And, all of a sudden, it was over! The National Conference took place in Canberra, from 15 to 17 November, and celebrated 50 years of AICCM. It was lovely to see so many of you in person; at 220 in the sold-out venue and at least another 20 online, we may have to start considering larger venues for our conferences in future.
I’d like to express my sincere thanks to our conference organising committee: Celia Cramer (chair), Alana Treasure, Doug Rogan, Belinda Muir, Daniel Bornstein, Luci Ronai, Maria Genetzakis and Colin Macgregor. Together they negotiated the venue and catering and AV, developed the program, edited the gorgeous book of abstracts, wrote running sheets and speaking notes, organised our PowerPoint presentations, chaired sessions, took on microphone duties, coordinated registration, decorated conference dinner tables, set up, packed up, and of course established connections with our wonderful sponsors.
Our sponsors were: ECE Fast, IAS Logistics, International Conservation Services, Portable Spectral Services, Trusted Pest Management, TruVue, The University of Melbourne, University of Canberra, Metrohm ANZ, Testo, DatacomIT, and Archival Survival. It was also great having so many representatives from our sponsors attend and present at the conference itself; it was a great way for delegates to learn about new tools, services and technologies, and to make useful contacts.
AICCM’s contractors Michelle Berry (Secretariat), Paul Coleman (Website Editor), Cheralyn Lim (Comms Officer) and Hilary Milsome (Bookkeeper) worked tirelessly behind the scenes to process registrations and payments, manage website event pages, and organise member mailouts and social media posts.
And I simply must thank Ian Batterham and the AICCM choir for the AICCM Anniversary Song—it was truly special. Other highlights for me were 220 of you (approx.) singing happy birthday at the conference dinner, the ‘how it all began’ session on Day 1 with Ian Cook, Allan Byrne, Kay Soderlund, and Colin Macgregor (not to mention the theatrical stylings of ‘pH7’), and Claire Rowson’s presentation about the new AICCM Medal she has designed—the real thing wasn’t quite ready for the conference, but will soon be in the hands of our medal winners.
So, what next for AICCM? Over the next 12 months we will be working through the steps of our ‘Reflect’ Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). This work will be led by AICCM’s Reconciliation Committee, chaired by Samantha Hamilton. Our RAP goals include: a stakeholder mapping workshop to identify First Nations individuals and organisations within our networks and sphere of activity; identifying ways to celebrate and participate in National Reconciliation Week (27 May – 3 June) and NAIDOC Week (4–11 July); and developing a business case for an identified First Nations position or contractor to act as a community liaison for AICCM.
We will also be setting up the five winning ‘50K for 50 years’ grant projects (see the announcement elsewhere in this eNews), which will take place over the next year or two. This will involve setting up a reporting structure for the grant recipients, so keep an eye out for updates via eNews and your inboxes. These five projects are really exciting and I look forward to seeing how they develop.
We also want to do some solid work to strengthen and consolidate our processes and documentation, in which we will be ably assisted by our new Executive Officer, Gerard Hogan.
The next year will also see a change in president—this is my fourth year in the position and my sixth on National Council; I’ll be stepping down at the next AGM. Is anyone out there keen to lead AICCM through our first few years of our next half-century? Please do get in touch!