2022 at the NFSA
NFSA Acquisition Highlights of 2022
COMPILED BY MEL BONDFIELD
The NFSA collection now holds more than 4 million items. Here are just a few highlights from what our curators collected in 2022 including video games, television, online media, costumes and more.
WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the following article may contain images and/or audio of deceased persons.
In 2022, the NFSA continued building relationships and engaging with game developers and stakeholders within the gaming industry to collect software, documents and artefacts from video games dating back to the 1980s. This included titles from Beam Software, Krome Studios and Micro Forté.
In collaboration with ACMI and the Powerhouse Museum, we collected Untitled Goose Game from developer House House, where the player controls a trouble-making goose that wreaks havoc on a small village. The game has been praised for its simplicity and sheer joy:
Another video game added to the NFSA collection in 2022 was Necrobarista, a 3D visual novel game released in 2020 by Australian development studio Route 59.
The game is set in a Melbourne café called Terminal where the staff are necromancers and the customers are the recently dead, who are there to spend their final 24 hours in the world alongside the living.
The NFSA acquired both the PC and Nintendo Switch versions of the game. Watch the game trailer:
We have also developed relationships with gaming news and review websites and channels, including Checkpoint Ltyentye, a YouTube channel featuring a cast of young First Nations gamers from Central Australia who are part of a community development program from CatholicCare NT.
In the following clip the Checkpoint Ltyentye panel review the VR game Beat Saber:
One new broadcast TV series we collected was Barrumbi Kids (2022). It is a coming-of-age children's series set in Arnhem Land and based on a series of novels by Leonie Norrington about best friends Tomias (Nick Bonson) and Dahlia (Caitlin Hordern). Barrumbi Kids, which also stars Justine Clarke, aired on NITV and was notable for its representation of kids growing up in remote Australian communities. Here's a trailer:
In 2022, the NFSA acquired more than 6,400 episodes of Neighbours (1985–2022), the incredibly popular Australian soap opera that aired for more than 30 years and was the launching pad for many of our A-listers, including Kylie Minogue, Margot Robbie, Guy Pearce, Liam Hemsworth, Jesse Spencer, Delta Goodrem and Natalie Imbruglia.
The series came to a close on Network Ten, with the final episode airing in August 2022, before producers Fremantle secured Amazon Freevee and Prime Video as international partners and announced the show will return to Network Ten in late 2023. Neighbours will also continue to live on as part of the NFSA collection for future generations to enjoy.
From the Seven Network, we acquired more than 1,000 episodes of the equally popular soap Home and Away (1988–current) and medical drama All Saints (1998–2009).
First broadcast on 17 January 1988, Home and Away has sold to over 80 countries. The show helped launch the careers of Heath Ledger, Isla Fisher, Luke Bracey, Simon Baker, Isabel Lucas, Samara Weaving and many more. A young Chris Hemsworth appears towards the end of this clip from the 4,000th episode of Home and Away, where the cast celebrates the 60th birthday of Alf (Ray Meagher):
In 2021, Screen Australia and Instagram Australia announced they were partnering on the First Nations Creator Program to lend support to up-and-coming First Nations content creators.
One of the participants in the program is Tait McGregor. Tait is a Wadawurrung music journalist and digital content creator, dedicated to giving music lovers a fresh perspective on their favourite artists. Whether pushing new acts onto the radar, uncovering never-before-heard anecdotes through her ardently researched interviews, or even taking them on a date, Tait is at the forefront of the future of music journalism.
Alongside the work of three other content creators, the NFSA has preserved a number of Tait's Instagram reels of her interviews with a diverse range of artists and musicians, including this excerpt featuring Becca Hatch:
In 2022, we added online series Salma's Season (2022), a comedy-drama written and directed by Kauthar Abdulalim that takes aim at Muslim stereotypes in Australia. Abdulalim was inspired by her experience of taking tennis lessons when she first migrated with her parents to Australia from Kenya.
