The permanent preservation of, and access to, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples' cultural materials is the focus of a recently signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) and the Indigenous Remote Communications Association (IRCA).
AIATSIS CEO (a/g) Craig Ritchie said the MOU formalises collaboration between the Institute and IRCA who share a number of goals aimed at ensuring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ archival material survives well into the future.
“Indigenous Australia is central to Australia’s national story. Our peoples’ knowledge, languages and stories need to be kept safe for future generations, but also to ensure access to those materials is aligned with traditional owners' cultural directions and aspirations,” said Mr Ritchie.
IRCA General Manager Daniel Featherstone said this agreement will help IRCA to support community organisations to preserve and manage their own unique and culturally significant collections.
“This agreement will ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have the opportunity and appropriate skills to care for their community-produced audio-visual collections on country wherever possible,” said Mr Featherstone.
The MOU provides a framework for collaboration in relation to:
Development, promotion and support of IRCA’s Remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Audiovisual Collections Plan (2014-16) and future plans;
Knowledge exchange in relation to preservation and access standards and best practice in collection management;
Training and capacity building for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, in particular in relation to maintaining collections of audio-visual material on-country; and
Other activities that support the preservation of remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander audio-visual collections and promote the significance of the collections.
The MOU builds on already close ties between the two organisations, including the Indigenous Remote Archival Fellowship, a partnership scheme with the AIATSIS, IRCA and the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA).