About


Nicola Stairmand has more than 25 years experience in research, design, interpretation and heritage conservation. She has a Bachelor of Built Environment, Interior Design (QUT) and a Master of Heritage Conservation (University of Sydney).

Her work reveals the stories of historic places and collections. Each project is approached in a rigorous but creative manner, using place, objects or voices to tell those stories in original, informed and engaging ways. Most projects are completed collaboratively, working with clients, fellow designers, craft and tradespeople.

Consultancy services comprise research, assessment, interpretation and management of historic places, collections and decorative schemes. Clients include National Trusts, government departments, universities, not-for-profit organisations, and private owners.

CV 2015
Nicola Stairmand has worked as a heritage consultant since 1996. Her recent projects assess places, their collections and stories, and comprise interpretation and curation, applied finishes analysis, and research based interior design.

Nicola is also employed at TarraWarra Museum of Art where her role in exhibition development utilises her skills in research, design and installation coordination. She has worked for State Governments in NSW and Queensland, the National Trust of Queensland, and Lovell Chen Architects and Heritage Consultants, Melbourne.

Qualifications
1998 University of Sydney Master of Heritage Conservation
(Thesis Topic: 19th Century Community Halls in Queensland)

1995 Queensland University of Technology
Bachelor of Built Environment (Interior Design)
(awarded The Deanʼs Award for Excellence)

1984 Darling Downs Institute of Advanced Education
Diploma of Visual Arts

Short courses
2006 The Victorian Interior
The University of Melbourne

2001 Colonial Interiors in NSW
Historic Houses Trust of NSW

1998 Architectural Colour in Historic Interiors (Sydney)

Career summary
2011 – present
TarraWarra Museum of Art, Healesville
Research of artists, works, implementation and installation for forthcoming exhibitions, exhibition design and assisting with collection management. Selection of items for the museum retail space.

Nicola Stairmand Creative Projects, Healesville
Selected projects
Gulf Station, Yarra Glen
Interpretation and curation of the homestead building. Significance and condition assessment of the collection, and wallpapers and decorative paint finishes; research, design, development and implementation of interpretation and curatorial concepts.

Rippon Lea, Melbourne
Analysis of the existing external painted finishes to determine earlier paint schemes and recommendations for a new scheme.

Government House, Melbourne (State Dining Room, State Drawing Room, Private Dining Room)
Analysis of 19th century wallpapers and decorative painted finishes and recommendations for new schemes.

Old Melbourne Gaol, Melbourne
Research and proposal for interpretation of the entire site based on the significance of the place, its history and associated people and stories.

Coranderrk Aboriginal Station, Healesville
Research and development of information boards for the inaugural Coranderrk Festival. Ongoing advice for the future management of the place as a significant site.

Supreme Court, Melbourne
Significance and condition assessment of more than 600 furniture items in the Supreme Court complex, and the development of a data base to record the items.

2008 – 2011 Lovell Chen Architects and Heritage Consultants, Melbourne
Associate
Selected projects
Government House, Melbourne (Governorʼs Library and associated offices)
Analysis of 19th century wallpapers and decorative painted finishes and recommendations for new schemes.

Myer Mural Hall
Analysis of decorative painted finishes and recommendations for new schemes, including all interior elements.

State Library of Victoria
Analysis of external painted finishes and recommendations for new schemes.

The Melbourne Club
Analysis of 19th century wallpapers and decorative painted finishes and recommendations for new schemes, including design, selection and implementation of floor, wall and window coverings, furniture and fixtures.

Former North Melbourne Gasworks
Development of interpretive panels explaining the history of the site.

Heritage Trail, Port of Melbourne
Research and writing for a series of interpretation markers around the Port of Melbourne, in association with Buro North.

Ambleside Museum
Assessment of the collection and buildings, and development of a Museum Management Strategy.

1996 – 2008 Consultant, Brisbane
Selected projects
Old Government House, Brisbane
Analysis of 19th century wallpapers and decorative painted finishes and recommendations for new schemes, including design, selection and implementation of floor, wall and window coverings, furniture and fixtures.

