|Back: Sigrid, Pat, ?Wendy, Karin, Ruth, Louise, Anne, Ian, Paul
Middle: Joanne, Leila, Marie, Jill
Front: Ann, Ken, Rhona, Sally, Edwina, Michael, Margaret, Paul
The Diploma in Information Management (Archives Administration) course at the School of Information, Library and Archival Studies (SILAS), University of New South Wales, Australia, was for many years the premier training ground for archivists in the Australasian and Pacific region. Under the guidance of Peter Orlovich and Ann Pederson, a generation of archivists were trained in both the theory and practice of archives between 1973 and 1999. The course instilled in many of its participants a lifelong dedication to the archival profession. I was fortunate to be a member of the Class of 1986, and must say at the outset that it was one of the most enjoyable years of my life. This web page, though it specifically relates to those enrolled in the P/G Diploma and Masters program during that year, also pays due homage to the course in general and notes its ongoing influence. This page comprises reminiscences from those enrolled or teaching in 1986, along with brief up-to-date biographies. Further input to the site and comment is always welcomed. Michael Organ 2 May 2007
1986 and all that
1986 was a busy year for those fortunate enough to be enrolled in the University of New South Wales Archives Administration course. The one year, full time postgraduate diploma was the ideal way in which to focus on all things archival and attain a high level of theoretical and practical grounding in the profession, before heading off into the real world of archives and repository management. The diploma comprised course work (lectures, practicals), visits to archival institutions in the Sydney region and Canberra, plus a practicum for all students during the second half of the year.
I was fortunate to undertake my practicum at the Australiam Museum with Margeurite Buddin and Louise Trott, under the supervision of Peter Orlovich and Ann Pedersen. The collection we worked on was a gem - dating back to the 1820s, it was an historically significant archives relating to the history of Australian science. The collection as we found it comprised letters, minute books, indexes, images and other paper-based materials. Due to the age of the material, much of it was in a fragile condition - leather bound volumes were dry and falling apart, correspondences was bound together with rusting pins and staples, and the whole was in need of basic preservation. Our work was very much hands on - cleaning, listing and boxing material and the preparation of a guide, which was subsequently published by the Australian Museum. Amidst all this hard work, we would take time out at the rooftop cafe with its exquisite cakes and coffee and view over the roofrops of Sydney east.
Highlights of the year for all those enrolled included a 3 day visit to Canberra and, of course, the ongoing interaction between the students and academic staff in regards to archival issues and the general comeraderie of our group. A lot of life-long friendships were developed during the course of the year, and I am sure the same applied to all those other groups of students who passed through between 1973 and 1999 - though our group was special. It was therefore somewhat sad to see the Archives Administration course come to a close at the end of 1986 and for us all to head off on our new careers. It was also a very exciting time. A number of us met at the graduation, held at the UNSW Roundhouse on Thursday, 7 May 1987, and the dinner held later that evening. Pictures from some of the events 1986-7 are included below.
Budding young archivists 1986
|Louise & Marguerite, Australian Museum archives||Ken, Michael & Paul at the VFL, Sydney.||Canberra visit, 1986|
|Canberra visit, 1986||Canberra visit, 1986|
The Class of 1986
Listed below are those individuals enrolled in the Archives Administration Diploma and Masters courses at the University of New South Wales during 1986. Next to each entry is a brief 'archival' biography, outlining subsequent careers and experiences. Apart from the students, also included is information on various lecturers and tutors who played such an important role during 1986 and subsequently, in, for example, providing references, employment opportunities and inspiration.
Sister Patricia Burke BA NE - "After finishing the Diploma Course, I returned to the Sisters of Charity Archives at Potts Point. In 1989 I began working at St Vincent's Hospital, first in the Medical Library and then in the Archives, which I set up in 1991. By 2003 I was ready for a change - and it was a very big change - I was offered a position at St. Columba's College, Essendon, as Assistant to the Head of the Music Department and also College Archivist. I really enjoy what I am doing, but am still adjusting to trams, railway crossings, very wide roads, streets that keep changing names and constant AFL. Fortunately there is a team called Sydney, so I am able to retain my connections - and they are the 2005 Premiers and still going well this year!! Many years ago I enrolled in the Masters Course with SILAS at UNSW. I was interested in researching the Archives of the Catholic Church. I was very fortunate that Peter Orlovich was my Supervisor. After the demise of the Archives component, the School of History accepted me and I have now completed an M.A.(Hons.) Hist. for my Thesis on 'The Archives of the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney, 1787 to 1877.' My Graduation will take place on 26th September 2006. I am also the Secretary of the Association of Catholic Archivists of Victoria. I would be very happy to meet up with any of the Class of 1986 if you come to visit Melbourne. Best wishes to all . Pat Burke RSC" 14 September 2006
Jill Chapman - "In early 1987 I took off to the wilds of Canberra and worked as part of the archival team at the Archives of Business and Labour (later Noel Butlin Archives Centre) - loved the job and the people (even encountered a ghostly presence once in the depths of the repository/carpark when looking through Adelaide Steamship Company records!) but chopping firewood in winter was not my thing so returned to Sydney, working alongside Ian Smith at NSW State Archives on the Index to the Colonial Secretary's Correspondence (1788-1825). After a brief stint as Senior Archivist, Reprographics, I suddenly decided to become a potter, so spent the next 4 years at Randwick TAFE and National Art School learning the craft. Had a great 1995 working as a potter but realised that it's very hard to feed 2 kids on a potter's earnings so returned to State Archives for a year working as Disposal Archivist in the days before the Archives Act. Moved to Katoomba in 1997 (had a gas heater so didn't need to chop wood) where I was once again a potter, selling my work through Object in Sydney and having a few solo exhibitions. Also worked as a freelance archivist researching the history of the Parramatta Marist Brothers School for the book A School of Their Own. In 2001 upgraded my computer skills at TAFE and got the job of Assistant Archivist at the Powerhouse Museum where I've been ever since...am still making pots!"
Marguerite (Buddin) Gillezeau MA Macq - "After stretching out the Archives diploma over 1984 and 1986, I continued working at the RAS, and took over the archives of Loreto, Kirribilli and St Aloysius College. The latter had a fascinating collection encouraging my interest in small archives. In October 1987, I took up the position of inaugural archivist at Shore School, where I remained for the next three years. This job presented plenty of challenges and I loved playing with the generous budget, although I was disappointed that they didn't find a replacement for me when I left (maybe I spent too much money?!). I freelanced for a few months before taking up a position as a consultant at the Records Management Office at State Records at the end of 1990. The following year we moved to London, where I became the Records Administrator at the Independent Television Commission in London. Although interesting, by this job I was head of the Records Management department, overseeing staff including the company archivist, and a long way from the hands on work I realised I loved. Ultimately, I took time out to raise our two children who were both born in London, to concentrate on creative writing. We returned to Australia in 2000 after eight and a half wonderful years in London and I've been with Jo Birkl at The History Company ever since, consulting and working on small collections and presently happy being the on-site archivist at The Women's College (Sydney University), Queenwood School and my local job (after London, we were craving the sea breeze) at Palm Beach Surf Club - while simitaneously still trying to find time to write. In an interesting turn of events, when I returned to Australia I discovered that Jo and her company had overseen the design and rehousing of the Shore archives in a beautiful purpose built museum. It seems that frequent visitor to the archives during my time there, ex student, Bob Gowing, who loved nothing better than to waste my time over a cup of tea by regaling me with stories of fellow ex-student, Errol Flynn, thoughtfully left the school a bequest - and no, it wasn't another copy of the school magazine or his old school tie. The wonderful Mr Gowing made the connection between history, preservation and funding and rather usefully left the school a million dollars for the specific purpose of rehousing the archives. I think it's these all too rare episodes that keep me going in this job!" Marguerite (Buddin) Gillezeau, 2006.
