Film in storage

Annual Report 2015-16

Snapshot - The year at a glance

Snapshot - The year at a glance


Anne Louise Lambert, Picnic at Hanging Rock (Photgrapher, Darren Weinert)
Anne Louise Lambert, Picnic at Hanging Rock (Photgrapher, Darren Weinert)

Snapshot –the year at a glance


We announced the first NFSA Ambassador, Margaret Pomeranz, at the Melbourne International Film Festival. Margaret continues to raise the profile of the NFSA by speaking at industry and cultural events and by participating in fundraising and sponsorship campaigns. She has also appeared on various media platforms – including Network Ten’s, The Project – in support of the NFSA (see the snapshot on page 51).


The NFSA Board travelled to Alice Springs for a Board meeting focused on our Indigenous Connections program. While in the Northern Territory, we announced a partnership with the Indigenous Remote Communications Association. This arrangement gives remote media archivists the opportunity to travel to Canberra to receive professional training at the NFSA under a fellowship program. See the case study on page 33 for more information.

Also in August, we celebrated the 40th anniversary of the film, Picnic at Hanging Rock, by presenting a restoration screening of the film in our Arc Cinema in Canberra. This was accompanied by an exhibition of costumes from the film, followed by a public Q&A session with actress, Anne Lambert. As part of the anniversary celebrations, we also launched an online exhibition focusing on both the original 1975 version of the film and the later Director’s Cut (1998). The online exhibition is available to view on our website. 


In September we signed a cultural agreement with Kanyirninpa Jukurrpa (KJ), an organisation representing the traditional owners of the Martu native title determination in Western Australia. The NFSA is the archival custodian of audiovisual material of high cultural significance to the Martu people. This is an ongoing partnership that further develops our strong relationship with Indigenous communities and their audiovisual heritage.

On 24 September 2015, in conjunction with the Adelaide Film Festival, we launched our film restoration program, NFSA Restores, with the support of our Ambassador, Margaret Pomeranz. Three of our NFSA Restores films were screened at the Festival: Storm Boy (Henri Safran, 1976); Howling III: The Marsupials (Philippe Mora, 1987); and Starstruck (Gillian Armstrong, 1982). See the case study on page 21 for more information about NFSA Restores.


On 27 October the NFSA celebrated the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage with a symposium, Digital Directions: Archiving into the Future. Speakers from across the sector explored the challenges of building, preserving and sharing digital collections.


On 5 November 2015, our General Manager, Meg Labrum, participated in a handover ceremony at North Sydney Olympic Pool. This was to mark the donation to the NFSA by Olympic swimming champions, Jon Henricks and Lorraine Thurlow (nee Crapp), of a rare film shot during their 1954 North American tour. The never-before-seen film includes rare footage of the Australian team’s participation in the British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Vancouver, Canada. See the snapshot on page 6 for more information.


We partnered with Macquarie University’s Centre for Media History to host the 9th biennial Australian Media Traditions Conference – Soundings and Sightings – over two days in Canberra. This year the conference sessions had a particular focus on broadcast media and its history, with featured keynote papers by Professor David Hendy (University of Sussex) and Dr Hans Ulrich-Wagner (University of Hamburg).


On 20 January 2016 we hosted the Minister for the Arts, Senator the Honourable Mitch Fifield, giving him a tour of our preservation laboratories and showing him a number of collection items. We also briefed him on the need for additional resources to ensure the preservation and longevity of audiovisual formats that will soon be obsolete.

Also in January, we launched our online exhibition, Johnny O’Keefe: a little bit louder now, featuring rare audio and television clips along with the never-before-seen scrapbooks compiled by the singer’s mother, Thelma. 


On 5 February 2016 we took Canberra audiences back to the music, television and dance of the mid-1960s in our Teenage Dream event. The feature program on the evening was the premier Canberra screening of episode #117 of the Australian television teenage music show, Go, which we had reconstructed and restored. The program was screened with advertisements from the period, followed by a Q&A with music legends, Normie Rowe, Little Pattie and the show’s Associate TV Producer, Dennis Smith.


The NFSA’s Melbourne office relocated into the ACMI X headquarters based in the Southbank – facilitating greater collaboration and information-sharing between ACMI and the NFSA.


On Monday 6 June 2016 we signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) in Melbourne. The MoU outlines how we will work together on future joint activities and initiatives.

We also successfully finalised our first NFSA Restores crowdfunding campaign which raised over $25,000 to fund the digital restoration of the film, Proof (Jocelyn Moorhouse, 1991).


Snapshot 1

Preserving the golden era of Australian swimming

Two of Australia’s greatest swimmers – Olympic champions, Jon Henricks and Lorraine Thurlow (nee Crapp) – have donated a never-before-seen film to our collection.

The 1954 footage shows the Australian swimming team participating in the British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Vancouver, Canada. It also follows the men’s swimming team on their North American tour, when they participated in exhibition events.

The film was shot by Bill Holland, then manager of the Australian swimming team in Vancouver. At the time, Australia’s team was the second largest to represent the country at an overseas games, with 73 athletes winning 48 medals, including 20 gold medals.

Henricks and Thurlow were guests at a handover ceremony at the North Sydney Olympic Pool in November 2015, joined by fellow swimming champion, John Devitt. The event was hosted by Olympic medalist, Nicole Livingstone OAM, and guests included Craig Phillips (CEO of the Australian Commonwealth Games Association) and John Bertrand (President of Australian Swimming).

The handover ceremony was covered by Channel Nine’s 6pm News as well as ABC News and The Alan Jones Breakfast Show on Sydney’s 2GB Radio, reaching an estimated audience of 2,455,332 Australians.

Highlights of the handover ceremony and the 1954 film (with narration by Henricks and Devitt) can be found on our YouTube channel.