Government House, Brisbane
Analysis of 19th century wallpapers and decorative painted finishes and recommendations for new schemes, including design, selection and implementation of floor, wall and window coverings, furniture and fixtures.

Significance and condition assessment of furniture collection, and recommendations for future management for inclusion in the Conservation Management Plan by Peter Marquis Kyle.

City Hall, Brisbane
Analysis of 20th century decorative painted finishes and recommendations for new schemes.

Nindooinbah Homestead, Beaudesert
Significance and condition assessment of the furniture collection, wallpapers and painted finishes.

Queensland Maritime Museum, Brisbane
Strategic and master planning, significance and condition assessment of the collection for inclusion in the Conservation Management Plan by Robert Riddel Architect.

Former Boggo Road Gaol, Brisbane
Assessment and recording of the collection; recommendations for future management and curatorial decisions.

2003 – 2004
Environmental Protection Agency (Qld)
Assessment and preparation of reports for the Queensland Heritage Council in relation to objections to the entry of places in the Heritage Register under the Queensland Heritage Act 1992.

1999 – 2002
James Cook Museum, Cooktown
Project manager/curator of $2.3 million Centenary of Federation project to re-develop the James Cook Museum and it collections, including coordination of an extension to the 1890s Sisters of Mercy Convent building by architect Rex Addison; assessment, recording, coordination of conservation requirements and curatorial/exhibition development of the collection of more than 6,000 objects, including social history objects, a significant collection of indigenous objects and stories, and the cannon and anchor from Captain James Cookʼs HMS Bark Endeavour.

1995-1999
The Department of Environment and Heritage (Qld)
Preparation of entries for the Queensland Heritage Register, including research, site inspections, and recommendations to Heritage Council.

1996
Public Works Dept of NSW State Projects: Heritage Branch
Assistant research and heritage officer for Conservation Plan for Old Government House, Parramatta, NSW, and painted finishes analysis for Sydney Town Hall.

1991 – 1992
Kirkegard Architects, Brisbane
Interior designer

1988 – 1991
Davenport Campbell, Architects, Brisbane
Interior designer

1986 – 1988
Resort Management and Design, Sanctuary Cove, Queensland
Design assistant to Head of Interior Design (Commercial)

Publications
2010 Interiors Between the Wars in ʻBrisbane Brisbane History Group

2005 Interior Design and Conservation in ʻD 2005 Interior Design Publicationʼ QUT

2000 Queensland Interiors – a series of four brochures

1998 19th Century Community Halls in Queensland (National Trust of Queensland Journal) Early Floorcoverings in Queensland (National Trust of Queensland Journal)

1997 Place Museums Brochure series – seven brochures written and edited for the National Trust of Queensland

Lectures & Workshops
2015 Conservation of Interiors
Lecture for post-graduate students attending an Heritage Conservation intensive at the University of Melbourne

2005–06 Unit Coordinator and Lecturer Interiors as a Construct 1, Graduate Diploma, Built Environment, QUT

Lectures and tutorials
Design History Unit, Built Environment, Qld University of Technology (QUT)
Four Design Heroes

2001 – 04 Lecturer, Introduction to heritage conservation
Interiors as a Construct 1, Built Environment, QUT

2003 The assessment of colour and finishes in historic building
Lecture for Queensland Colour Society

1998 Queensland Interiors
Lecture for Graduate Diploma, Bachelor of Built Environment Interior Design, QUT

The Victorian Interior in Queensland
Lecture series for the public, volunteers and guides Government House, Brisbane

The Inter-War Interior
Lecture for Brisbane History Group

1997 19th Century Community Halls in Queensland
Lecture for ʻLunchtime Clubʼ Department of Environment & Heritage (Qld)

Inside the Queensland Home
Development, coordination and lecturing in 7 workshops throughout Queensland. Place Museum Series, National Trust of Queensland