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Memento : Issue 20
may 2002 memento On the odd occasion, our visitors and researchers stumble over records about their relatives, or even themselves, by complete accident. Jillian Salz was visiting our Treasures Gallery in Canberra when she was struck by a photograph depicting a woman in her 1950s loungeroom. The woman in the photo was her mother. The picture was taken by her father, John Tanner, a photographer for 30 years with the Australian News and Information Bureau (later called the Australian Overseas Information Service). The photo of her mother and their new TV brought back memories of their house in Chatswood, Sydney. 'It was the first TV in the street, so people came over to watch it', Jillian told us. The vast photographic archive of the Australian Overseas Information Service, which we hold in our collection, covers a huge range of topics, as the bureau's task was to promote Australia overseas. John Tanner, who was head photographer of the Sydney office for many years until his retirement in 1982, used his family in many of his photo shoots. More surprises were in store for Jillian and her sister Julie as they browsed through the display copies of colour images taken by the bureau. There they discovered more photos by their father, some featuring themselves as young children. John Tanner himself appears on our website on the first page of PhotoSearch, the entry to our photographic database where many of the bureau's images can be found. IN THE ARCHIVES A photo of Jillian Salz's mother in her loungeroom, Chatswood, Sydney. John Tanner (back row, on the right), photographer for the Australian Overseas Information Service for 30 years. One of the stories we like to hear is of people who have found their families amongst the thousands of documents, photos and other material in our collection. 'We are thrilled that all the negatives are here', Jillian said. 'Dad would be proud that people all over the world have access to them.' From Jillian's account of her father's work, it was often a glamorous and exciting job that took him all over Australia and overseas. Among the highlights were accompanying the former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam on a trip to South America, photographing the Beatles, the Queen and the first astronauts to walk on the moon, and meeting Hollywood stars like Hopalong Cassidy while taking stills for Film Australia. 'It was a great job, he really adored it -- it was a great time', Jillian reminisced. If any of our readers have stories about the private life behind public photographs or records in the Archives, we'd love to hear from you. NAA: A1200, L29739 Discovering yourself 17 NAA :A1 200 ,A1 040 0 Jillian Salz in our Treasures Gallery.