by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Memento : Issue 17
May 2001 Number 17 In 1902 Australia's first Prime Minister, Sir Edmund Barton, received a report from Frank Bladen, Librarian of the Public Library of NSW, exhorting him to establish a Commonwealth archives office to ensure that records relating to Federation were preserved for the future. His wish came true, and the National Archives holds some of the most significant Federation documents. Long held in vaults, these precious documents are now available for all to see in a remarkable exhibition called Charters of Our Nation. The exhibition was officially launched in our new Federation Gallery in January by Prime Minister John Howard. In her opening speech at the launch, Acting Director-General Anne-Marie Schwirtlich described the records as 'the essence and evidence of why and how we are the community we are'. The exhibition is the result of a joint Federation project between the Archives and the National Council continued on p. 2 into a project to give all Australians an opport- unity to view the key documents that under- pin our political system. Among the docu- ments that are now on display in the Federation Gallery are the four found- ing documents: Queen Vic toria's Royal Commiss- ion of Assent, the Common- wealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900, the Letters Patent Constituting the Office of Governor- General 1900, and the Proclamation of Inauguration Day 1900. In addition, three charters that highlight national milestones -- the Statute of Westminster Adoption Act 1942, the Constitution Alteration (Aboriginal) 1967 and the Australia Act 1986 -- are on display. In launching the exhibition, the Prime Minister spoke about the documents as signposts and expressions of change in Australian history since Federation. Archives shares its treasures! Archives shares its treasures! The Prime Minister inspects one of the treasured documents displayed inside the Federation Gallery, with his wife Janette (right) and Kylie Scroope from the Archives (left). for the Centenary of Federation. Archbishop Peter Hollingworth, Chair of the National Council, talked about how the joint project began as an exercise to conserve the nation's birth certificate -- the Royal Commission of Assent. It developed