National Archives of Australia

Issue 4 October 2011

In brief: Issue 4

Beauty of nature on display at the Archives 

'Scintilla series – spiralling weed, soft sponge, sea urchin vessels 2010' by Julie Blyfield

One of Australia’s best natural history art competitions – The Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize™ 2011 – opened at the Archives’ National Office in Canberra in September. The exhibition of 34 artworks features the prize winners and highly commended entries. The Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize™ is a travelling exhibition developed by the South Australian Museum. The exhibition closes on 13 November 2011. 

Out of the Cabinet: meat substitution scandal

In 1981 horse and kangaroo meat, criminally masquerading as Australian beef, were discovered in the United States. This ‘meat substitution scandal’ threatened Australia’s lucrative beef export industry. On display in Out of the Cabinet is a 1981 Cabinet submission in which the Minister for Primary Industry, Peter Nixon, declares war against the wickedness of meat substitution in an effort to reassure nervous trade customers and to placate aghast Australians. Read journalist Ian Warden’s essay relating to this Cabinet submission. 

ACT Schools Constitutional Convention

Students view Australia's foundation documents in the Archives’ Federation Gallery. Photographer: Gilbert Herrada

In September 2011, the Archives hosted the morning sessions of the two-day ACT Schools Constitutional Convention for Year 11 students. Professor Fiona Wheeler delivered an introduction to the Constitution and the environmental issues affected by it. Other activities included a ‘Convestigation’ of the Memory of a Nation exhibition and a presentation by Ms Martina Fechner, an activist who was arrested and jailed during the 1983 blockades associated with the proposed damming of the Franklin River. 

New home for Hobart Office

On 26 October 2011, the Archives’ Hobart Office commenced shared reference services with the Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office (TAHO) from the State Library building. Researchers now have access to both Tasmanian Government and Commonwealth records via the shared TAHO History Room. The State Library building is located at 91 Murray Street, Hobart. 

Discovering Mildenhall’s Canberra

School children and school bus, 1926. Photographer: William James Mildenhall. NAA: A3560, 849

The new Discovering Mildenhall’s Canberra website – a joint project between the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House and the Archives – documents the development of Australia’s capital city in the 1920s and 1930s, portrayed through the eyes of government photographer William James Mildenhall. Users of the innovative website are able to retrieve images by location, add their own commentary and stories, and rephotograph and upload Mildenhall’s sites to provide a ‘then and now’ visual comparison. 

Inaugural Rob Barnett Award for Check-up 2.0

In July 2011 Check-up 2.0, the Archives’ online tool to assist Australian Government agencies assess the state of their information management, received the inaugural Rob Barnett Award for Excellence in Records and Information Management. The award was presented by the ACT Branch of Records and Information Management Professionals Australasia. 

Australian Government to go digital

The Australian Government has recently announced a new policy to move Australian Government agencies to digital information management for efficiency purposes. For many agencies this policy means moving from paper-based to digital information management. The Archives will play a leading role in delivering the Digital Transition Policy across the Australian Government. 

Get digital transition policy updates by following naa_digital on Twitter

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