ICOM Australia annual awards:
2023 Institutional winner
Honouring outstanding contributions to Australian museums international relationships
The Western Australian Museum
2023 Individual winner
Dr Charlotte Galloway
The ICOM Australia Traveling Fellowship winner
Maria Rojas, Conservator
In 2023 the inaugural ICOM Australia Traveling Fellowship was awarded to Museum conservator, María Vicente Rojas, who is pursuing research, gaining new skills and networking opportunities in museums overseas. Maria is currently working as a casual conservator at International Conservation Services in Chatswood, NSW, was selected as the first recipient of the ICOM Australia Fellowship, an annual award established recently by ICOM-Australia. The Fellowship of up to $5,000, is funded through donations by Australian members of ICOM (the International Council of Museums, Paris), is conceived to encourage early-career Australian ICOM members to increase personal experience through undertaking travel and expanding their networks abroad.
ICOM Australia was impressed by Maria Vicente Rojas’ project, titled ‘Researching novel sustainable solutions for cultural heritage conservation’.
Maria has now returned from her research. Maria attended the Triennial Conference of the ICOM Committee for Conservation (ICOM-ICC), meeting in València where the theme was ‘Working towards a sustainable past’. By attending this conference Maria had the opportunity, as outlined in her submission, ‘to share experiences, ideas and insights, to make valuable contacts with colleagues and representatives working in heritage institutions from all around the world and to keep up to date with the developments and trends in the field of cultural heritage conservation’.
The outcomes of her attendance were to know more about new, sustainable, technologies and methods to conserve the world’s tangible heritage assets, which are currently threatened by unsustainable development, pollution and the climate crisis. ICOM Australia Chair, Jessica Bridgfoot, has commented:
“ICOM Australia supports, encourages and celebrates museum professionals throughout their careers, including at the very beginning, through student membership and this new early-career Fellowship Award. ICOM Australia continues to be active with international projects supporting museum communities in ASEAN and Pacific Nations and is dedicated to enhancing knowledge and resource sharing in the sector. Australian members regularly contribute to ICOM forums and meetings internationally, ensuring that Australian voices contribute to museum gatherings and networks around the world.
We acknowledge and support the innovative work of Australian museum colleagues through the International Museum Awards made each year by ICOM and support ongoing work-experiences including through this new annual Fellowship. ICOM membership includes connections to colleagues and expanding cultural experiences across the globe as well as facilitating access to the latest sector resources. Next applications to become a member of ICOM for Australian museum colleagues and organisations will open in October 2023, and I encourage all museum professionals to consider joining this important network.”
Whilst in Spain for the ICOM-CC 2023 conference, Maria visited several leading museums including the Prado National Museum in Madrid, and research organisations including the Institut Valencià de Conservació, Restauració i Investigació in València. Maria learnt and practised practical skills during her Fellowship.
The ICOM Australia Fellowship, is open to all early career and student ICOM members in Australia.
The 2024 Fellowship will open for submissions late November 2023 and will close early 2024. For information see the ICOM Australia website (link: https://icom-australia.mini.icom.museum/).
Dr Toner Stevenson, ICOM Australia Board Member