• Inaugural Endeavour Award 

    In 2017 BASET awarded the inaugural Endeavour Award to Katie Smith, an Australian who will be studying Conservation at the City & Guilds of London Art School.

    Katie has chosen to study conservation after several years trading in antiques. Katie’s background prior to this had been in Veterinary Nursing and, following her interest in historic objects, she established a small retail business, supporting herself in various administrative roles along the way.  Katie’s interest grew into antique restoration and conservation-framing and she decided to improve her craft skills by attending the Melbourne Guild of Fine Woodworking. This marked a shift in her career objectives and, supported by her woodcarving tutor (a CGLAS alumnus), she became determined to gain a place on the Conservation Studies Degree Course. Katie’s application was successful and the Endeavour Award made it possible for her to embark on her new career path.



    Katie’s Story

    In September 2017 I relocated to London for the commencement of the Conservation Studies degree course at City & Guilds of London Art School. There had been a lot to organise prior to my departure; a business closure, selling, storing and packing my belongings while at the same time planning ahead. I faced an early setback when my London accommodation plans fell through and promptly made new arrangements to take up student accommodation. A few days after my arrival, it was clear I had landed in a less than desirable situation and, after a traumatic three weeks, I made a decision to leave. Thankfully, the accommodation I had originally planned was once again available and without any hesitation I made the move.

    Meanwhile, the first term had begun and I was immediately taken in by the charms of the school. Each class presented exciting new challenges and I was amazed by how quickly my skillset had begun to grow. By week two I had completed both a carving and lettering project in stone – a material I had never worked with before.

    New classes were introduced in week three and I found familiarity in joinery class as we started making frames. We were tasked with a woodcarving project, which ties cleverly in to our joinery and gilding projects going forward. We embarked on a whirlwind tour of art history in Britain which saw us visit many important collections in London. Our conservation principles and ethics class introduced us to a selection of studios, workshops and labs including a leading metalwork conservation studio in East London and the National Trust conservation studio at Knole.

    Chemistry became a mainstay as we began to lay a foundation for conservation science. Another mainstay, drawing, was introduced and we were taught the concept of analytical drawing. We learnt to model in clay and cast in plaster and we even took molds and casts of our own noses.

    Alongside the course I had success in gaining part-time employment in a role that is flexible and very accommodating to my studies and conveniently allows me to upscale during holiday periods.

    The highlight of my first semester, and an occasion I will always cherish, was an extracurricular visit I made to the conservation workshops of the Royal Collection Trust. This visit stemmed from a networking opportunity offered by the school at the end of term one.

    Every day spent at City & Guilds of London Art School has provided an opportunity for me to learn something new and strike out beyond the limitations I once had. Pursuing my dream of working to preserve our heritage would not have been possible without the Endeavour Award given to me by BASET, as well as support from the art school. Together with BASET I look forward to reinforcing the links between our two great countries.



    The 2018 Endeavour Awards

    In 2018 BASET awarded two further Endeavour Awards to two young Australian’s: Kyle Derndorfer of the Australian Army Cadets and Owen Brond of the Australian Air Cadets. Both were recipients of the Duke of Edinburgh Silver and Bronze Awards and by participating in the voyage of the STS Lord Nelson with BASET partner the Jubilee Sailing Trust, were able to complete the DofE Gold Award.

    The two young cadets arrived in the UK on their own and after a reception and send-off from BASET and her supporters, Kyle and Owen set out on their week-long voyage from London to Edinburgh aboard the Nelson. The JST ship is a three-masted tall sailing ship specifically designed to accommodate disabled crew members, giving them valuable life skills, self-confidence and a taste of life at sea.

    While on board ship, Kyle and Owen made life-long friendships and bonded with their fellow crew members.  Together they faced down the challenges of life on the ocean wave and the particularly treacherous conditions of the North Sea and arrive safely into Edinburgh a week after they left the Pool of London. 

    Below is a video shot by Kyle of his BASET adventure from leaving Australia all the way through to his eventual return: