Following work done by a Significance International team in 2014 on the Collection of the Australian Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS), which included whole collection significance and risk assessment and a collection management review, a further funding announcement is shoring up efforts to save materials subject to severe and urgent inherent risk.
In his 'Closing the Gap' speech on 10 February 2016, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced $20 million in funding for the AIATSIS Collection over two years. A focus of these funds is to protect and digitise audiovisual collections as a critical step in keeping safe Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge for all Australians and for the wellbeing of Indigenous Australians.
Click here to read Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's 2016 Closing the Gap speech.
Click here to read AIATSIS Chairperson Prof. Mick Dodson's explanation of how the $20 million will be allocated.
Prior to this announcement, in his foreword to the AIATSIS Annual Report 2014-2015, Prof. Dodson acknowledged Significance International's independent analysis of the AIATSIS Collection.
Click here to read the short version of the AIATSIS Annual Report 2014-2015 (SI mentioned on page 6)
Click here to read the full version of the AIATSIS Annual Report 2014-2015 (SI mentioned on page 6 and some of our significance assessment findings on page 71).
Already in 2015 AIATSIS had been awarded $5 million for triage work on its collection digitisation project in the 2015-2016 Federal Budget. This is reported on page 71 of the full AIATSIS Annual Report 2014-2015, and in our news item 'Congratulations to AIATSIS on funding boost' on 13 May 2015.
The use to which a statement of significance can be put, and a fuller description of the 2014 Significance International work for AIATSIS can be found in our news item 'A better deal for AIATSIS, 'site of pilgrimage' of 10 December 2014.
Final panel in the new foyer display using the last sentence from
the whole collection statement of significance: AIATSIS 'a site of pilgrimage'.
Congratulations to the AIATSIS Council and Senior Management for using the statement of significance as one of the tools in successfully designing a case to the Australian Government to save its extraordinary collection.
The new AIATSIS foyer display with backlit panels. Top row: a timeline of Aboriginal Australia. Bottom row: a timeline of AIATSIS.
The third image shows the arch of the National Museum of Australia in the background.