New preservation award
The final day of the conference included the General Assembly — basically the formal meeting in which a range of administrative issues were resolved. The most notable outcome of the day was the election of a new Executive Council. The role of President was once again won by the experienced and capable Tuenjai Sinthuvnik, Deputy Director General of the Government Public Relations Department of Thailand. New members were also admitted to the Association from the Philippines, Canada, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea.
Also discussed was SEAPAVAA’s responsibility for the Pacific region. The workshop that the organisation will be holding in Noumea later this month is the first to be held in the Pacific and there was extensive discussion about SEAPAVAA focusing its efforts on this region. It was discussed that the 2013 Conference may be held in Fiji (the 2012 conference will be held in Vietnam), and the Fijian representative was voted onto the Executive Council.
Another important event of the day was the launch of the NFSA SEAPAVAA Preservation Award, which recognises and rewards significant achievement in the field of audiovisual archiving. It is an annual award of $5000 presented to the person or organisation that best demonstrates excellence in the areas of advocacy, training, technical innovation, scholarly contribution or involvement with moving image or recorded sound as an artform or cultural experience. The inaugural prize will be presented at next year’s General Assembly.
At the farewell dinner, where we were treated to traditional Malaysian food, music and dance, I reflected that there were many aspects of Malaysia that I would miss. The glowing beauty of the Petrona Towers at night; eating satay amid the bustle and noise of Changkat Bukit Bintang; the incredible hospitality of our Malaysian hosts. However, what I will miss most will be the generous, passionate and professional spirit of the SEAPAVAA gathering and the attitude that no obstacle is too large and no challenge too great if audiovisual heritage is at risk.
On this trip I not only learned about the activities of other archives, I also learned more about my role, aspirations and goals. As the Malaysians say, ‘mendapat sesuatu yang diingini’ – you get what you dream.