Brief Report: IIC 2019 Annual General Meeting and Council Meeting

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A lovely farewell to out-going IIC President, Sarah Staniforth (right), as we welcome in Julian Bickersteth (left) as the new President of IIC. Image courtesy of Jane Henderson

By Graham Voce


Every year IIC holds the Annual General Meeting (AGM), bringing IIC’s council and officers before the membership to review the past year; those in attendance discuss issues, news and developments the council is planning in order to help move IIC and the international conservation profession and community forward. The AGM is also a governance meeting that is part of IIC’s legal framework as a UK registered charity; at this time trustees—members of IIC’s governing Council—either stand down or are (re)elected by IIC’s membership.

The 2019 AGM was held on Monday 28th of January in London at the Society of Antiquaries of London, where past attendees will recall we have held a number of AGMs before. This allows IIC the opportunity to work with one of the oldest heritage conservation organisations; IIC was founded in 1950, but the Society of Antiquaries can trace their roots back to 1707.

At this AGM a number of long-standing members of Council finished their terms of office, and so we marked the retirement of both Sarah Staniforth, President, and Jo Kirby Atkinson, Secretary-General. Sarah Staniforth has been an inspirational and transformational President of IIC, and her retirement was marked by a presentation from Council and thanks from the incoming President, Julian Bickersteth. Jo Kirby Atkinson also stood down from her post as Secretary-General, having been on Council for nine years, and in that time has helped steer IIC through a number of important changes and developments since 2010; Jo’s retirement was also marked by a presentation and thanks. A presentation was also made to the former IIC Treasurer, Velson Horie, who had stood down in April of 2018 and was replaced by Jurgen Vervoorst until the 2019 AGM and election.

We also saw the retirement of Vice-Presidents Mikkel Scharff and Valentine Walsh and of Council Member Velayudhan Nair. On the Council, Mikkel Scharff has been responsible for the growth of the IIC Student and Emerging Conservator Conferences as well as for taking part in IIC’s Finance Committee. Valentine Walsh has been working on IIC’s new Mentoring Scheme. Both Mikkel and Valentine will be very much missed. Dr Nair has agreed to be co-opted into the newly created role on Council for a member to be responsible for the oversight and development of IIC’s congresses. In this role, he will be working with the Local Organising Committee on the development of the 2020 congress in New Delhi.

We were delighted to welcome new members of Council as well, taking IIC forward in its aims and developments. Julian Bickersteth has been elected as President, having been for a number of years on Council, latterly as Director of Communications, a role in which he was also elected to continue. Jane Henderson has been elected as Secretary-General, and Juergen Vervoorst was confirmed in his post as Treasurer. Austin Nevin and Sandra Smith were newly elected as Vice-Presidents. Alice Tsang was re-elected to her role as an ordinary Member of Council, and we also welcomed Isabel Griffin and Satish Pandey onto Council for the first time.

After the business of the AGM was over we moved onto the AGM talk which opened with the announcement of the theme for the 2020 New Delhi Congress, <em>Current practices and challenges in built heritage conservation</em>. We then moved onto a fascinating talk by Lt. Col. Tim Purbrick, who informed the meeting about the latest development for the United Kingdom's Armed Forces’ Cultural Protection Programme; this talk followed on from his presentation at the IIC 2018 Turin Congress Dialogue, <em>Culture Cannot Wait: Integrating Cultural Heritage First Aid with Humanitarian Assistance in Crises</em>, and also built on the 2016 IIC AGM presentation by Prof. Peter Stone. Tim Purbrick’s presentation was followed by a robust Q&A session before the closing reception.


Alongside the AGM, on the 28th and 29th of January, IIC held its first Council meeting of 2019 at the same venue as the AGM, the Society of Antiquaries of London. This two-day meeting allowed the retiring members of Council to make their final contributions to IIC’s management. On Tuesday, the new members of Council were introduced to topics currently driving IIC and were able to begin their own contributions in taking IIC forward. Among many other topics and areas of discussion there was a presentation on the planning for the 2020 Congress in Delhi, and IIC’s Strategic and Delivery Plans were reviewed for the next year of IIC’s work and development. Planning for co-operation with IIC’s Regional Groups and development of the Mentoring Scheme were discussed, and the new membership band for early career conservation professionals explored.

The full set of minutes from the 2019 Annual General Meeting will be carried in the April issue of <em>News in Conservation </em>and you will also find in the IIC News section of this February issue information about membership rates which will be in place by June, in time for the new fiscal year. We look forward to your continuing contributions and participation in IIC!

Graham Voce
IIC Executive Secretary

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