About

The Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation develops Australia's capacity to conserve our continuing cultural record. Through teaching and learning, research and engagement in cultural materials conservation, we enable individuals and communities to explore their past, create identity and community in the present, and access their heritage into the future.

As the only centre of its kind in Australia, we combine the theory and practice of cultural materials conservation and deliver conservation education, research and community commercial programs of international reach and relevance. Our approach is led by academics and industry practitioners and supported by national and international partners. Grimwade Centre students have access to unique interdisciplinary expertise across the Arts and Science faculties and The University of Melbourne’s vast cultural collections on campus.

The Grimwade Centre is housed in state-of-the-art teaching and research facilities on Swanston Street thanks to the extraordinary generosity of the Cripps Foundation. The Grimwade Centre is part of the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies in the Faculty of Arts.

The Grimwade Centre and its staff support the adoption of the Uluru Statement from the Heart (270kb pdf), and the call for the Australian government to establish a Makarrata Commission and a Voice to Parliament.

In accordance with the Australian Institute for Conservation of Cultural Material (AICCM) Code of Ethics (175kb pdf), Grimwade Centre staff are governed by:

  • an informed respect for cultural property, its unique character and significance and the people or person who created it, and
  • an unswerving respect for the physical, historic, aesthetic and cultural integrity of the object

Loss of Australian Indigenous knowledge is a national preventable tragedy and sovereignty is key to the preservation of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage.

"This sovereignty is a spiritual notion: the ancestral tie between the land, or 'mother nature', and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who were born therefrom, remain attached thereto, and must one day return thither to be united with our ancestors. This link is the basis of the ownership of the soil, or better, of sovereignty. It has never been ceded or extinguished, and co-exists with the sovereignty of the Crown.

How could it be otherwise? That peoples possessed a land for sixty millennia and this sacred link disappears from world history in merely the last two hundred years?

With substantive constitutional change and structural reform, we believe this ancient sovereignty can shine through as a fuller expression of Australia’s nationhood."

Uluru Statement from the Heart