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Conservator, Strehlow Archives Care Project

Note: This position is identified as a Special Measures position under clause (42) of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1992. Aboriginal applicants are strongly encouraged to apply and will be given priority consideration under clause (57.1) of the Anti-Discrimination Act.

The Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT) is the Northern Territory’s premier cultural and scientific institution. It offers a dynamic and diverse arts, science and cultural program to more than 300,000 visitors each year.

We are the museum and gallery known for our collections and expertise in Aboriginal cultures, natural sciences, histories and arts across Northern and Central Australia and our neighbours to the north.

We connect people to the stories of the Northern Territory. Our collection drives curiosity, exploration and partnerships. Our physical spaces are destinations loved by locals and a must-see for Territory visitors. Our digital connectivity expands the reach of our collection.

MAGNT has seven venues: MAGNT Darwin (Bullocky Point), the Defence of Darwin Experience, Fannie Bay Gaol, Lyons Cottage, the Museum of Central Australia (incorporating the Strehlow Research Centre), Megafauna Central and the Alcoota fossil site. A new Art Gallery opening in Darwin’s CBD in 2024/2025 will add an eight MAGNT site.

The Strehlow Research Centre (SRC) in Alice Springs, was established in 1988 by an Act of Parliament, and opened as a facility in 1991. The Strehlow Research Centre Act 2005 (NT) outlines objectives for collection maintenance and development and the repatriation of objects to Traditional Owners. The SRC has local, national and international significance through its role as a keeping place of objects of cultural significance, including repatriated objects, and is an essential source of information for Custodians and other key stakeholders.

Primary Objective

The Conservator, Strehlow Archive, will be responsible for ensuring best practice long-term collection care and conservation for the highly significant Strehlow Research Centre Archive (Archive) consisting of  ceremony, songs, film, site maps and genealogies pertaining to Central Australian Aboriginal people. This role will deliver the conservation program for the Archive and the day-to-day preventative conservation tasks and provide advice and expertise in regards to all issues of conservation. The role will work collaboratively with the Archivist, the Aboriginal Heritage Officer and the Assistant Aboriginal Heritage Officer caring for and protecting the Archive.

Key Responsibilities

  1. Provide specialist conservation services, advice and expertise on all issues relating to conservation including museum climatology, disaster planning and recovery, collection management, environmental monitoring, integrated pest management, collection handling, storage and display.
  2. Undertake established basic and intermediate level conservation treatments, both preventive and interventive and maintain appropriate records.
  3. In collaboration with the conservation and collections management staff provide specialist input to the development and implementation of conservation procedures and programs in accordance with the aims, objectives and functions of MAGNT.
  4. Create and maintain accurate records of object conservation and undertake data entry using MAGNT’s collections management system (EMu).
  5. Prepare collections material to ensure the effective care, packing and handling of Archive material for safe storage access requests, exhibition purposes and transport and for improving the management of collection material and storage facilities to maximise space.
  6. Deliver training in preventative conservation practices to the Archivist, Aboriginal Heritage Officer, Assistant Aboriginal Heritage Officer and Custodians in order to rehouse and document material and make it culturally safe to access.
  7. Impart collection management principles to all the Strehlow Research Centre staff.
  8. Assess the conservation and preservation needs of the Archive and monitor environmental conditions. Support the implementation of an integrated pest management program in the Archive, storage and exhibition areas and undertake regular inspections and maintenance.
  9. Other duties as required with respect to the scope of the position.

Selection Criteria


  1. Tertiary qualifications in Materials Conservation and a minimum of 2 years’ experience in the conservation of cultural materials from multi-disciplinary heritage collections in an archive, museum or art gallery environment in the application of conservation practices.
  2. High level knowledge of both national and international current conservation principles, ethics and practices as identified in the Australian Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Materials Code of Ethics and its international counterparts relevant to collections and displays.
  3. Demonstrated experience in assessing conservation and preservation needs of multidisciplinary heritage collections and the safe handling, rehousing and packing procedures, of cultural material in a variety of media.
  4. Demonstrated experience in working cross-culturally
  5. Strong organisational skills to self-manage workload across concurrent projects, prioritising and completing tasks within scheduled timeframes.
  6. Experience in the use of Collections Management Systems to document processes accurately and maintain physical and electronic records relevant to the management and care of collections and exhibitions. Experience with EMu collection management software desirable.
  7. Proven ability to work efficiently and harmoniously in a multi-disciplinary team with a range of professional, technical and administrative staff to achieve agreed objectives and performance criteria and provide support and collaborate with team members and key stakeholders on complex projects.
  8. Well-developed communication and interpersonal skills at institutional, government and community levels, including demonstrated ability to prepare high quality documentation and reports, and responding to internal and external enquiries.
  9. Understanding and knowledge of WHS standards and the implementation in relation to safe practices for the movement, location and storage of collections, lifting and carrying objects, climbing ladders and use of tools.


  1. Membership of the Australian Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Materials (AICCM)
  2. Experience working with culturally sensitive material
  3. A valid Australian Drivers licence

Other relevant information

  • This role statement is intended to provide an overall view of the role but in addition to this document, the specifics of the role will be described in business work plans.
  • MAGNT is an Equal Opportunity Employer and values diversity in the workplace.
  • Preferential consideration will be given to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander applicants who meet the essential selection criteria.
  • MAGNT promotes flexible ways of working including part time. Applicants are encouraged to discuss the flexible working arrangements for this role.
  • Applicants must have full Australian work rights.

Further information

  • From December 24 2021 all MAGNT employees subject to the Chief Health Officer Directions No.55 of 2021 are required to provide evidence of two doses of an approved COVID-19 vaccination except in circumstances where there is a medical exemption.
  • For further information please visit our website at or contact Central Australia Manager, Joe de Beer on (08) 8951 1101 or [email protected]