Sally Gordon (nee Wilson) BA Newcastle - "On finishing the Archives course in 1986 I was appointed, along with Rhona Clement, to fill a three month position as 'Archives Cadet' at Sydney City Council. At the end of this three month stint I was appointed for a further 12 months as an Archives Officer to fill a maternity leave position. I was very fortunate to receive this position, not only because it meant working with some wonderful people: Janet Howse, Anne Picot, Angela McGing (to name a few), but it also gave me a very good grounding in the practical application of working as an archivist, which was invaluable in my later work as a consultant. With this position coming to an end I started looking around for something else. The ideal position for me of course would have been a job in Newcastle. However, I saw an advertisement for a position as a consultant archivist/records manager in Auckland, New Zealand and applied. Apparently I was the only applicant. The company (I can't even remember the name of it) had been set up by a group of businessmen, and had one staff member, Miranda Welch (a librarian) who managed the operations and seconded staff from New Zealand Archives whenever she could. I was interviewed in St Leonard's by an accountant who somehow had connections with the New Zealand company. He had no idea what I would be doing - and this is how I got the job! Mark resigned from his work in Newcastle and came to New Zealand with me (and within six weeks of arriving in the land of the long white cloud, he got a job with an architectural firm). I had only been in New Zealand for about a month when I learnt that the company was being sold, to Pat Acton (a Canadian, also a librarian) and Alison Fraser, a records manager in Wellington. As luck would have it, they decided to take both Miranda and myself on. The consulting work involved archives work (mainly retention and disposal) and records management work (file classification and keyword indexes) - which I was somewhat new at. Clients included local government, some government departments and big and small companies. I got to see a lot of the North Island (and managed to visit Ken once in Wellington). We returned to Australia in December 1989, after almost two years in New Zealand (and three days after the earthquake hit Newcastle). Back to job hunting, still nothing in Newcastle, I got a job with Barbara Reed in Sydney, still in a consulting capacity. Only lasted for about a month when Mark got a job in Newcastle, and I decided to throw the Sydney job in, move back to Newcastle and concentrate on finding a job, ANY job, in the vicinity of the Hunter. In May 1990 I was offered a position as Records Manager at Port Stephens Council, based at Raymond Terrace. I stayed there until I was on maternity leave with my second child and in February 1996 I started work at the University of Newcastle as Executive Officer for the Deputy Vice-Chancellor. During the course of this position I was seconded to the NSW Vice-Chancellors' Committee as Secretary (for a period of 2.5 years). Since February 2005 I have been the Executive Officer to the Vice-Chancellor at the University of Newcastle. So, I'm no longer working in Archives, or Records Management, but I do have a job in Newcastle and I believe my training in Archives, the research skills, the attention to detail all helped (they told me at Port Stephens that I got the job due to my sense of humour - when asked that horrible question, what is my weakness, I replied 'chocolate' - it still is...)" 18 September 2006
Paul Wilson BA PhD LaTrobe - "After finishing the Archives course, I moved back to Melbourne and worked at BHP Archives for nearly 18 months. In May 1998 I returned to Sydney and the School as the Tutor in the Archives course. I expected to stay there for only a couple of years but as things turned out I stayed at UNSW for 12 years slowly working my way up the ladder. Most of my teaching involved preservation management and special collections management. Teaching preservation triggered an interest to obtain a professional qualification in the field and between August 1992 and May 1993 I was granted leave to study for a post-master's qualification in the preservation of library and archive materials at the University of Texas at Austin. This was a terrific experience but a lot of hard work as I had to cram what was effectively a two-year course into two academic semesters. Later during my time at UNSW I had the pleasure of co-ordinating an online program in Audiovisual Management working with experts from the National Film and Sound Archive in Canberra on content and specialists from within the School on flexible delivery systems. This program is now located at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga. In early 2000 with the looming closure of the School's archives and audiovisual management programs I decided to take redundancy from UNSW. By chance the folks at Texas heard that I was leaving UNSW and offered me a visiting position for two years teaching in their archives and preservation programs. So with my wife Jane McGee - class of 1988 - and 14 month old daughter Anna I packed up and headed off to the US for two years. We had a great time, personally and professionally, and still think of Austin as our second home. We returned to Australia in May 2002 and I worked on contract with Karin at UNSW Archives before taking a job for two years as the Project Archivist at Royal Newcastle Hospital. The "Royal" was being decommissioned after 189 years of continuous operation under one name or another and it was my job to make sure that the archival and movable heritage materials of significance still held at the hospital were documented and transferred to the University of Newcastle Archives and the Newcastle Regional Museum. In February 2005 I completed my contract in Newcastle and we returned to Sydney. Since then I have been at UNSW Archives once again working on a casual basis. So in retrospect I have had 20 very good years working in the profession and I am always thankful that I made the decision to come to Sydney and undertake the archives course in 1986." Paul Wilson 30 September 2006.
