Strategic priority 5: Capability and maximising our resources

We are focused on optimising the potential of our people, investing in our business systems, managing our assets effectively, entering innovative collaborations and maximising our financial resources to deliver the best possible outcomes.

Our people

We rely on staff with a unique skill set to achieve our objectives. We will continue to develop our workforce capability through a range of targeted staff training programs, including participation in the Graduate Certificate in Audiovisual Archiving, which we deliver in partnership with Charles Sturt University. We will support our workforce to be agile and flexible by ensuring our organisational structures continue to adapt and change, our employment framework supports continuous cultural change and our organisational systems support efficient administrative processes.

Our ICT capability

Our information and communication technology network, systems and infrastructure are tailored to support the needs of audiovisual archiving. As there is a high demand on limited resources, sustainability is a key driver of our present and future ICT operations. This is particularly relevant to the challenges we face in meeting the needs of born-digital collection material, which ranges in format and size across the key collecting areas, as well as supporting our own digitisation program. A focus on storage, digital preservation, tape migration and disaster recovery is integral to the ICT capabilities required. We will continue to enhance our collection management system, Mediaflex, to support digital collections and other identified priority areas of development such as collection integration, metadata management and service workflows.

Outcome: We will be sustainable by working within our means and conducting our activities efficiently and in innovative ways to reach more people.

Table 6: Strategic priority 5: Capability and maximising our resources
Objective Initiatives/strategies to achieve against outcome and objectives, 2017–18 to 2020–21 Target 2017–18 Result 2017–18
Objective 5A Continue to develop a workforce that is efficient, agile and resilient, and a workplace that supports innovation and excellence 5A.1 Delivery of targeted staff training, including leadership development, across the organisation and ensuring the maintenance of specialist staff knowledge Leadership programs delivered Achieved
5A.2 Partnering with tertiary institution(s) to identify and promote career pathways in audiovisual archiving Two partnerships developed Achieved
5A.3 Embedding newly articulated NFSA Values NFSA Values embedded Achieved
Objective 5B Improve integrated business systems and ICT capability across the organisation 5B.1 Implementation of ICT Strategy and Digital Strategy to leverage technology and best practice capability across the NFSA ICT Strategy and NFSA Digital Strategy successfully implemented Achieved
5B.2 Continue to enhance the NFSA’s collection management system, Mediaflex, to support collection needs and service workflows Priority Mediaflex enhancements delivered Achieved
Objective 5C Maximise self-generated income 5C.1 Continued implementation of the NFSA’s Fundraising Strategy 2016–19 (strategy due to be reviewed in 2018–19) NFSA’s Fundraising Strategy 2016–19 successfully implemented Achieved
5C.2 Continued review of revenue generation for Collection Reference and Sales and Distribution activities Collection Reference and Sales and Distribution revenue generation efficient and appropriate Achieved
Objective 5D Continue to review supplier and property expenditure to ensure that resources are spent to achieve the most effective and efficient value for the organisation 5D.1 Further development and implementation of the NFSA Property Strategy NFSA Property Strategy developed and successfully implemented Achieved
5D.2 Continual review and negotiation of supplier arrangements and effective contract management Ongoing review, negotiation and management of supplier arrangements Achieved
Criterion source: Corporate Plan 2017–18 to 2020–21 page 13
 

Objective 5A

Continue to develop a workforce that is efficient, agile and resilient, and a workplace that supports innovation and excellence

5A.1 Delivery of targeted staff training, including leadership development, across the organisation and ensuring the maintenance of specialist staff knowledge

Target Result
Leadership programs delivered Achieved
Criterion source: Corporate Plan 2017–18 to 2020–21 page 13
 

What we achieved

In 2017–18 we continued our commitment to developing the leaders in our organisation. Leadership training was delivered for all EL1 staff and APS 6 staff with supervisory responsibility. The focus was on the overarching principles of leadership within the Australian Public Service, including elements such as the Work Level Standards and Integrated Leadership System plus the NFSA Values and Behaviours. Providing training in dealing with change and uncertainty, as well as giving and receiving feedback using courageous conversations, has also had an impact by helping embed the NFSA Values.

5A.2 Partnering with tertiary institution(s) to identify and promote career pathways in audiovisual archiving.

Target Result
Two partnerships developed Achieved
Criterion source: Corporate Plan 2017–18 to 2020–21 page 13
 

What we achieved

We maintained strong links with the tertiary sector in 2017–18, providing formal support through relationships with Charles Sturt University and the Australian National University (ANU), including the ANU School of Art and Design and the ANU School of Music.

We continued our partnership with Charles Sturt University in presenting the jointly owned Graduate Certificate in Audiovisual Archiving. This course has been available as a professional collaboration for over 20 years, with the intellectual property owned by the NFSA, and co-tutoring provided by our staff for three of the four modules.

We collaborated with the ANU School of Art and Design on their final presentation of the Time and Motion course, providing mentoring for first-year students developing video and digital animation projects. We acquired a selection of the films for our collection and screened them in Arc cinema in late 2017. After eight years, this program has come to its natural conclusion with over 650 students participating in that time and 50 new works placed with the NFSA.

We also worked with the ANU School of Music to present a sound archiving introduction to students and we welcomed a number of national and international audiovisual archive course graduate interns to gain essential professional experience with us. We have commenced a long-term partnership with the Queensland University of Technology to collaborate on innovation and discovery projects which reflect the interests of both our organisations. Similarly, we have strengthened our relationship with the Australian Film Television and Radio School in Sydney to build active mutual support for media education and NFSA collection exposure and use.

5A.3 Embedding newly articulated NFSA Values

Target Result
NFSA Values embedded Achieved
Criterion source: Corporate Plan 2017–18 to 2020–21 page 13
 

What we achieved

The NFSA Values, underpinned by supporting and non-supporting behaviours, have informed not only our leadership training but also our performance management conversations. We developed posters to reflect the values as well as a Values Action Plan template to use after feedback, to ensure that individuals and teams are reflecting on whether they are demonstrating the right behaviours.

Objective 5B

Improve integrated business systems and ICT capability across the organisation

5B.1 Implementation of ICT Strategy and Digital Strategy to leverage technology and best practice capability across the NFSA

Target Result
ICT Strategy and NFSA Digital Strategy successfully implemented Achieved
Criterion source: Corporate Plan 2017–18 to 2020–21 page 13
 

What we achieved

We delivered on a range of strategies outlined in the ICT Technical Roadmap 2016–2018 and also developed a Digital Strategy which provided a framework for digital transformation and increasing digital capability. We maintained a strong focus on storage, digital preservation, tape migration and disaster recovery as key to the ongoing development of our trusted digital repository.

Our ICT achievements for 2017–18 included:

  • an upgraded and re-hosted finance system
  • a new information management framework
  • a newly developed Preferred Preservations File Formats standard
  • a revised storage and disaster recovery strategy
  • a front-of-house ticketing system
  • collection storage tape migration
  • improved digital signage
  • capability for a prototype NFSA ‘pop-up’
  • a new service management platform.

5B.2 Continue to enhance the NFSA’s collection management system, Mediaflex, to support collection needs and service workflows

Target Result
Priority Mediaflex enhancements delivered Achieved
Criterion source: Corporate Plan 2017–18 to 2020–21 page 13
 

What we achieved

We continued to enhance our collection management system, Mediaflex, to support collection needs and workflows. We were able to improve collection security outcomes by implementing better functionality for managing overdue loans. We increased security for the management of copyright and licensing data, improved functionality for the management of accessioning queues and stocktake, and improved efficiency for the ingest of digital collection works.

Objective 5C

Maximise self-generated income

5C.1 Continued implementation of the NFSA’s Fundraising Strategy 2016–19 (strategy due to be reviewed in 2018–19)

Target Result
NFSA’s Fundraising Strategy 2016–19 successfully implemented Achieved
Criterion source: Corporate Plan 2017–18 to 2020–21 page 13

What we achieved

The NFSA Strategic Fundraising Plan 2016–19 prioritises key development areas and how best to implement our fundraising activities. In 2017–18 we continued to develop our key fundraising infrastructure including our Fundraising and Supporter Engagement Database and online fundraising. We also focused on major donors and funding development, testing and measuring digital fundraising strategies and integrating fundraising into key outreach and communication activities.

Fundraising results for 2017–18 included:

  • significant growth in our Fundraising and Supporter Engagement Database from 2500 in 2015–16 to over 16,000 supporters in 2017–18, with over 70% subscribing to our monthly NFSA e-newsletter
  • launch of an NFSA Supporter e-newsletter for donors
  • NFSA Restores appeals featured in film festival electronic direct marketing (Sydney Film Festival and Melbourne International Film Festival both have subscription bases in excess of 50,000 people)
  • over $100,000 of in-kind sponsorship negotiated through partnership agreements with film festivals.

5C.2 Continued review of revenue generation for Collection Reference and Sales and Distribution activities

Target Result
Collection Reference and Sales and Distribution revenue generation efficient and appropriate Achieved
Criterion source: Corporate Plan 2017–18 to 2020–21 page 13
 

What we achieved

In July 2017 we published the revised Collection Reference service and delivery fees on our website. The decision

to consolidate the previous two-tiered usage fees into a single fee provided our clients with a streamlined and more appropriate set of rates.

We have continued to meet client expectations in licensing and delivering high-definition content to notable Australian and international cultural and commercial productions.

