We have definitely been going through some strange and interesting times this year, especially in Melbourne.
Current students are still working their way through the Master’s program at the Grimwade Centre and we are grateful to the centre’s staff and to our current cohort of students supporting each other through their studies during this time.
Some first-year Master’s students got a brief glimmer of lab time before further COVID-19 restrictions came into effect and they moved back to online learning.
One of the subjects moved to the University of Melbourne’s virtual campus was the Digital Protocols elective – quite fitting considering the course’s content. Students attended tutorials and workshops run by Tate Modern’s time-based media conservator, Patricia Falcão (who Zoomed in at the crack of dawn from London), and former NFSA conservation research and preparation team member Mick Newnham. Students learned how to approach documenting complex digital media installations, and how to project manage an elaborate digitisation project. After having completed the course, students are better aware of the complex issues surrounding digital media conservation and all the work that goes into maintaining it for the long term.
Lockdown has not only meant our studies have moved online but SC@M has looked to host other events virtually. At the end of May, we helped to host the annual AICCM Movie Night with an online showing of the documentary In My Blood It Runs. The film documents the importance of accepting First Nations knowledge and touches on a lot of themes students learn in the RESPECT subject held earlier in the year, and is a good lead-in to preparation for the Ngarranggarni: Gija Art and Country elective, also held online in June.
Back in June we also held our first online Jobs Panel. Thank you to Lucilla Ronai, Evan Tindall and Eleanor Vallier for speaking to students about their experiences and their conservation ups and downs.
We’ve been happy to see so many of you at the series of webinars we’ve been co-hosting with the AICCM Emerging Conservators SIG. Thanks for coming out, and we hope the series has been inspiring and has helped to keep you connected during these distant times.