Michael Piggott BEc(Hons) Monash DipLib Canberra MArchAdmin UNSW BLett ANU - Michael Piggott is Manager, Cultural Collections Group and University Archivist at the University of Melbourne, Australia, where he has worked since 1998. Previously he worked in Canberra for the National Library of Australia (1972-1978), the Australian War Memorial (1979-1988) and the National Archives of Australia (1989-1998). He did his Masters in Archives Administration at the University of New South Wales in 1986 during a year away from the Australian War Memorial using a Commonwealth Public Service Board scholarship. His other formal qualifications are Bachelor of Economics (Monash), Diploma of Librarianship (University of Canberra), and Bachelor of Letters (Australian National University). He has been active in branch and national positions with the Australian Society of Archivists since its formation in 1975. In the field of archives Michael has written numerous articles and book chapters, presented papers in Australia and overseas, and edited books and conference proceedings. Most recently he wrote for, and helped edit, Archives: Recordkeeping in Society (Charles Sturt University Centre for Information Studies, 2005), published a paper in Archivaria no. 60 (based on a paper presented to the first I-CHORA conference in 2003), and wrote a review article in archives and history for the May 2007 issue of Archives and Manuscripts. His interests include appraisal, archival education and archival history. Material available online includes: 1. Michael's 1986 masters thesis The Visit of Dr. T.R. Schellenberg to Australia 1954; and Sue McKemmish and Michael Piggott (eds), The Records Continuum - Ian Maclean and Australian Archives first fifty years, Ancora Press in association with Australian Archives, Canberra, 1994.
Lecturers / Tutors
Graduation & Dinner 7 May 1987
|Widya, Paul, Pat and Ian||Peter, Sally, Rhona, Paul and Louise|
|Karin, Kimberly, Sally, Peter, Michael, Ian and Marguerite, 7 May 1987|
A reunion of the Class of 1986 was held on Saturday, 2 September 2006 at Diethnes Greek Restaurant, Sydney, the site of the original class dinner held back in 1987. Being the first such reunion, it was a terrific evening and great to see so many familiar faces. Needless to say there was a lot of talk and catching up on the night, and many of us left with the desire to maintain contact and meet on some further occassion to share our experiences and reminisce about the significance of the Archives Administration course of 1986. In attendance on the night were: Karin Brennan, Jill Chapman, Rhona Clement, Anne Cooke, Sally Gordon, Sigrid MacCausland, Michael Organ, Kimberly O'Sullivan Steward, Widya Paul, Ann Pedersen, Michael Piggott, Ken Scadden, Ian Smith, Louise Trott, Paul Wilson and Paul Wood along with various partners and friends. The following photos were taken by Paul and Michael.
The evening was such a success that it was agreed we would do it again in the future, so stay tuned, and thanks to everyone, especially to Paul Wilson for organising the 20th anniversary reunion.
See ya next time! :-)