AICCM June Newsletter – President’s Report
In the last edition of the e-newsletter, we published an article entitled ‘On advocacy’ by AICCM Alice Cannon. The article hit a chord with members as it reached 2300 people via Facebook and attracted over 40 Facebook Likes. The article offered a simple approach of each of us can effect change. One of the key take-ways for me was a reminder to build our vision of the future heritage into the broader ‘tidal wave of change’ and that each interaction we have with a client, a colleague, a new acquaintance at a BBQ, is an opportunity to advocate for that vision, a future in which individuals, communities and cultures remain actively engaged with cycles of heritage and arts production, its use and engagement, and its preservation until its ultimate decay.
Advocating for the profession and conservation of cultural material is one of the key roles of National Council and the role of the President in particular. It is an activity that is critical for ensuring that the thoughtful preservation of our cultural heritage is valued and celebrated by our governments, institutions, communities and clients. And you, the members obviously feel the same. As the results from the AICCM Survey demonstrate, over 65% of members saw inadequate advocacy as the second most critical issue that faces the profession. Only reduced government funding for arts and culture rated higher (80%) but may be considered in part, the outcome of inadequate advocacy. And my hope is that all, or at least a large proportion of the 65% who see advocacy as important, took the time to follow through and enact on Alice’s call and question their local member of parliament for their stance on supporting cultural heritage preservation and arts and science funding generally.
So what has the AICCM been doing on this front? Over the last 5 years, the AICCM has responded to several calls from governments including the National Cultural Policy and Australian Heritage Strategy and more recently, the NSW Inquiry into Museums and Galleries. These responses have now been published on the AICCM website under the Advocacy – Submissions and Statements page for reference. Each of these documents represents several weeks’ work involving sending a call out to members for input; collating these responses; and petitioning members to assist with drafting up a response; before submitting the final response. This work takes time, attention, reflection and an ability to work openly and collaboratively to draft a response that is representative of the aims of the organisation and those who respond to our call for input (commonly less than 1% of our membership). Those wishing to contact their local PM may consider using these documents as reference.
AICCM Website – Professional Members tile
Recent visitors to the AICCM website will have seen our new ‘Meet AICCM Professional Member…’ tile. This tile was set up to personalise the profession for public visitors to the website as well as provide our professional members with the opportunity to highlight their expertise and the projects they have undertaken. At present, the tile rotates across three professional member profiles. These three profiles will be changed monthly to ensure that all professional members have the opportunity to be featured on our landing page.
This feature also supports recent changes to streamline the ‘Need a Conservator’ search functionality in response to the feedback by users of the page. The ‘Need a Conservator’ currently ranks as our second most visited page, so thank you to all those working in public and educational institutions who refer conservation treatment enquiries to our website.
AICCM AGM – National Council positions
The 44th AICCM Annual General Meeting is schedule to be held as part of the AICCM National Conference in November, 2017. Whilst all National Council positions are open for election at the AGM, I would like to invite all members to consider the following roles as the present incumbents have indicated they will be stepping down in November. A brief description of these roles is provided below. Further details on these and other National Council roles can be found in the AICCM Procedures Manual or by contacting current incumbents.
AICCM National President
The President has important responsibilities for leadership of the National Council, and of the AICCM. In addition to the specific duties outlined within the Constitution, the President is expected to ensure the organisation remains sustainable, flexible and relevant and maintain the health and functioning of the AICCM through tasks such as strategic and business planning, advocacy and networking and policy development.
Time Required: 2-4 hours weekly
Special Interest Group and Events Coordinator
The role of the Special Interest Group and Events Coordinator is to manage communication between the SIGs, National Conference organizers and National Council in order to most efficiently and productively produce events and publications for members.
Time Required: 1-2 hours weekly
Membership Services Officer
The role of the membership officer is to maintain and develop membership services by promoting membership, identify and address membership complaint and issues and managing the AICCM Awards.
Time Required: 5 hours monthly