In May 2011, in the final days of one of Australia’s best known commercial airlines, the NFSA acquired a range of audiovisual material from the administrators of Ansett Australia. The collection, which includes films, videos and several unique artefacts formerly stored in a warehouse near Melbourne’s Tullamarine airport, provides a unique glimpse into the corporate history of a former national aviation icon.
More than 100 titles were acquired, spanning more than 60 years of the airline’s history and including news items, advertisements, travelogues, in-flight entertainment, corporate and actuality footage, along with several presentation awards. The Ansett collection is an invaluable addition to the NFSA’s existing holdings of aviation material.
The earliest footage discovered during sorting and inspection was a 16mm film featuring a 27-year-old Reginald Ansett (the founder of the airline) and his brother Jack winning the 1936 Brisbane to Adelaide Air Race. The winnings provided the pair with the capital needed to grow their fledgling company Ansett Airways. In 1986, the company celebrated its 50th anniversary with a series of advertisements featuring the slogan ‘For 50 years, Australia’s leading airline’.