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Conservator - Time Based Media

National Gallery of Australia - Canberra, ACT

Government, Defence & Emergency
Source: uWorkin


Full Job Description
Conservation Department
NGA Level 4 or 5
Position No. 5046
$65,476 - $77,529 pa
Ongoing Vacancy

The position
We are looking for a Conservator in the emerging field of Time Based Media to work with a
range of contemporary works of art in the National Gallery’s collection.

You will have the opportunity to work closely with technical experts, contractors and staff
across the National Gallery to develop and implement long-term processes for the care and
documentation of our contemporary collections. This position will be interdisciplinary, with a
focus on the preservation of audio visual (AV), electrical and large scale installation works,
including both the digital and physical components.

As this role requires a wide range of skills, we are looking for someone that is continually
abreast of emerging and current practices in this field, has professional connections across
the industry and is committed to developing their own skills to meet the requirements of the
national collection. You will also be required to procure and project manage contractors and
external experts from different sectors, to assist with the highly varied maintenance, repair and
operation of the works of art.

Applicants should note that this position will be filled at either the NGA Level 4 or NGA Level
5, depending on the successful applicant’s range of skills, experience and capabilities.

This position is based within our Conservation Department which specialises in the
conservation of paper, paintings, objects, textiles and preventive conservation. We are
looking for a highly motivated, skilled and experienced Conservator, with a willingness to
learn, to join our team. It is a full-time role available within the Artisitc Programs Portfolio.

How to apply
If you are interested in this role you must submit a current resume/CV, the NGA Personal
Particulars form and a brief statement of claims addressing the selection criteria (1-2 page
pitch), which details your skills, experience and qualifications which are relevant to this
position. Please note that the selection criteria do not need to be addressed individually.

Further information about the position may be obtained by contacting Sarah McHugh
(02) 6240 6418 or sarah.mchugh@nga.gov.au. The Recruitment Officer may also be
contacted on (02) 6240 6447.

Closing date
Applications close at midnight on Sunday, 9 May 2021 and should be emailed to

Position Title: Conservator - Time Based Media (TBM)

Position Number: 5046

NGA Level: NGA Level 4 or NGA Level 5

Department Conservation

Portfolio: Artistic Programs

Immediate Supervisor: Senior Conservator (EL1)

Direct Reports: None

Position Location: National Gallery - Canberra

Australian Citizenship

National Criminal History Check

Licences / Qualifications

About the National Gallery

The National Gallery of Australia (the National Gallery) is one of Australia’s leading visual
arts institutions. The National Gallery is based in Canberra and is a vital part of the
Australian cultural landscape. Our Purpose is to collect, preserve, promote and share the
national collection of art. The Vision of the National Gallery is to inspire creativity, inclusivity,
engagement and learning through artists and art. Our Mission is to lead a progressive
national cultural agenda by championing art and its value in our lives. The National Gallery’s
values include excellence, creativity, courage, respect and accountability.


The Time Based Media (TBM) Conservator is based in the Conservation Department at the
National Gallery. The Department employs conservators specialising in paper, paintings,
objects, textiles, and preventive conservation. This position will be interdisciplinary and will
focus on the preservation of audio visual (AV), electrical and large scale installation works
within the collection or on loan, including both the digital and physical components. The TBM
conservator will work closely with relevant technical experts, contractors and staff from other
departments throughout the gallery (Curatorial, Registration, Exhibitions, Design,
Electricians, Information Technology (IT), Digital Asset Management System team (DAMS))
to develop and implement long-term processes for the care and documentation of these

This role involves a wide range of skills, therefore it is a requirement to keep up to date on
current practices in this field, make professional connections and be committed to
developing skills to meet the requirements of the national collection. As contemporary
collections require highly varied expertise for their maintenance, repair and operation, the
position requires a high level of ability to procure and project manage contractors and
external expertise from different sectors within tight and varying deadlines.

Duty Statement:
1. Research and document complex installations, electrical and digital works of art
including but not limited to condition reporting, documentation of installation and
maintenance requirements, and iteration reports.

2. Work consultatively with technical experts to preserve AV and digital works for art,

including the physical care of analogue and digital carriers, providing storage
recommendations and monitoring data file management.

3. Contribute to the conservation of the physical components of complex works of art,

including a variety of AV platforms and electrical and mechanical components.
Collaborate with electricians and conservators of different expertise. Engage and
manage external contractors as required.

4. Prepare and contribute to the installation of TBM and complex installation works for

display and loan, including implementing maintenance programs.

5. Assist in the mentoring and guidance of less experienced staff, students and volunteers.

Provide professional advice and training on care of the collection to National Gallery staff
and external parties as required. Contribute to departmental reporting, planning and

6. Implement and uphold the National Gallery Work Health &Safety (WHS) policy and
assessment processes.

7. Provide broad conservation support within the Conservation team and undertake other

duties as required.

Selection Criteria:
1. Demonstrated understanding and appreciation of the visual arts and a wide knowledge
of materials and techniques used in the production of works of art in the field of
contemporary art, particularly installations and AV works. Familiarity with current
research and developments in this field.

2. Formal training and/or relevant experience in the field of conservation. Proven ability to

carry out conservation treatments, under limited supervision and develop successful
conservation strategies, including the ability to interview artists to capture their intent for
the work of art.

3. Demonstrated drive to develop new skills, innovate and problem solve. Flexibility to work
within a fast paced and changing work environment.

4. Experience co-ordinating the various aspects required to conserve complex
contemporary works of art preferred, particularly those that include electrical or TBM

5. Demonstrated understanding of the principles of conserving AV and digital works of art
and have the ability to assess and implement short, middle and long term preservation
strategies to contend with obsolescence of media and technologies.

6. Demonstrated ability to build good working relationships and work collaboratively with
other conservators, curators, technical staff, other internal and external stakeholders and
to engage and supervise contractors using well developed interpersonal skills.

7. Well-developed oral and written expression including the ability to prepare clear and

accurate reports to a high standard and ability to communicate this information both
within the organisation and to the broader community

8. Qualifications, Certifications and Registrations

  • Formal qualifications in Conservation, or related fields, and relevant experience is

  • Membership to professional organisations will be highly regarded.
  • Note: In this role, the following are required:
o Accurate colour vision;
o excellent manual dexterity;
o ability to lift, climb ladders, use tools and equipment; and
o an ability to work outside regular work hours to undertake disaster recovery

and some operational requirements.

Work, Health & Safety Obligations

This role is required to ensure that they meet duty of care obligations as required under

WHS legislation. This is achieved by:
  • being accountable and taking ownership of health and safety matters within their
control or ability to promote a culture of health and safety within the Gallery.

  • working with colleagues to enhance health and safety and ensure that it becomes a
part of everyday Gallery business.

Note: In line with National Gallery recruitment practises you must hold Australian Citizenship and
satisfy a police check. The requirement to hold Australian Citizenship may be waived under
exceptional circumstances.

Canberra, ACT

Government, Defence & Emergency


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