It is with great sadness that we share news of the peaceful passing away of Wendy Dodd on Monday 28 February 2023.
Wendy commenced at the Australian War Memorial in 1983, rising to the role of Head of Textile Conservation by the time of her retirement in 2003. Having originally trained as a nurse, Wendy moved on to study visual arts at ANU, after which her passion for textiles drew her towards the field of textile conservation. She was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to study textile conservation at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, from where she also visited other textile conservation laboratories in England, France and Switzerland. As an accomplished weaver, in retirement Wendy continued to create and exhibit her textile art.
Here are some tributes from some of Wendy’s AWM colleagues:
‘I would like to acknowledge her lasting legacy to the conservation profession and to the Memorial. She was a passionate advocate for a profession in its infancy. A kind and incredibly generous lady who led, nurtured, supported and collaborated with textile conservators across institutions and around the world. We remember her with great affection and gratitude.’ (Cathy Challenor)
‘Many textile conservators around Australia will have known Wendy for her caring nature, positive outlook, generosity with her time and knowledge. Wendy was also a mentor to many textile conservators as we began our careers in the field of textiles conservation. Wendy will be dearly missed.’ (Carmela Mollica)
‘It’s hard to put into words how important Wendy has been in my life and in the broader textile conservation profession in Australia and the world. I first met Wendy when I was an impressionable 16 year old on work experience at the AWM. Over the following 37 years, Wendy was a leading light, teacher, mentor, guide to me and so many others who became textile conservators along with countless other museum professionals. Wendy taught us so many things we needed to know to become textile conservators and stay in the profession! Wendy, you were steadfast, gently persuasive, had a strong moral compass and you were always willing to learn and adapt.
I will away remember those bright tartan trousers! You coloured the world a better shade. You will be so missed.’ (Sarah Clayton)