The launch of the National Film and Sound Archive’s Darwin Access Centre, in partnership with the Northern Territory Library, was an exciting event in more ways than one. The arrival of NFSA’s special guest Sigrid Thornton was delayed by the ash cloud that closed airports around Australia, although she made it to Darwin only half an hour after the advertised time.
The guests, including dignitaries, filmmakers, historians and Indigenous broadcasters, were all happy to wait — enjoying the great food and a drink overlooking the picture-postcard ocean views from the terrace of the library. They cheered Sigrid on her arrival. The Honorable Gerry McCarthy MLA, Minister for Arts and Museums, Diana Richards, Assistant Director Northern Territory Library Research and Collections, and Bronwyn Coupe from the NFSA welcomed everyone. Unfortunately, to her disappointment, the NFSA’s Acting CEO, Ann Landrigan, was unable to attend because of flight delays.
Sigrid Thornton spoke of the importance of preserving Australia’s audiovisual culture and of Australians, now and in the future, having access to their history through moving images and sound. She officially opened the Access Centre with the screening of a special compilation of works from the NFSA collection. The audience enjoyed viewing early scenes of Darwin, including the bombing of Darwin during the Second World War and voices from the aftermath of Cyclone Tracy. Clips of The Aunty Jack Show and Skippy got a laugh and the sweeping cinematography of the red centre from The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert made some draw breath.
Visitors to the Access Centre at the Northern Territory Library will be able to view and listen to locally-held items from the NFSA’s collection, as well as order collection material from the NFSA’s Canberra headquarters.
This final addition to the NFSA’s Access Centres means there is now an Access Centre in every capital city.