberton, Lois Waters, Jessica McElhinney)

Grimwade Conservation Services’ team of 11 conservators spent over 1000 hours conserving two 17th century Dutch wall maps from the workshop of master cartographer Joan Blaeu. The work was funded by the Wilson family. The two-year project required extensive research, collaboration between multiple specialisations, and adaptions of conservation techniques to balance conservation and display needs, while preserving the historical context of the maps.

Find out more about their treatment here

Grimwade Conservation Services treatment team sitting in front of maps.  Image credit Paul Burson, the University of Melbourne.


We are now ready to receive nominations for the 2022 Awards! The AICCM Awards recognise excellence amongst practising Australian conservators, conservation volunteers and those who actively promote conservators and conservation.

Nominations will close on 25 July 2022.

See the AICCM Awards website page for further information

Please direct queries to the AICCM Membership Officer, Lucilla Ronai