Veronica Bullock has a strong background in material culture. After honours education in prehistory/archaeology at the Australian National University she worked as an Assistant Curator on the bicentennial development of the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney. Her introductory exhibition was an early example of immersion multi-media presentation which also included objects from the full range of collections including design, technology, science, decorative arts and Australian history and culture.
In a move designed to bring her closer to objects Veronica undertook the intensive Scientific Principles of Conservation course in Rome, Italy, at the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) (UNESCO affiliate advising on materials conservation). This led to employment as Assistant Paper Conservator at the State Library of New South Wales (SLNSW). Acquaintance with the treasures of the State, Mitchell and Dixson libraries inspired Veronica to continue in materials conservation, including joining the new SLNSW business 'Conservation Access'.
A shift to the position of Conservator at the Australian National Maritime Museum (ANMM) in 1994 exposed Veronica to vibrant maritime culture.
Her focus here was divided equally between exhibition schedules and collection care, with perhaps her most solid contribution being the establishment of the Archival Housing Project. Veronica trained four volunteers in the documentation and custom housing of collection objects ranging from archival documents and rare books to wrought iron shipwreck artefacts, to boats and massive textiles.
At this time she also helped develop and deliver corrosion workshops to matriculation chemistry students.
When Veronica began the new University of Western Sydney, Master of Applied Science (Materials Conservation) degree in 1998 she decided to reinforce her catholic interests in material culture, rather than specialise in paper conservation. Advanced technical and museum studies tuition led to the production of two original pieces of work: an analysis of conservation treatment waters which was published and reported at national and international conferences; and a significance study/conservation plan for a set of massive wrought iron and sandstone objects held at the ANMM. This latter piece of work was awarded the 2004 Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority Heritage Prize.
Masters study also led to the acceptance of a doctoral research topic on sustainability indicators for cultural heritage. Unfortunately, Veronica had to forfeit this place in 2006 for work and family reasons, but she continues to refine her thinking on sustainability indicators.
After a short stint at the Australian War Memorial, Veronica joined the Collections Council of Australia [archived site: double click] in September 2005 as Development Officer, where she originated and developed many concepts and contacts for the new collections peak body. Most prominent amongst her achievements were Conservation Survey 2006 [double click] the Significance 2.0 [double click] project and publications, Australian collections sector statistics [double click], and guidance for Blue Shield Australia [double click], including securing permission to adapt the Society of American Archivists' MayDay campaign concept to Australia. The Collections Council closed in April 2010. (Click here to access the dedicated Blue Shield Australia website set up by the Collections Council just before it closed.)
In 2009 Veronica also achieved the Certificate IV, Training and Assessment that qualifies her to teach in the Australian Vocational Education and Training sector.
Veronica was selected as a Fellow of ICCROM late in 2009. The Fellowship research from March to July 2010 considered the way that significance assessment (curatorial) and risk assessment (conservation) are taught in graduate programs across six countries including Australia, Canada, the United States and countries in Europe. As a result of this research, and in awareness of the closure of key national cultural heritage programs in Australia, Veronica decided to found Significance International in September 2010.
In 2012 Veronica became a doctoral candidate in the Interdisciplinary and Cross Cultural Research Program of the Research School for Humanities and the Arts at the Australian National University, Canberra, Australia. In 2014 the Centre for Heritage and Museum Studies was established within the allied School of Archaeology and Anthropology, so Veronica has a foot in both RSHA and SAA! In continuation of her long-term interests Veronica's topic examines Australian Government heritage and sustainability policymaking and analysis from inception in 1975 to 2015, when the Australian Heritage Strategy was published.
In December 2016 Veronica was delighted to hear she'd been elected as a Fellow of the International Institute for the Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (IIC), London.
Veronica's work and training in material culture have brought her into contact with many different collection types and ways of thinking about culture. She is excited about the opportunities culture provides for the full development of the individual, and for human society as a whole, in the 'era of sustainability'.
Click here for a list of Veronica's publications, professional association memberships and presentations.
Veronica presenting in the Significance 2.0 Panel Session at the Australian Society of Archivists Conference,
Brisbane, 2009. Panel Chair: Michael Piggott; Discussants Adrian Cunningham representing Australian archivists
and Mark Clayton representing New Zealand archivists.