Film in storage

Annual Report 2015-16

Chair's letter of transmittal

Chair's letter of transmittal

Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield

Minister for the Arts

Parliament House




Photo of NFSA Board members Peter Rose, Toni Cody, Wayne Denning, Paul Neville and Gabrielle Trainor.
(L-R) Peter Rose, Toni Cody, Wayne Denning, Paul Neville, Gabrielle Trainor.


Dear Minister,

On behalf of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia Board, it gives me great pleasure to submit the Annual Report for the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA) for the year ended 30 June 2016.

The NFSA Board is responsible under section 46 of the Public Governance and Performance Accountability Act 2013 for the preparation and content of the annual report. I therefore present it in accordance with that legislation and section 41 of the National Film and Sound Archive Act 2008.

The report has also been prepared in regard to the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Amendment (Corporate Commonwealth Entity Annual Reporting) Rule 2016, as approved by the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit made available by the Department of Finance on 5 May 2016, and under subsections 63(2) and 70(2) of the Public Service Act 1999.

In accordance with a resolution of the NFSA Board passed on 22 September 2016, we accept this report as being a fair and accurate representation of the organisation’s performance during the 2015–16 financial year.

The Board has been pleased with the operations and achievements of the NFSA during the past year. We have advanced against our strategic priorities and targets, as outlined in our Strategic Plan 2015–18 and the NFSA Corporate Plan 2015–16 to 2018–19. These priorities are built on our core purposes and outline objectives, activities and performance targets to be achieved over the next four years.

During 2015–16, we delivered a number of achievements which further our remit to collect, preserve and share the national audiovisual collection. In particular, we are building our role as a thought leader on the pressing issue of digitisation. In October 2015, we released the Deadline 2025 discussion paper, which highlighted the reality that our audiovisual history stored on magnetic tape will be lost forever if not digitised within the next ten years. We are not the only collecting institution grappling with this issue, and during 2015–16 we have been working with our colleague organisations to better identify and map a way forward.

Developing and formalising partnerships has been a primary focus of our activity over the last year. In September 2015, NFSA CEO, Michael Loebenstein, and I travelled to the country of the Martu people in Western Australia to sign a cultural agreement which formalises a decade-long relationship between Martu and the NFSA. Through the agreement, the NFSA will become custodian of audiovisual material of high cultural significance to the Martu people.

In June 2016, I signed a memorandum of understanding, along with the Chair of the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), Peter Lewinsky, to cement the relationship between our two organisations. The MoU follows the move of the NFSA’s Melbourne office into the ACMI X headquarters at Southbank, and establishes the framework for increased collaboration between ACMI and the NFSA in future years.

The NFSA appreciates the invaluable support of the Australian Government through you as the Minister for the Arts, the former Minister for the Arts, Senator the Hon George Brandis QC, and our colleagues at the Department of Communications and the Arts.

I thank my fellow Board members, Deputy Chair Wayne Denning, Toni Cody, Paul Neville and Peter Rose for their ongoing guidance and hard work. We are committed to ensuring that the NFSA is a truly national institution and to building support for the NFSA with stakeholders across Australia. We are immensely grateful for their support.

I acknowledge the dedication and commitment of our CEO, Michael Loebenstein, our executive team and the NFSA staff at all levels. This has been a year with challenges but also one of some significant achievements of which our whole organisation should be proud.

Finally, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to our NFSA Ambassador, Margaret Pomeranz, who has made an extraordinary contribution to the NFSA in giving generously of her time and energy during 2015–16. She is a remarkable and much-loved Australian.


As we embark on an ambitious agenda for 2016–17, I look forward to the NFSA’s ongoing success as Australia’s living archive, truly national, engaged and accessible for all.

Yours sincerely

Gabrielle Trainor

Chair, NFSA Board

22 September 2016