ICOM Australia Award (IAA)

The ICOM Australia Award recognises and celebrates the outstanding work undertaken by Australian institutions and individuals that has strengthened international collaboration and contributed to the cultural richness of museums.

Australian museums enrich the cultural, social and intellectual lives of all Australians and in so doing contribute to the development of well-informed, tolerant and cohesive communities. This exchange of ideas and expertise is an important part of expanding these opportunities.

Award winners are presented with a glass globe sculpture and certificate. The sculptures were commissioned by ICOM Australia from Sydney based master glassmaker Benjamin Edols, and were created at the Canberra Glassworks.

The award prior to 2015 was known as the ICOM Australia Award for International Relations.

Two categories of award are offered for:

  • an outstanding individual achievement, recognising sustained international work over a long period
  • a discrete project or an ongoing initiative during the previous year that strengthens museum relations internationally, promotes information sharing across borders and distributes resources beyond Australia.

2016 award

The awards were presented by Dr Robin Hirst (Chair, ICOM Australia) at the 2016 Museums Australasia Conference dinner at Auckland on 17 May 2016.

Briefing brochure (326kB)

Individual award

Dr Des Griffin AM

Presented to Dr Des Griffin AM who as a museum professional has spent his life advocating for cultural diversity within the museum sector, especially in Australia and New Zealand.

 Des Griffin testimonial (34kb)

Institutional award

National Museum of Australia

Presented to the National Museum of Australia for its collaboration with the British Museum which saw it realise two landmark  exhibitions: Enduring Civilisations at the British Museum, and Encounters: revealing stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander objects from the British Museum at the National Museum in Canberra.

National Museum testimonial (169kb)

Presentation at Auckland, New Zealand. (Left to right) Des Griffin, Ian Coates (Head, Collections, National Museum of Australia), Barbara Paulson (Curator, National Museum of Australia), Mat Trinca (Director, National Museum of Australia), Robin Hirst (Chair, ICOM Australia).


Previous awards



There was no award in 2008.

Copyright Roger Garland