Welcome to the first eNews for 2022! The new year unfortunately didn’t waste any time throwing new challenges at us all, with the Omicron COVID-19 surge after Christmas and then the floods in NSW and Queensland.
Many AICCM members, including members of the Disaster Preparedness Committee and the NSW and Qld Divisions, have been working to help those affected by the floods. My thanks to everyone who has provided advice, written new salvage guidelines, and/or shared information via the media or a social media release, and especially to those who have helped people and collections in need on the ground. Our Communications Officer, Zora Sanders, has kept our social media accounts up to date with news articles and links to our website resources; please do share them with your own networks. (You can find AICCM on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.) Thanks also to Paul Coleman, our website editor, for updating our home page and other pages to make it as easy as possible for people to find our disaster preparedness resources and our list of members in private practice (the main page to share is https://aiccm.org.au/disaster/flood/).
A reminder here too that AICCM is offering small emergency grants to conservators working with small collecting organisations. There are a limited number of $1,000 grants available for AICCM members to help triage, salvage and document small public collections. If you are already working with a small collecting organisation to salvage flood-damaged material, apply via firstname.lastname@example.org. The funds can help cover the cost of your labour as well as expenses such as travel, accommodation and the purchase of salvage materials. Provide your name, business details (including your insurance provider) and a sentence or two outlining your experience with this kind of work. Whether you have little or lots of experience does not affect your eligibility, but lets us know who might most appreciate a mentor or a buddy on the other end of the phone. We’ll also need a short description about the organisation you will be helping and contact details for your main contact.
The invasion of Ukraine is another emergency in the headlines. The war has seen loss of digital, moveable and built Ukrainian heritage, as well as terrible loss of life and livelihood. AICCM supports the statements issued by Blue Shield and ICCROM, which amongst other things call for Russia and Ukraine to observe their legal obligations to protect heritage under the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property. If you are looking for ways to help those in need, ICON has provided an information page.
In happier news, next year (2023 – eek!) is AICCM’s 50th anniversary year. Make a note in your diary for November 2023, when we are hoping to hold our 50th anniversary event. A special edition of the AICCM Bulletin will also be published; keep an eye out for the call for papers soon.
The Development Committee is working on initiatives to support our 50th, including a new Opportunities Fund and various fundraising activities. We welcome Bella Lipson as our new Development Officer, to support the work of the committee, and who is already doing fantastic work. Our development goals will be affected by recent changes to the Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) rules, which require us to qualify as a charity if we wish to retain DGR status. (DGR status is what allows us to accept tax-deductible donations to our Public Fund.) National Council will investigate our eligibility and report any necessary administrative or structural changes to the membership.
AICCM is also beginning work on a reconciliation plan. AICCM Vice President Grace Barrand initiated the process and I’m grateful to her and to the Reconciliation Committee for making a commitment to this project. Over the next year, we will identify how AICCM can best support First Peoples through our primary goal to conserve cultural heritage through the advancement of science and art, the exchange of information and ideas, and advocacy to government and the general public.
Best wishes to everyone having a hard time right now. Stay safe and please get in touch if there’s anything AICCM can do to help.