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Objects Conservator

NGA Level 5/6
Position No. 5034


The Objects Conservator is based in the Conservation Department at the NGA. The Department employs conservators specialising in paper, paintings, objects, textiles and preventive conservation. The objects conservation team consists of three conservators and a conservation assistant. Applicants for the position should have appropriate qualifications and/or extensive experience in the area of objects conservation including metals. They should be able to undertake complex treatments with minimal supervision and be familiar with all aspects of objects conservation, including the preparation of works of art for storage, transportation, documentation, exhibition and loan.

Duty Statement

  1. As part of the team, assist the Senior Objects Conservator in carrying out the routine operations of the Objects Section.

  2. Examine, document and conserve objects (including metals) from the NGA’s collection and on loan to the NGA. Prepare objects for exhibition, transportation and storage (Level 6 is required to undertake more complex and demanding tasks with less supervision).

  3. Maintain documentation on all work undertaken and prepare condition reports on inward and outward loans and on new acquisitions.

  4. Liaise with curatorial, registration and other technical staff and advise the Senior Objects Conservator on the conservation needs of the collection, including its display, packing, transport and storage.

  5. In consultation with the Senior Objects Conservator, participate and contribute (Level 5) or organise and lead (Level 6) research programs on artists’ techniques and materials and conservation techniques and materials relevant to the care of the NGA’s collections as required.

  6. Assist in the supervision of subordinate staff, students and volunteers, participate in the provision of professional advice and other training initiatives of the Conservation department.

  7. Provide broad conservation support in other media as required and undertake other duties as required by the Head of Conservation and the Senior Objects Conservator.

  8. Implement and uphold the NGA OH&S policy and assessment processes.

Selection Criteria

  1. Professional training, formal qualifications and a record of professional achievement in the conservation of objects. Membership to professional organisations will be highly regarded.
  2. A wide knowledge and understanding of materials and techniques used in the production of works of art in the field of decorative arts, sculpture and ethnographic works. A demonstrated understanding and appreciation of the visual arts.
  3. Demonstrated ability to carry out conservation treatments under limited supervision.
  4. Ability to work in cooperation with other conservators, curators and technical staff and to supervise and direct staff as a team member utilising well developed interpersonal skills.
  5. Accurate colour vision and excellent manual dexterity, and physical health commensurate with the duties of the position (ability to lift, climb ladders, use tools and equipment). A current driver’s licence and an ability to work outside regular work hours will be required to undertake disaster recovery and some operational requirements.
  6. Good oral and written expression including the ability to prepare clear and accurate reports to a professional standard and ability to communicate this information both within the organisation and to the broader community.
  7. Up to date knowledge in the handling and safe use of chemicals related to objects conservation and use of appropriate safety equipment. An awareness of manual handling procedures in line with current WH&S requirements.
  8. Ability to promote and apply the principles of workplace diversity and participative management practices.

Job Specific WH&S Requirements / Information for Supervisor and Occupant

The Objects Conservator is expected to take all reasonable practicable steps to ensure the health and safety of all by supporting and participating in initiatives aimed at improving health and safety in the gallery, particularly through the process of continuous improvement. This includes ensuring tasks and procedures are undertaken in a manner which safeguards the health and safety of Gallery employees, contractors, volunteers and visitors and ensuring the gallery’s legal obligations for WH&S is met in relation to systems of work.

Within 1 month of commencing in the position the occupant, in discussion with his/her supervisor, must complete an Individual Development and Performance Agreement and Health and Safety Responsibilities checklist to identify any section specific WH&S issues and training required.


Administrative Details

Position No: 5034
Position: Objects Conservator
Classification: NGA Level 5/6
Section: Objects
Department: Conservation
Immediate Supervisor: Senior Objects Conservator
Status: Part-time
Hours per week: 15