ACA VIC Branch – Panel Discussion – Australasian Corrosion Association


History of the roundtable:

First event for ACA Victoria Branch
Organized by the ACA Victoria branch every year for over 60 years
Incredible speaker history
Traditional dinner (and wine)
Calling partners and non-corrosionists as well as intrepid rust hunters

Date: Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Time: arrival 6:30 p.m. for departure 7 p.m.

Venue: Duke of Wellington, Wine Bar & Deck – 146 Flinders St, Melbourne

Includes: 2-course meal and drinks. One of ACA’s most engaging and captivating speakers

Closing of reservations – Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Why was the Chinese gentleman dressed?

Dr Ian D MacLeod


Director, Heritage Conservation Solutions & Fellow of the WA Museum

Developers of the ancient Chinese and Presbyterian cemeteries in East Perth needed to dig more than 400 graves to allow essential work on the site to progress. There was a recovered body that still had significant amounts of clothing on its chest after more than 110 years of burial. A service at St. George’s Cathedral saw the human remains transformed into a collection of bones and textiles as his spirit was freed. The matrix was rock hard, the textiles were largely decomposed, and the whole thing was an impenetrable mess of tree and plant roots.

The presentation will describe the suite of chemical and physical techniques used to free the textiles from the bones which have been sent to a new purpose-built ossuary in Perth’s main cemetery. A combination of portable X-ray fluorescence and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and powerful deductive reasoning has solved the mystery of how and why the clothes survived. The clothes are now on display at the National Trust of Australia (WA).


Dr. Ian MacLeod has worked for over 40 years in the fields of materials degradation and preservation. A curator’s job is to take highly reactive objects from the environment and move them into a stable state, and in doing so retain the maximum values ​​associated with their original purpose. He has applied his passion for understanding the decay mechanisms of shipwreck artifacts to slow the decay rates of painted and etched images in the Kimberley and Pilbara regions of WA. More recently he has worked with textile restorers on historic clothing from the collections of the Benedictine community of New Norcia and with the National Trust on remains excavated from East Perth cemeteries.


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