Media release: Friday, 19 June 2009
The National Archives Advisory Council marks its 100th meeting on Friday 19 June with the launch of A Necessary Safeguard, a history of the Council written by historian Dr Hilary Golder.
Cabinet Secretary and Special Minister of State Senator Joe Ludwig will launch the book at the National Archives of Australia, Queen Victoria Terrace, Parkes, Canberra, at 12.30 pm.
It is almost 25 years since the first Advisory Council was convened on 6 December 1984. Since then there have been 61 Council members – 40 men and 21 women – who have brought a breadth of knowledge and experience, both in public life and private enterprise.
Director-General Ross Gibbs said the National Archives had published the book to acknowledge the Council's important contribution to the development of the Archives as a key force in shaping government recordkeeping over the years.
'Growing numbers of people recognise that records held by the National Archives document Australia's social, political, cultural and economic development,' he said. “However, many aren't so aware of the major role played by the Advisory Council in their behind-the-scenes work to support the interests of public researchers and ensure the integrity of the Archives as the key to ongoing government accountability.'
'Council members have always argued for greater access to the records, rather than less. Their achievements include questioning the practice of destroying name-identified Census documents; speaking up for the public on access to ASIO records; and planning for the challenges of preserving electronic records.'
Media representatives are welcome to attend the book launch and Dr Hilary Golder is available for interview.