Postal                    PO Box 29
Emerald, Victoria 3782

Mobile                 +61 (0)4 111 650 11

Phone                   +61 (0)2 9698 3485 (Sydney)
+61 (0)3 5968 2288 (Melbourne)

Email                     ellsmore@optusnet.com.au


Doctor of Philosophy
Institute of Advanced Architectural Studies, University of York, UK
Nineteenth-Century Painted Decorations in Britain and Australia: An Approach to Conservation.


Architecte DPLG
L’Unite Pedagogique d’Architecture de Bordeaux, France


Bachelor of Architecture
University of Newcastle, NSW



Associate Professor
University of Melbourne, Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning


Adjunct Associate Professor
University of Hong Kong, Architectural Conservation Programmes


Honorary Associate Professor
University of Hong Kong, Architectural Conservation Programmes


Fellow (FAPT)
College of Fellows, Association for Preservation Technology International



University of Melbourne, Architecture, Building and Planning
In the Master of Design (Heritage), ‘Architectural Finishes’, Coordinator and Principal Lecturer
and ‘Principles of Conservation’, Lecturer

2010 - 2014

Silpakorn University, Bangkok
‘Architectural Conservation Practice’ and ‘Cultural Tourism: Impacts, Planning and Management’, Guest Lecturer

2005 - 2014

University of Canberra
Summer School in Conservation of Traditional Buildings, subject presenter

1990 - 2012

Deakin University
Centre for Heritage in Asia and Pacific, Senior Lecturer (0.5 tenured position)

2004 - 2006

Occasional presenter and lecturer
University of Hong Kong, Department of Architecture; New Zealand Historic Places Trust;
George Town World Heritage Inc, Penang; Port Arthur Historic Site, and Longford Academy (coordinator of annual event), Tasmania.

2010- 2014


Director and Principal, Donald Ellsmore Pty Ltd
Providing architectural heritage consulting services to diverse clients including Government agencies and private enterprise. Specialising in conservation analyses, planning and management, materials and finishes analyses, and advanced conservation techniques.

1999 - 2014

NSW State Rail Authority
Heritage Manager

1995 - 1999

Australian National Maritime Museum
Assistant Director, Collections Management

1987 - 1995

NSW Department of Public Works, Government Architects Branch
Project Architect, Senior Conservation Architect

1980 - 1987



As Director and Principal of Donald Ellsmore Pty Ltd

Recent research

Investigating architectural finishes at Domain House, Hobart, Hill End and Pyrmont Bridge, NSW (2013 – 2014), Ayers House in Adelaide and Mintaro, near Melbourne (2012 – 2013); researching conservation works at Norfolk Island, 2011 (World Heritage listed 2010); undertaking investigations of applied finishes at Millers Point, Sydney and public buildings in Sydney and Melbourne, (2010 – 2012); researching conservation works at Woolmers and Brickendon Estates, Tasmania (World Heritage listed 2010), 2009

Conservation Management Plans and Analyses

·      Fairfax House, Bellevue Hill, NSW

·      Cape Byron Lightstation Precinct for Department of Environment and Climate Change

·        Sydney Harbour Maritime Wharves (with Peter Freeman)

·        Puffing Billy Railway (14NB)

·        Daylesford Spa Country Railway (Collection of Railmotors)

·        Grafton former Police Residence, Grafton Railway Lands and three historic railway stations in New England

·        North Head School of Artillery, Woolwich Dock and North Head Quarantine Station (with Peter Freeman Pty Ltd)

·        Sydney University Grounds (with Pearson et al)

Learning materials development and heritage advice

Preparation of course materials for Introduction to Australian Buildings for Deakin University; writing learner materials for units in Certificate IV in Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Management (with Quality Training Concepts); writing conservation quality measures for Heritage Victoria; researching State of the Historic Environment of Victoria survey (with Marshall, Pearson, et al); providing heritage advice as Byron Shire heritage adviser, and coordinating the Byron Shire Community-Based Heritage Study; providing heritage advice as Hawkesbury City heritage adviser, and coordinating the Pitt Town Heritage Values Study in conjunction with consultant team; providing advice to NSW Heritage Council on quality of conservation works at Regent Theatre, Wollongong and Hillview, Sutton Forest; acting as expert witness on local environment matters in NSW (2000–2007) and in Wellington, New Zealand (2009).

Investigations of finishes

·       Pyrmont Bridge Contro Cabin, NSW

·       Post Office residence, Hill End Historic Site, NSW

·       Mintaro,Menegeeta, Victoria

·       Domain Hose, Hobart, Tasmania

·       Ayer’s House, Adelaide, South Australia

·       Craigmoor and Beyer’s Cottage, Hill End Historic Site, NSW

·       Former Orange Town Hall (OCTEC), NSW

·       Kensington Town Hall, Victoria, and Orange Town Hall, NSW

·       various properties in Millers Point (The Rocks), Sydney

·       World-heritage inscribed Brickendon and Woolmers Estates, Tasmania

·       Windsor Railway Station footbridge, Victoria

·       Scotch College, Victoria, Memorial Hall and Scots College, NSW

·       Albert Hall, ACT

·       Rippon Lea Conservatory, Victoria

·       Villa Parma, Hepburn Springs, Victoria

·       Williamstown Primary School, Victoria

·       Anglesea Barracks, Hobart

·       St Patrick’s Church, Colebrook, Tasmania

·       railway stations in NSW and NSW Rail Pay Bus FP1 (various studies between 1999 and 2008)

