This award recognises the unique skills brought by volunteers to the conservation of Australia’s cultural heritage and rewards volunteers who have made an outstanding contribution. The award encourages the two-way sharing of specialist skills between conservators and volunteers and acknowledges potential these relationships have to bridge identified skills gaps.

2020 – Margaret Birtley

Margaret Birtley

In March this year, at the onset of pandemic closures, Margaret recognised that there were no resources available in Australia to assist people to navigate the shutdown of museums, particularly for non-conservators. Margaret very quickly collaborated with others to write a guide and arranged for it to be distributed via AICCM and Blue Shield Australia.

The guide has been praised in Australia and internationally and has since been translated into other languages. It has so far received nearly 5,000 views on the AICCM website. (Download the guide here:)

2019 – Jan Russell and Sue Brian

This year’s award is a joint award for Jan Russell and Sue Brian. Both Jan and Sue volunteer regularly with the conservation team at the National Maritime Museum in Sydney. Jan designs and constructs display and storage solutions for collection objects, and plays a crucial role in the museum’s textile rehousing project. While Sue brings a wealth of expertise, as a retired chemistry teacher she contributes scientific and practical knowledge. She also has experience in collection management and maritime archeological conservation from previously volunteering at the Norfolk Island Museum.

Both Jan and Sue are highly valued by the conservation team at the Maritime Museum.

2016 Outstanding Volunteer Award

Celeste Wing Young

Awarded to Celeste Wing Young, GCCMC Student in recognition of her volunteer contribution to the National Trust of Australia (Victoria) through her work for Dow’s Pharmacy in Chiltern, Victoria’s  oldest collection of pharmaceuticals in an original apothecary building. AICCM applauds the exceptional efforts put in by Celeste to assist this important site.

2015 Outstanding Volunteer Award

John Herbert Project Volunteers, National Gallery of Victoria

The members of the John Herbert Conservation project were: Satu Mäkelä, Adele Barbara, Eleanor Vallier, Yasmin Kopij, Amy Walsh, Adil Soh-Lim, Hoah Huynh, Lee Dear, Albertine Hamilton, Alex Ellem, Robyn Ho, Lauren Ravi, Nola Orr, Sherryn Vardy, Ren Gregoric, Oskar Slifierz, Leith Maguire, Kristine Allinson, Gabrielle Fanning, Noni Zachri, Jessica McElhinney, Eliza O’Donnell and Bronwyn Dunn. This project involved significant conservation treatments of John Herbert’s large-scale work Moses bringing down the Tables of the Law, undertaken in the gallery space to allow the public to engage and ask questions as the work progressed. The NGV complimented the volunteer team on their professionalism, courtesy and friendly manner when dealing with visiting members of the public.

Rebecca Barnott-Clements, Australian Museum

Rebecca has worked with the conservation team at the Australian Museum for over three years and shown herself to be an exceptionally diligent, reliable and adaptive volunteer who has contributed to the preparation of material for display and loan, helped with storage improvements and assisted with minor treatments and exhibition installations. The Australian Museum team commented that Rebecca is an important member of their team and they believe she possess all the qualities to make an excellent conservator in future.

Past recipients



  • WA – Genevieve Konig
  • NSW – Heather Joynes
  • Vic – David Thompson

As you see, our records are incomplete. If you can help fill in the blanks we would love to hear from you.