31 August 2004

Australia 's collections industry now has a new national peak body to represent the shared interests of archives, galleries, libraries and museums.

The Collections Council of Australia (CCA) will be a high-level, independent forum able to strategically address issues across the sector. It aims to build new collaborative relationships within the sector, with government, and between the sector and other areas.

The Cultural Ministers Council announced the establishment of the CCA in February 2004 following the recommendations of the National Collections Advisory Forum, chaired by Professor Margaret Seares, which considered the feasibility of an industry body to represent the interests of the entire sector.

The CCA will have three main roles—encompassing industry development, support and projects.

It will play a vital role in:

  • developing long-term strategies to address issues facing collections
  • undertaking industry support, particularly through development of a profile for the sector at a national and international level
  • implementing initiatives to address cross-sectoral issues.

The CCA will be governed by a 12-member board with Dr Edward Tweddell as the inaugural chair.

It is integral the CCA has high-level representation from, and close connections with, all areas of the collections sector. To provide this link back to the industry, four board members are the chairs of other industry councils. They are:

  • Mr Ross Gibbs from the Council of Australasian Archives and Records Authorities
  • Major General Steve Gower from the Council of Australian Museum Directors
  • Ms Anne-Marie Schwirtlich from the Council of Australian State Libraries
  • Dr Gerard Vaughan from the Council of Australian Art Museum Directors.

The remaining board members have been chosen for their specialist knowledge of the sector or for skills they will bring to enhance the work of the CCA. They are:

  • Mr Paul Ah Chee Ngala
  • Professor Larissa Behrendt
  • Ms Sue Nattrass
  • Dr Barbera Piscitelli
  • Mr Robert Sharman
  • Ms Kathy Williams
  • Ms Kylie Winkworth.

These appointments provide a depth and breadth of skills and experience necessary for the CCA to achieve its objectives. The board will draw on networks and expertise to ensure a broad, cross-disciplinary view in addressing key issues for the sector.

The board will be supported by a secretariat, to be located in South Australia , to administer the CCA's day-to-day operations. In addition, the secretariat will undertake practical projects to address particular issues across the sector, such as the need for national standards and benchmarks.

The Cultural Ministers Council has agreed to fund the first three years of the CCA operations.

31 August 2004