Art Deco NFSA building from front view, with blue sky in the background and flags flying atop of the building

NFSA Annexe Opening

Commemorating the NFSA Building Opening and Annexe Extension

NFSA extension opened in June 1999
 Adam Blackshaw

A new-look NFSA

On 21 June 1999, Prime Minister John Howard opened a major extension to the NFSA heritage building, giving us vital new space for preserving and collecting Australia’s film, broadcast and sound heritage.


Building under construction
NFSA extension under construction, 1998.

Funding for the extension had been announced by Prime Minister Paul Keating in October 1994.

Construction began in 1998 on a three-level annexe wing across the north-western end of the building. The annexe connects the north and south galleries and encloses the central courtyard, complementing the design of the main building.

The news story below is from the day before the official opening and features then Federal Arts Minister the Hon. Peter McGauran MP and Australian Film Commission CEO Kim Dalton:

A new-look National Film and Sound Archive houses the latest technology, WIN News Canberra, 21 June 1999. NFSA title: 411358. Courtesy: WIN Televison

With construction completed, the building extension was officially opened by Prime Minister John Howard on 21 June 1999. Listen to a recording of his speech from the event:

Prime Minister John Howard opens the NFSA Annexe extension, 21 June 1999. NFSA title: 416884

1984: A new building

Fifteen years earlier, Prime Minister Bob Hawke declared the NFSA open at its present site, in the former Australian Institute of Anatomy.

This news story from 1984 announces the move and features an interview with NFSA Interim Director Colin Pitson, as well as a look inside the institute building as it then was:

The National Film and Sound Archive to move into Australian Institute of Anatomy building, Capital 7 News Canberra, 12 July 1984. NFSA title: 2160. Courtesy: Southern Cross Austereo

Learn more about the heritage NFSA building.