·       former CBC Bank interior, George Street, Sydney

·       St Joseph’s Church, Hobart

·       St Matthew’s Glenorchy, Tasmania

·       Port Arthur Museum

·       Parramatta Town Hall

·       Elizabeth Farm House

·       Elizabeth Bay House, NSW, pantry

·       Hobart Penitentiary Chapel and Criminal Courts

·       Windsor Court House, NSW

·       Goulburn Court House (former)

·       Newtown Tram Sheds, and various State Heritage registered places in NSW

Conservation planning of works

·        Winmill Cottage, Norma Parker Centre, Kamballa, Parramatta, NSW

·        Cape Byron Light Station, Byron Bay

·        St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney

·        St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta

·        St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral, Wollongong, NSW (with Peter Freeman and MGT Architects, Canberra)

·        Project-managing conservation works to five historic railway stations (Armidale to Tenterfield) (1999 – 2003)

As Heritage Manager with NSW State Rail Authority

Achievements included

·        Concept development of a Transport Heritage Park and master plan for Eveleigh Carriage Works, Sydney including feasibility analyses and planning in conjunction with CWDC and museum groups

·        Policy for the disposal of state-owned heritage rolling stock

·        Forward plan for management of heritage values at 200 State registered NSW State Rail Authority-owned places

As Assistant Director, Collections Management, with Australian National Maritime Museum

Achievements included

·        Installation of son et lumiere on ex-HMAS Vampire

·        Re-erection of nineteenth-century lighthouse

·        Management of Museum Installation Strategy

·        Restoration of former Garden Island Signal Mast

As Senior Conservation/Project Architect with NSW Department of Public Works, Government Architects Branch

Achievements included

·        Rouse Hill House, conservation works

·        Bowman Cottage, Richmond, conservation works

·        Royal Botanic Gardens, various conservation works

·        Hill End Historic Site, conservation planning and new facilities

·        Government House Sydney, conservation works to hall, dining room, ballroom, drawing rooms, general works and new facilities

·        Anzac Memorial Hyde Park, conservation works and permanent exhibition

·        Parliament House, Sydney, conservation works in Chambers, Lobby and Old Wing

·        Mint, conservation of internal and external finishes

·        Sydney Observatory, conservation of domes


University of Melbourne, 2011, Encyclopedia of Australian Architecture, Cambridge University Press (contributor)

Lewis, M ed, 2010, Victorian Stucco, Heritage Victoria, with contributions by Ellsmore, D. et al

Heritage Victoria, Technical Information Leaflet on Quality Measures

McKillop, R, Oakes, J & Ellsmore, D 2008, A century of Steam: Central Railway Station, Eveleigh Press, Sydney

Ellsmore, D, ‘Macquarie Street’, in The Astor, Jan Roberts Ed. Ruskin Rowe Press, 2003

Ellsmore, D, ‘Interiors and Decoration: John Lyon’s Ambitious Aesthetics’ in Colonial City, Global City; Sydney’s International Exhibition 1879. Peter Proudfoot, Roslyn Maguire and Robert Freestone Eds. Crossing Press, 2000

Ellsmore, D, 'Up to Sydney, down to the bush: the interior decoration of railway stations in rural NSW 18601920', Historic Environment, vol. 15, numbers 1 & 2, pp. 69 77, 2001

Ellsmore, D, 'Plaster Finishes' and 'Paint Finishes', Information Sheets in the Maintenance of Heritage Assets: A Practical Guide. NSW Heritage Office, 1993

Ellsmore, D, ‘Painted Decoration’, Proceedings of RAIA Conference The Australian Dwelling, 1991

Ellsmore, D, ‘The Colony's First Parliament House’ in Australia's First Parliament House, Parliament of New South Wales, Sydney, 1987 (re-published 1995)

Ellsmore, D, 'Conservation Illiteracy or Conservation Education', Historic Environment, vol. 5, pp. 2427, 1986

Ellsmore, D, 'Memorial Buildings', Historic Environment, vol. 1, number 4, 1986

Ellsmore, D, 'Scottish Influences in Nineteenth-Century Decorative Arts in Australia', Heritage Australia, Spring 1986, pp. 9 13, 1986

Ellsmore, D, 'The Reconstruction of Interior Decorations in Parliament House and Government House, Sydney', ICOMOS Information, No 3, 1985, pp. 11 18, 1985

Ellsmore, D, 'Nineteenth-Century Decorators', Historic Interiors, Sydney College of the Arts, 1983

Ellsmore, D, 'Paints and Finishes', Protecting the Past for the Future, proceedings of regional conference, Australian National Committee for UNESCO, Sydney, 1983


English: First language
French: Speak
, read and write French with basic competence, having lived and studied in France for two years



RAIA Greenway Award for Conservation: Government House, Sydney, NSW


RAIA Award for Building Conservation: Houses of Parliament, Sydney, NSW


Australia-Britain Society Menzies Scholarship for overseas research


RAIA Award for Building Restoration: the Mint Museum, Sydney, NSW


French Government Post-Graduate Scholarship for Study at UPA Bordeaux


Dangar Award for Civic Design. Waratah Orthopaedic Hospital School



Technical Advisory Committee, Heritage Victoria

2005 - 2012

National Trust of Australia (NSW)

Since 1997

Australia ICOMOS (from 1978 to present)
Executive Committee member (1987 – 1992)

Since 1978

Association for Preservation Technology International
Board Member (1989 – 1992)
Convenor Australasian Chapter (1998 – 1997 and 2004 – 2012)

Coordinator of the Longford Academy (2009 – 2012)

Since 1980