The series centres on Salma (Faryaal Jabbar), a 45-year-old Australian-Pakistani wife and mother who dreams of playing tennis at the Australian Open. In this clip from episode 1, Salma reveals her secret to a group of friends:
VR / Animation
In 2022 we also acquired the animated short film and virtual reality project Roborovski (2021). Directed by Tilda Cobham-Hervey and Dev Patel it is a darkly comedic tale of a thimble-sized hamster, Roborovski, who lives at Marvin's Pet Shop. Roborovski desperately wants to be chosen for a 'forever home' but, when he keeps getting overlooked, becomes resentful and jealous and eventually reveals his murderous side. Watch the trailer:
In partnership with Universal Music, we were proud to undertake a detailed digitisation and remastering of the official music video for Helen Reddy's iconic 1972 anthem 'I Am Woman'. The remastered version was completed from a scan of the original 16mm film held in the NFSA collection.
The new version was released as part of Women's History Month celebrations and to mark the 50th anniversary of this significant song's release:
Our curators also took in more than 100 lacquer master discs from the Vitavox Recording Studio, created by Stuart Booty. Booty was a recording sound pioneer in Australia in the 1920s and the NFSA already holds a large collection of his personal papers, including his plans to start the first record pressing plant in Australia, and discs from all parts of his production process – wax discs, metal discs, lacquers and two examples of the shellacs he pressed.
The NFSA also collected material from Mushroom Records as part of an ongoing acquisition agreement. This included the single 'One Song' by Archie Roach, the last song he released before his passing in July 2022.
In 2022, we conducted a number of interviews with notable Australian figures in the entertainment and media landscape for our Oral History program. They included:
- Sue Healey – choreographer, artist, educator and dance filmmaker
- Annette Shun Wah – writer, director, actor and broadcaster
- Nell Campbell – actor and singer, also known by her stage name Little Nell
- Jim Sharman – film and theatre writer and director
In this excerpt from Jim Sharman's oral history interview, he reflects on the enduring legacy of his cult smash film The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), now the longest continually running film in cinema history:
In 2022, we acquired a collection from the internationally renowned avant-garde and experimental filmmaker and artist, Paul Winkler. It consists of the original film materials for many of his significant works (from the 1960s to today), his bespoke film camera and the original homemade matte boards he used to create his complex moving image collage works.
Among the documentaries we collected, The Voyage of George Raft (1982) follows the journey of three men who sail the entire length of the Murray River, from November to December 1981, on a raft made from refrigerator panels filled with polystyrene. It was the longest raft trip in Australian history at the time and is also a tribute to the beauty of the Murray River and surrounding landscapes. The following clip shows the beginning of their journey:
The Department is a fly-on-the-wall feature about the NSW Department of Communities and Justice (view the trailer). It follows the frontline workers trying to keep children safe in families experiencing domestic violence, addiction, poverty, mental health issues and intergenerational trauma.
Warning: the following film description and video deals with suicide.
Short documentary film Solstice (2022) is an honest and confronting look at teen suicide as a family in a regional community deals with the death of their daughter and tries to channel their loss into something positive.Watch the trailer:
Documents and Artefacts
Additions to our Documents and Artefacts collection include personal papers, photographs and documentation relating to the career of hair and make-up artist Vivien Mepham.
Other items collected include costumes and documentation from the television series Seven Little Australians (1973) and the Howie the Yowie costume from TNT9 program Fun Show.
A major highlight for the team was the acquisition of costumes and props from Baz Luhrmann's ELVIS (2022), created by award-winning designer Catherine Martin.
Several of the costumes feature in our Australians & Hollywood exhibition, and this iconic 'Aztec Sundial' Elvis jumpsuit is also on display at the NFSA in Canberra:
A rare find in 2022 was long-lost audio of Haydn Bunton on a 6PR broadcast following the 1937 National Football Carnival in Perth. This is the only known recording of Bunton, one of the great Australian Rules footballers:
We also acquired 64 boxes of materials from Radio 4K1G, an Indigenous community radio station based in Townsville.
To complement our extensive collection of materials about The Marvellous Corricks is a radio interview with Elsie Corrick in which she talks about her family and life on the road. This is the only known recording of Elsie and it provides a rare insight into being part of this remarkable family. It's believed to have been recorded by her husband, Norman Tilley, in 1974.
Main image: Barrumbi Kids (2022). Courtesy: Tamarind Tree Pictures and Ambience Entertainment. NFSA title: 1694187
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