Meet Me

Clients are welcome to meet me at the city studio by appointment.


Work with Melanie

If you have any questions about my services or an item in your possession, I’m here to help. Please leave a message for me and I’ll get back to you shortly.

Cairns, QLD Australia


About Melanie Sorenson, of Sorenson Art Conservation

I am a paper and photographic conservator dedicated to the repair and revival of artworks and heirlooms that are embedded with history, stories and meaning that enrich our lives.

As the only qualified conservator in the Far North Queensland region, with formal training and a long work history spanning state and national collecting institutions, I specialise as a subject matter expert in a field I am most passionate about. Through a craft I have honed for over a decade, I conserve complex material heritage with a simple ethos: helping items along their journey, as gently as possible.

I believe that it is through the conservation of objects – where a bridge across time and space is forged –  is how we retain our connections to the past and our sense of place. These connections are the driving force behind each of my projects, which are treated with the utmost respect for the material and its story carried within. My work is my heart-felt contribution to our rich culture, passed from hand to hand.

I repair, conserve and care for history’s most precious keepsakes– for individuals, and for communities.


Work History


Freelance Paper & Photographic Conservator
Sorenson Art Conservation


Collections Manager & Conservator
Cairns Historical Society & Museum

2011 – 2017

Senior Paper Conservator
Preservation Services
National Library of Australia


National Library of Australia Graduate Program
National Library of Australia


Conservation Assistant
Public Records Office of Victoria

Grants and Awards

Business Basics Development Grant Recipient, Department of Employment, Small Business & Trade 2021

Copeland Foundation Grant with CADCAI 2020/21

Regional Arts Development Fund Major Round Winner 2020

Regional Arts Development Fund Arts Project Recipient 2019



Diploma of Government

National Library of Australia, Australian Government Graduate


Masters of Cultural Material Conservation/ Paper Conservation, University of Melbourne

Research Thesis: ‘The Digital Surrogate for an 18th Century Manuscript: A Method of Preservation and Access’

Public Records Office of Victoria, Melbourne – 10 month contract


Heritage Victoria, Melbourne
3 month internship/volunteer

Museum of Victoria, Melbourne
3 month contract

National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
Work experience

Auckland City Library, Auckland
1 month work experience

Christchurch Art Gallery, Christchurch
1 month work experience


Post Graduate Diploma of Art History, University of Adelaide


Bachelor of Visual Communications/Graphic Design,

University of South Australia

Major Treatments & Clients

  • James Cook University, Townsville
  • Perc Tucker Art Gallery, Townsville
  • Banana Shire Council, Biolea
  • Cairns Art Gallery
  • Private clients and collectors, Cairns & Tablelands

‘50 Treasures: Celebrating 50 Years of James Cook University’ 31st Oct – 10th Jan 2021, Principle Conservator

The Endeavour Journal, MS 1 – National Library of Australia. Research Team lead on spectrophotometer analysis of inks, paper and codicology.

Published Blogs & Articles

Albert Namitjira Painting Found in Cairns Shed Clean Out’, December 2019, Tropic Now

Beyond the surface: The construction of a Psalter’ 10th July, 2015

A Medley of Manuscripts’ 22nd May, 2015

Making the Sword of Justice fit for show’ 29 January, 2015

My Print has pimples!: Treatment for Nature Prints from the Bradbury and Evans Printing House from London’ 25th September, 2012

First , do no harm’ 31st August, 2011