Highlights for 2017–18 include material provided for:

  • the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and the Sir John Monash Centre, which opened in Villers-Bretonneux, France in April 2018 (see Case study: Anzac films at the Sir John Monash Centre)
  • Australian feature film Ladies in Black, directed by Bruce Beresford for theatrical release in September 2018
  • Artemis Media‘s documentary series General Monash and Me: Peter Greste on Australia’s Greatest Anzac, ABC broadcast April 2018
  • December Media’s drama The Doctor Blake Mysteries, ABC broadcast September 2017
  • the Australian War Memorial onsite exhibition Hearts and Minds: Wartime Propaganda, November 2017–April 2018
  • international documentaries Anote’s Ark (EyeSteel Productions, Canada), In Foreign Fields (Ponsonby Productions, NZ), The Game (Crossing the Line Productions, Ireland), Apocalypse–Never Ending War, 10 Lives (France/Canada) and The Rolling Stones On Air (UK).

The reintroduction of the Zero Fee Licence initiative, offering a no-fee licence for up to three minutes of footage, in August 2017 has proven to be highly popular with 24 successful applicants. This will ultimately result in an increase in the re-use of collection items in Australian theatrical and broadcast documentaries.

The Sales and Distribution online shop offering DVD sales for home viewing and educational use continues to provide customers with an efficient automated search, ordering and payment process. We are researching and developing opportunities to expand our current service provider arrangements so Australian and international audiences can have greater opportunity to experience our collection items via online viewing.

Objective 5D

Continue to review supplier and property expenditure to ensure that resources are spent to achieve the most effective and efficient value for the organisation

5D.1 Further development and implementation of an NFSA property strategy

Target Result
NFSA Property Strategy developed and successfully implemented Achieved
Criterion source: Corporate Plan 2017–18 to 2020–21 page 13
 

What we achieved

During 2017–18, we reviewed our Property Strategy and the Board endorsed a number of recommendations for the location requirements of our various business activities and for the future physical profile of the organisation.

There is renewed focus on the NFSA Property Strategy captured in the Strategic Vision for a Digital Archive. There is consensus that the NFSA’s current headquarters are no longer fit for purpose and that there is a need to increase our national profile and connections with creative industries and other collecting institutions. Pursuit of a new building for the NFSA in Canberra is a key component in achieving these strong connections through updated facilities, a strong visual presence, spaces for innovation and collaboration, and the capacity to join with others to increase the impact of our physical profile.

We have undertaken work to investigate options for a new building proposal, and also to strengthen relationships with suitable partners, such as the National Museum of Australia, which is engaged in planning for a sustainable future on the Acton Peninsula. We will progress this work into 2018–19 and beyond.

5D.2 Continual review and negotiation of supplier arrangements and effective contract management

Target Result
Ongoing review, negotiation and management of supplier arrangements Achieved
Criterion source: Corporate Plan 2017–18 to 2020–21 page 13
 

What we achieved

In 2017–18 we continued to review and negotiate supplier arrangements and property expenditure with a focus on improved contract management. Our aim is always to ensure that any resources we spend achieve the most effective and efficient value for our organisation.

CASE STUDY: ANZAC FILMS AT THE SIR JOHN MONASH CENTRE

In 2017, we worked with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and Canberra-based production company WildBear to supply footage for the

Sir John Monash Centre, which was scheduled to open at Villers-Bretonneux, France in April 2018. The Centre is an Australian Government international permanent site built for the Anzac Centenary 2014–18 commemorations.

The Department commissioned WildBear to produce and design media for the Centre. Our brief was to research our collection and supply audiovisual content covering aspects of Australian life before and during the First World War, and showing the impact of the war after 1918.

The Centre offers audiences the opportunity to view footage on multiple screens measuring two metres by two metres so we delivered our footage as Ultra High Definition files, also known as 4K. We carefully chose 60 films on 35mm format for scanning. WildBear selected over 100 clips from these 60 films for screening at the Centre.

The ‘before and after’ images from The Digger Carries On (1919) reveal the vast difference in quality between the old analogue technology and the 4K scans. These Ultra High Definition images have been reframed and graded and now reveal people, places and events from a century ago as though they were shot only yesterday.

This is the first large-scale cultural project for which we have supplied archival footage in 4K. As a result, we shared a lot of technical knowledge and skills amongst our staff during the course of the project.

The Sir John Monash Centre was opened by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on the eve of Anzac Day 2018. Attending were French and Australian representatives including descendants of Sir John Monash and relatives of Western Front soldiers.

We are proud to have had the opportunity to contribute to the Centre and to share highlights from our collection with an international audience. We delivered this unique collection material in pristine format, and all those involved were thrilled by the results.