I would like to take this opportunity to thank AICCM community members who have demonstrated the ability to respond efficiently and effectively to a rapidly changing situation. AICCM consultants have maintained services under unprecedented circumstances and our members have volunteered their time and expertise for the benefit of the heritage collections community, worldwide.
One action that AICCM National Council took to assist members financially was to extend current membership to the end of 2020, awarding six months of free membership. AICCM membership will now change from a financial year to a calendar year membership. New members can also take advantage of this offer – join anytime this year and your membership will be valid until the end of 2021. For member benefits, please look at our website: https://aiccm.org.au/membership/membership-benefits/.
The last three months have seen the AICCM focus on advocacy and community engagement. Our members have worked hard to respond to the multiple crises. We have been contributing to a plethora of voices fighting for the arts and supporting changes to responses to the climate crisis and social injustice. The following submissions and statements are available to download on our website (https://aiccm.org.au/advocacy/submissions-and-statements/):
- The AICCM made a submission to the Senate Select Committee on COVID-19 in response to the Committee’s Terms of Reference (b) ‘any related matters’. It outlined the measures the AICCM took to respond to the pandemic and to contribute to the broader Arts sector response. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the AICCM led the sector in advice on caring for collections and engaged with members to assess the initial financial impacts.
- The AICCM also made a submission to the Royal Commission into Natural Disaster Arrangements and outlined the organisation’s actions taken during the bushfire crisis last summer, and argued for changes to enable best practice in the future. Importantly, a coordinated approach with the government would increase the outcomes of all these efforts.
- The AICCM made a statement registering our condemnation of and dismay at the destruction of the Pilbara Caves by Rio Tinto. We extend our sympathy to the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura people (PKKP), for whom this is a devastating loss of cultural and historical significance. The AICCM also issued a press release on the statement.
- The AICCM NSW Division made a submission to the Inquiry into Government’s Management of the Powerhouse Museum and Other Museums and Cultural Projects in New South Wales.
Further to these formal statements, as President I have represented the AICCM on the AMaGA Cultural Response (Emergencies) roundtable and the NAVA roundtable focusing on the COVID-19 response. Through these two roundtables, advocacy has taken place via open letters and petitions to government calling for support of the arts, for example: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/apr/24/if-our-government-wants-cultural-life-to-return-it-must-act-now-an-open-letter-from-australias-arts-industry
Strategic Planning 2020–2025
The advocacy strategies are important to the AICCM and its members. Last year in the Foresight consultation this arose strongly as an area in which the organisation needs to develop. The AICCM National Council is currently preparing the Strategic Plan for 2020–2025 and this will be incorporated. In lieu of the annual National Council Face-to-Face meeting, council members are meeting via Zoom with State Divisions and Committees. We look forward to sharing the new strategic plan in the next e-News.
Awards and Scholarship
The AICCM is pleased to announce that the ADFAS Mid-Career Scholarship is now open. The scholarship is sponsored by the Association of Australian Decorative and Fine Arts Societies through the Patricia Robertson Fund (PRF). As you may be aware, recipients in the past have used the award to attend conferences and workshops. The criteria, however, are open and can include contributions towards publication of research, or development of an innovative technique or material. Therefore, while there still is some uncertainty around travel and events, please think about other ideas for your application. Information is available online: https://aiccm.org.au/grants-prizes-and-awards/adfas-mid-career-scholarship/.
It’s also time to celebrate our colleagues by nominating them for an award. This year AICCM will be accepting nominations for six awards. Please see nomination forms online: https://aiccm.org.au/grants-prizes-and-awards/aiccm-awards/.
Events and Webinars
The AICCM National Council and SIG Convenors are currently having discussions around the events program in 2021. We are looking for ways to make these more robust through digital means, which will in turn make them more inclusive. In the meantime, SC@M and AICCM have been putting on webinars, which have been excellent. If you have not had a chance to attend one (they book out quickly!) please take a look at the recordings available online: https://aiccm.org.au/event-listing/webinars/.
12 June 2020