Annual release of Cabinet records

Be first to read Cabinet records

On 1 January each year, the National Archives releases Cabinet records that have reached the open period.

Access to Cabinet records

Our collection contains Cabinet records dating back to Federation. We have developed curated information for Cabinet records from 1965 to 1997, including:

  • a historical overview of the major issues for each year
  • lists of Cabinet members and key political figures
  • details of the submissions, decisions and related records.

Many of the records have been digitised, so you can view them online in our collection database, RecordSearch.

We also hold hard copy indexes to the Cabinet records in the Canberra reading room.

In 2019, Cabinet notebooks created in 1984, 1985 and 1986 reached the open access period.

Cabinet notebooks from 1950 to 1986 are now available for public access.

Media briefing

In early December, the National Archives briefs the media on the Cabinet records due for release.

As part of the briefing, we give journalists a media kit that includes copies of key Cabinet papers due to be released.

A consultant historian gives context to the papers with a summary of the major issues that affected Australia at the time.

Former prime ministers and Cabinet Office officials may be available to give a personal perspective on the issues and events highlighted in the Cabinet records.

If you are a journalist, you can prepare for the briefing by researching the events and issues that were making the news.

After the briefing, we give media access to the records in our Canberra reading room so they can prepare in-depth articles.

We give this access on the condition that the media:

  • observe an embargo of midnight, 31 December
  • acknowledge National Archives as the source in all published articles.

Media enquiries

Assistant Director, Communications and Media
Mobile: 0417 247157

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