National Archives of Australia

Issue 12 December 2013

In brief: Issue 12

Larrakia petition handover

Title page of the Larrakia petition, 1973 (detail). NAA: A2354, 1973/86

Title page of the Larrakia petition, 1973 (detail). NAA: A2354, 1973/86

In a ceremony in Darwin on 11 November, Archives Director-General David Fricker presented Director of the Larrakia Nation Aboriginal Corporation Darren Wilson with copies of the 1972 Larrakia petition. The petition to the Queen concerning a treaty, land rights and political representation was organised by Larrakia people and signed by approximately 1000 Aboriginal people from all states of mainland Australia.

The 3.3-metre petition was torn in an unsuccessful attempt to present it to Princess Margaret during her visit to Darwin in October 1972. The organisers patched the document and posted it to Buckingham Palace. The palace sent it on to the Australian Government via the Governor-General and it was passed by the Department of Aboriginal Affairs to the Archives for preservation as part of the national collection in 1975.

The original of this important document is very fragile but Archives conservators have created a 3.3-metre display copy, as well as an album of copies of the original smaller pages (which were pasted together to make the long document). These, together with indexes to the signatures prepared by Archives staff, were handed to the Larrakia Nation.


Canberra nostalgia

Admiring wattle blossom, Canberra, 1957. NAA: A1500, K2665

Admiring wattle blossom, Canberra, 1957. NAA: A1500, K2665

Get nostalgic about Canberra with photos from the Archives. In the spirit of the Centenary of Canberra, the Vintage Canberra Facebook page shares photos of Canberra from the Archives’ collection from the early 1900s up to the early 1990s. Visitors can also share their own images of the Canberra of yesteryear by posting them to the wall, and contribute their memories by commenting on the photos.


New publications

South Australia research guide cover

South Australia research guide cover

Government Records about the Australian Capital Territory by Ted Ling was published by the National Archives of Australia and ArchivesACT as part of the Canberra 100 celebrations. Meticulously researched and extensively referenced, this research guide provides a comprehensive overview of the administrative history of the ACT, its people, important activities and events in the 20th century. Available to download free of charge, or purchase in hardcopy from the Archives Store in Canberra and e-shop for $19.95.

The Archives has also launched Commonwealth Government Records about South Australia. Available to download free of charge, or purchase a hardcopy from the South Australian Archives Centre, the Archives Store in Canberra or the e-shop for $19.95.

Keep an eye out for the next issue of Your Memento: highlights – an annual hardcopy publication of the most popular articles from our e-magazine. Featuring a look back over the year, along with in-depth articles about enticing treasures from our collection, Your Memento: highlights will be available from all Archives offices around the country from February 2014.


Exhibition news

Migrant builders at work on floodlight towers, 1967. NAA: A12111, 1/1967/16/59

Migrant builders at work on floodlight towers, 1967. NAA: A12111, 1/1967/16/59

Did you or members of your family migrate to Australia after World War II? Be part of Australia’s migration story! This is your chance to have your story of coming to Australia featured in a major national exhibition in 2014. A Ticket to Paradise? will draw together personal stories of journeying to, arriving, and beginning life in a new land. Share your story by emailing destinationaustralia@naa.gov.au before 28 February 2014.

In Work and In Play: building the Canberra community celebrates the role the Australian Public Service has played in shaping our national capital over the past 100 years. Through the accompanying website, you can share a story about growing up in Canberra or your experience of moving to the capital. Post a picture of your sports team, volunteer group or your starring role in a performance. Reflect on your office then and now, or cast light on a Canberra connection to Australian history. In Work and In Play will be on show at the Archives’ National Office from 19 December to 14 January. It will then tour to various locations around Canberra.

I’ve Been Working on the Railway, from The Workshops Rail Museum, tells the stories of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Australian South Sea Islander people who helped build Australia’s rail network. Learn about the experiences of families left behind, camp life, realities of the work, hardships, and the opportunities and challenges of working on the railway. Open at the Archives’ National Office until 18 March 2014.

For more exhibition news, visit the Archives’ website.


Audiovisual World Heritage Day

Sunday 27 October was UNESCO World Day for Audiovisual Heritage. The Archives participated in the conversation on Twitter, using the hashtags #AudiovisualHeritage and #WorldAVDay. We also shared links to some of our AV collection items, including recently salvaged footage from the 1960s ABC TV show Woman’s World, and some fascinating road safety radio ads from the late 1950s.


Embargoed release of Hawke Cabinet records

Confidential Cabinet record.

Confidential Cabinet record.

In early December, the Archives released nearly 600 1986 and 1987 Hawke Cabinet records under embargo to the media. These records, along with the titles of thousands more from 1986–87, will be released to the public on 1 January 2014. The records offer a fascinating insight into Cabinet deliberations surrounding some of the major issues of the time, including the Australia Card, Fiji coups, South Pacific nuclear free zone and Murdoch takeover of the Herald and Weekly Times. Make it a new year’s resolution to visit the Archives’ website to view these documents.


Forced Adoptions History Project

Forced Adoptions logo

Forced Adoptions logo

Following the Forced Adoptions National Apology on 21 March 2013 the National Archives of Australia established the Forced Adoptions History Project. This project will manage and deliver a website and exhibition to increase awareness of the impact and issue of forced adoptions in Australia. The website, which will be a history of forced adoptions, a place to share experiences and to learn more about the records of forced adoptions, will be launched on 21 March 2014, the first anniversary of the apology and the exhibition on the second anniversary. The exhibition will be tour nationally from late 2015.

The Archives is currently consulting with those affected by forced adoption practices through community workshops held across Australia. Visit the Archives’ website should you also wish to contribute, or to find out more about the project.

 

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