The wattles have started flowering around Melbourne, marking the start of ‘yellow season’ and reminding us that spring is not far away now. This will hopefully bring some relief from the winter progression of colds, flu and COVID-19; I hope you have all been keeping safe and well.
In May we announced our AICCM Anniversary Appeal, ‘50k for 50 years’. This campaign aims to raise $50,000 in time for our 50th anniversary conference (November 2023), to put towards five $10,000 member-driven grant projects. These projects aim to build on our strategic goals: First Nations values and voices in conservation; engaging with regional, rural and remote communities; the next generation of conservators and/or skills development; disaster resilience and climate change responses; and advocacy, profile, and capacity-building projects.
The campaign has already raised over $8,000 – nearly a fifth of the way towards our goal –which is enormously gratifying. Many thanks to all who have donated, shared the campaign with others, or simply renewed your membership as a result. I’d also like to thank the members of the Development Committee for their continued support of our fundraising work and in particular Jennifer O’Connell, who has just stepped down from the committee. We will miss your enthusiasm, experience and ideas!
I’m also very sad to report Bella Lipson will be stepping down as our inaugural Development Officer. Bella has been fantastic in this role and has shown what a difference it makes to have a dedicated (and paid) position working on a project. Things get done so much faster! Instead of refilling this position, National Council plans to bring forward the appointment of a part-time, paid Executive Officer. This position will have a broader remit than the Development Officer but will encompass many of the tasks Bella has performed for us. Thank you Bella and best wishes—we hope to lure you back some day.
We also farewell Julie McCarthy as one of our AICCM representatives for Blue Shield Australia. Julie has been a wonderful Blue Shield rep: positive, communicative and constructive. Fortunately, she will remain a member of the Disaster Preparedness Committee so we won’t lose her expertise all at once!
There are still a small number of AICCM emergency grants available for conservators working with small collecting organisations affected by the recent floods in NSW and Queensland. These are $1,000 grants to assist AICCM members to help triage, salvage and document small public collections in need. These grants can help cover the cost of your labour as well as expenses such as travel, accommodation and materials. Via the secretariat, provide your name, business details (including your insurance provider), brief details of the organisation you will be helping 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.
There is a great deal of other AICCM work happening at the moment: the Disaster Preparedness Committee is updating the Disaster Preparedness Calendar for 2022; the Reconciliation Committee is meeting every fortnight to develop a Reconciliation Action Plan for AICCM; the Exhibitions SIG and the Preventive SIG are organising webinars and workshops; and the Bulletin Editorial Committee and various guest editors are working concurrently on a number of issues. (Not to mention the work of our State and Territory Divisions to organise local events). This is an amazing amount of work, especially considering how small we are as an association. Thank you to everyone who volunteers their time for the benefit of us all.
National Council is focused on the current projects at present: our application for charity status (necessary if we wish to retain our status as a Deductible Gift Recipient, under new legislation); a submission to the Commonwealth’s new National Cultural Policy; assessing the nominations for the 2022 AICCM Awards and ADFAS Mid-Career Scholarships (thank you to Membership Officer Luci Ronai for managing this process); and all the regular business of National Council, such as organising the AGM (which, happily, we can continue to conduct via Zoom—4 October, 8pm; be there or be square).
In closing I would like to welcome our new Preventive SIG convenors Jessica Gray and Rehan Scharenguivel; our new Paintings SIG convenors Eden Christian and Anurati Krishnamurty; and our new Education and Training Committee Chair, Hakim Abdul Rahim. Welcome! And, of course, I would like to thank our outgoing Preventive SIG convenor Tegan Anthes; our outgoing Paintings SIG convenors Raye Collins and Raymonda Rajkowski; and our outgoing Education Committee Chair, Bronwyn Dunn, for their exceptional work.
Best wishes all,