University Conservator wins national heritage award

May 16 / 181

Professor Robyn Sloggett with Bathurst Mayor Cr Gary Rush
Professor Robyn Sloggett with Bathurst Mayor Cr Gary Rush

Robyn Sloggett has been described by her peers as a contemporary hero in understanding and protecting cultural heritage both in Australia and internationally. This week she was awarded the 2016 Bathurst Macquarie Heritage Medal.

As winner of the prestigious Bathurst Macquarie Heritage Medal, Professor Sloggett will also be the recipient of a $25,000 prize.

Professor Sloggett, Director of the University of Melbourne’s Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation, says she intends to use the award and the financial windfall to promote a more coordinated and nationally integrated approach to heritage and contemporary conservation.

The Medal – named for the city which is Australia’s oldest inland European settlement - recognises an individual who demonstrates a significant contribution to the protection or promotion of Australia’s built, social, cultural or environmental heritage.

Professor Sloggett was selected from an impressive short-list field of four finalists for the award, which included cultural heritage specialist Christine Johnston, heritage conservation architect Elizabeth Vines, and natural heritage conservationist David Clark. 

“Professor Sloggett represents all that the Bathurst Macquarie Heritage Medal stands for,” says Bathurst Mayor Cr Gary Rush.

“She is an individual who has made a significant contribution to the protection of Australia’s heritage. Professor Sloggett’s work in heritage conservation, and in particular her work to assist remote Indigenous communities to work on heritage and art conservation issues, has resulted in an exchange of knowledge between conservators in large institutions in southern Australia and senior Indigenous knowledge holders and practitioners.”

Throughout her long and distinguished academic career Professor Sloggett has been pivotal in developing partnerships in training, collection management, preservation and digitisation of artist’s works and documentation within the University of Melbourne, and on the national and international stage.

“Professor Sloggett’s research is grounded in the belief that strengthening research capacity in heritage conservation and mentoring the next generation of researchers is essential to the conservation of culture across Australia,” Cr Rush said.

Professor Sloggett said it was a privilege to have been nominated for the Bathurst Macquarie Heritage Medal and that there was nothing more she would rather be doing than helping people share their stories and their heritage, and secure it for the future.

“My intention is to use the $25,000 prize money to support student endeavours in the field of heritage conservation.”

Story by Gabrielle Murphy



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