Annual Report 2016 - 17 cover image

Annual report 2016-17

Snapshot - The year at a glance

Snapshot - The year at a glance


Dentist and amateur filmmaker, Don Worley, donates the only known vision of the 1972 Paralympic Games, and almost 10 hours of footage chronicling the development of the Australian and international Paralympic movement. Paralympic champions, Libby Kosmala and Katrina Webb, attend the event in Adelaide on 11 July. See the case study on page 15.

Following a successful crowdfunding campaign (raising $26,000), NFSA Restores Proof premiered at the Melbourne International Film Festival on 29 July, with special guests Hugo Weaving and filmmakers Jocelyn Moorhouse and Lynda House.


We celebrate the 20th anniversary of Shine, including a sold-out screening and Q&A featuring director, producer and Academy Award-winner, Geoffrey Rush, and a special concert by acclaimed pianist, David Helfgott.

We partner with the Indigenous Remote Communications Association and the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, for the second edition of the Indigenous Remote Archival Fellowship. The recipient, PY Media, is announced in September at the 18th National Remote Indigenous Media Festival in Yirrkala, Northern Territory.


Our biggest collection item comes out of preservation to celebrate 30 years of Malcolm. Filmmakers Nadia Tass and David Parker attend a special screening of the film on 25 September, and we launch a mini-exhibition featuring the car that splits in two.


Steam on the Harbour, a documentary showcasing Darling Harbour as a busy railway goods yard, is published online following its premiere at the Sydney Film Festival in June.


New inductees to Sounds of Australia are announced on 3 November. Midnight Oil, Christine Anu and The Wiggles support the announcement, with the latter producing a special video for the NFSA featuring a performance of the track, Toot Toot, Chugga Chugga, Big Red Car.

Hugo Weaving attends the NFSA Restores fundraising screening of Proof in Sydney on 9 November.

We hold the second Digital Directions symposium on 10 November. With the participation of Australia’s top galleries, libraries, archives, and museums, the event is sold out.

Our website – – and refreshed branding are launched on 14 November. Content highlights include a new Storm Boy online exhibition and more than 60 curated collections featuring over 600 items from the NFSA collection. These span all areas, including film, sound, television, radio, oral history, Indigenous items, documents and artefacts. Media coverage includes Ten News National, Studio Ten, Sky Business News, ABC Online, Fairfax and News Limited networks, ABC Radio, and

We hold 60 Years of TV: Lost and Found on 23 November. This sold-out, free event features special guests Gold Logie award-winning actress, Lorrae Desmond, and Sale of the Century announcer, Pete Smith.


Following the launch of, our Facebook reach increases exponentially, peaking on 3 December with 618,924 users reached in a single day.


We announce the digital restoration of the film, Three Days to Live (1924). Once thought to be lost, this is one of the earliest known titles to include the work of iconic filmmaker, Frank Capra.


The 1899–1903 Fanny Cochrane Smith Tasmanian Aboriginal recordings are inducted, on 8 February, into the UNESCO Australian Memory of the World Register. They become the third NFSA collection item to be given this distinction, joining the world’s first narrative feature film, The Story of the Kelly Gang (1906), and the Cinesound Movietone Australian Newsreel Collection (1929–1975).

We build a custom-made device in order to digitise and publish a rare Kinora reel  featuring 1901 footage of legendary cricketers, KS Ranjitsinhji and CB Fry. The story is reported by Cricket Australia and the Times of India.


Our Sydney Harbour Bridge exhibition is launched to celebrate 85 years of the engineering icon. Media coverage includes all free-to-air broadcasters (Seven, Nine, Ten, ABC, SBS). Seven News launches a call to action, to find the boy who climbed the bridge in a 1932 newsreel. His family contacts us the following day and shares his story.

Published on 30 March, our Facebook video, ‘Daredevil police chariots’, reaches 3.7 million views in less than a month.


New content – Anzac Sights and Sounds of World War 1 – is added to our website, including 100-year-old footage of a ‘mimic warfare’ training exercise in Sydney’s Moore Park. The vision runs on channels Seven and Nine. The ongoing project is a partnership with Ngā Taonga Sound and Vision in New Zealand.


Our tribute to Graham Kennedy includes a sold-out session at the St Kilda Film Festival with special guests Patti Newton, Philip Brady, Mike McColl Jones and Pete Smith. This is our largest online exhibition so far, resulting in a four-minute story on National Nine News.


Ben Mendelsohn introduces the NFSA Restores film, The Year My Voice Broke, at the Sydney Film Festival on 10 June. He is joined by NFSA Ambassador, Margaret Pomeranz.  

Sale of the Century announcer Pete Smith and Gold Logie-award winning actress, Lorrae Desmond

Special guests at our 60 Years of TV event at the NFSA; TV legends – Sale of the Century announcer Pete Smith and Gold Logie-award winning actress, Lorrae Desmond

Actor Ben Mendelsohn with NFSA Ambassador Margaret Pomeranz

Actor Ben Mendelsohn with NFSA Ambassador Margaret Pomeranz at the premiere NFSA Restores

The Year My Voice Broke at the Sydney Film Festival