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Conservator - Objects

Position title
Conservator, Objects


APS Level 5

Immediate supervisor
Senior Conservator, Objects

Non-ongoing for maternity leave backfill till Dec 2018 with possible extension

Mitchell, Canberra

Application close date
11.30pm Wednesday 20 December 2017

Position contact
Prue Castles, Senior Conservator, Objects, (02) 6208 5416,

If you are deaf, hearing or speech impaired, you can contact us through the National Relay Service, TTY call 133 677, Speak and Listen 1300 555 727.

The Museum

The National Museum of Australia is a place that celebrates our people and our culture of storytelling. It is a place to explore our relationships to each other, to the places we live, and to the objects and events in our past. The Museum is the place where we come together to share stories of our unique and distinctive nation, to be part of a national conversation. Come and join the conversation. Be part of the story. Our story.

Information about our collections, galleries, research, temporary exhibitions and public programs, as well as corporate documents including annual reports, strategic plans and visitor research is available on our website at Applicants are encouraged to review this information as part of their application preparation.

Working environment and remuneration

The Museum offers:

  • creative and diverse work
  • a flexible and family friendly working environment
  • results that you can see and from which you can have immediate job satisfaction.

Annual salary of between $69,341 and $73,528 plus superannuation. Employment conditions are covered by The National Museum of Australia Enterprise Agreement 2017-2020. Other arrangements may be negotiated under an Individual Flexibility Agreement. The Museum suppo

Responsibilities of the section

The Conservation Section works to care for the Museum’s collections through:

* Collection maintenance and preventive conservation programs,
* Conservation treatments,
* Exhibition preparation and advising on mounting, lighting and packing for exhibitions and travelling exhibitions,
* The application of risk management to the care and management of the collections,
* Working collaboratively with other sections within the Museum and providing preservation advise to other sections,
* Research
In addition, the Section is involved in a range of activities across the Museum including participation in public programs.

The Conservation section’s work is planned on an annual business planning model that is aligned with the Collections, Content and Exhibitions Division’s business plan and the NMA’s Strategic and Business Priorities.

The Conservation Section employs approximately twelve staff, with a number of contractors providing specific skills and knowledge. The staff numbers are supplemented by additional staff and contractors on a project basis.

Responsibilities of the position

Working under general direction, the Conservator, Objects:

* is responsible for a range of hands-on conservation, preventive conservation, collection maintenance and exhibition projects involving NMA collection items and loan items from other institutions.

This work will include:
- application of developed skills in interventive conservation treatment using established and new conservation techniques,
- assisting in the development of treatment programs and being instrumental in the development of new approaches to the conservation of objects,
- liaising with curators, registration and photography staff,
- condition assessment and reporting,
- collaborative work between the Objects and other conservation teams, and between the Objects and other areas of the Museum,
- providing advice to internal and external “clients”,
- assisting in the design and construction of mounting systems and participating in mount assessments,

* works with colleagues to ensure the smooth running of the team and contributes to the project and program management of the Objects team.

* is committed to continuous professional development through professional reading, discussion with colleagues and pursuing training opportunities when they are available.

* manages and tracks own time and ensures that he/she has sufficient supervision, instruction and equipment to enable them to perform his/her duties safely and in keeping to professional ethics.

* complies with Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and APS Code of Conduct.

Selection criteria

Applicants must respond to all of the following selection criteria in their application:

1. Sound knowledge of current object conservation practice and experience in the practical application of conservation ethics, with proven ability in conservation treatments, object handling and exhibition related conservation activities.
2. Sound knowledge of preventive conservation and research needs across a range of object materials, with demonstrated capacity to apply them to the long-term preservation of collections.
3. Understanding of the work of conservation in the broader Museum context and demonstrated ability to work with non-conservation colleagues to find solutions to collections related problems.
4. Proven ability to manage own time and contribute to the management of a conservation team by assessing work requirements, setting goals and timelines, and contributing to the improvement of processes and performance.
5. Proven ability to work effectively and flexibly with sensitivity for cultural difference and differing approaches and opinions.
6. Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively, adapting communication to the needs of a range of different stakeholders and audiences within and outside the Museum.
7. Understanding of and demonstrated commitment to workplace health and safety, conservation ethics and APS Code of Conduct.

Applications should include contact details for two referees.

Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people are strongly encouraged to apply

To be eligible to apply for this vacancy, applicants must:
- be an Australian Citizen;
- undergo a number of pre-employment checks, which includes a police records check.

Further enquiries

If you have any questions regarding this position please contact Prue Castles, Senior Conservator, Objects, (02) 6208 5416,


Applicants are encouraged to apply online.

If you have problems submitting your online application, please email

Preferred titling of attachments is 'Name - Application' and 'Name - Resume'