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E-BULLETIN No. 66 – 1 June 2010


Hon Editor, Dr Ruth S. Kerr



1)  Protection of Australia’s heritage places


2)  CollectionsCare Western Australian Goldfields launch, and earthquake


3)  Commonwealth Freedom of Information legislation


4)  Update on cultural documents in Haitian earthquake


5)  Consider joining the online Australian Historical Societies Support Group


1)   Protection of Australia’s heritage places


New funding to protect Australia's historic places


"Places eligible for funding must be listed, or being considered for listing, on Australia’s National Heritage List – the premier heritage list for Australia.

"Other historic sites that may be eligible include significant places on the Commonwealth Heritage List or a state or territory heritage register.

"The types of projects likely to receive funding include building restoration, management planning, landscaping and signage to enhance public understanding and access."

(Source: Minister’s Press Release – 21 April 2010)


2)   CollectionsCare Western Australian Goldfields launch, and earthquake


Elaine Labuschagne, CollectionsCare Coordinator, has been welcomed by regional collecting organisations in the Western Australian Goldfields. The Collections Council joined the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, the WA Department of Culture and the Arts and representatives of the local collections sector to formally launch CollectionsCare on 12 March 2010.

Since the launch Elaine has started meeting with collecting organisations, surveying them on their resources and activities in order to determine the key needs of the region.

More information about Elaine’s appointment is available at (

The Kalgoorlie-Boulder region was hit by an earthquake on 20 April 2010.

The CollectionsCare Coordinator is able to offer some assistance and advice.


 (Source: Collections Council E-Bulletin No 55 – 23 April 2010)



3)   Commonwealth Freedom of Information legislation


The Australian Government’s new Freedom of Information legislation - the Information Commissioner Bill and the Freedom of Information Amendment (Reform) Bill – have been passed by both Houses of the Commonwealth Parliament.


The Minister responsible for the National Archives of Australia, Senator the Hon. Joe Ludwig MP, released a statement which outlining the changes. See the Minister's media release dated 13 May 2010:


Under the reforms to the Archives Act 1983 the open access period for most records will commence after 20 years instead of the current 30 years. For Cabinet notebooks access will commence after 30 years instead of the current 50 years. These earlier open access periods will be phased in over 10 years, commencing on 1 January 2011. To ensure a smooth transition, National Archives of Australia staff  have been developing strategies and policies to address the impacts of these reforms.


The final Bills, as passed by both Houses, are available from the Parliament of Australia ParlInfo website: see Australian Information Commissioner Bill 2010 and Freedom of Information Amendment (Reform) Bill 2010:


Australian Information Commissioner Bill 2010


Freedom of Information Amendment (Reform) Bill 2010



(Source: – 17 May 2010)


4)  Update on cultural documents in Haitian earthquake


‘Washington DC - The Smithsonian is leading a team of cultural organizations to help the Haitian government assess, recover and restore Haiti’s cultural materials damaged by the devastating Jan. 12 earthquake. A building in Port-au-Prince that once housed the United Nations Development Programme will be leased by the Smithsonian. The 7,500-square-foot, three-story building will serve as a temporary conservation site where objects retrieved from the rubble can be assessed, conserved and stored. It will also be the training center for Haitians who will be taking over this conservation effort in the future.


‘Haiti’s Ministry of Culture and Communication and the Haitian President’s Commission for Reconstruction will lead the effort for Haiti.

The “Smithsonian Institution–Haiti Cultural Recovery Project” is conducted in partnership with the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities with assistance from several other federal agencies—National Endowment for the Humanities, National Endowment for the Arts and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The project is also supported by contributions from The Broadway League, the international trade association for Broadway and the Broadway community.

The U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield, a nonprofit, non-governmental organization dedicated to the protection of cultural property affected by conflict or natural disasters, is involved in the project as is the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works. Local Haitian cultural organizations and a number of international organizations will also be involved in the effort.’

(Source: – 17 May 2010)



5)  Consider joining the online Australian Historical Societies Support Group


The online Australian Historical Societies Support Group, through an arrangement between the Federation of Australian Historical Societies (FAHS) and the Royal Historical Society of Victoria, is one of the My Connected Community (mc2) groups initiated and funded by the Victorian Government’s Connecting Communities policy. 


The Australian Historical Societies Support Group offers participating historical societies, like-minded bodies and their members a variety of free, easy to use Web-based services which they can use to communicate with each other across the nation and the world on any topic that is of interest or concern to their organisations.  


The mc2 website provides easy access to online technologies now available for communicating between group members. Features of mc2 include a forum, an events list, space for sharing files, space for sharing photos, a links page and a chat room.


Details on how to join the Group are available at the FAHS website at:  Follow the “Support” and “Support Group” links from the home page.


(Source: FAHS Council)