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Memento : Issue 30
Each year, the National Archives offers the Ian Maclean Award to provide an individual with a paid opportunity to conduct research that will benefit the archival profession in Australia. The award is named after Ian Maclean (1919–2003) who worked passionately for the archival profession for 50 years, starting as the Commonwealth Archives Officer in October 1944. He received an Order of Australia for his work in 1996. The first recipient of the Ian Maclean Award in 2004 was Bruce Smith, an active and well-known business archivist. The award enabled Mr Smith to undertake valuable research into Australian business records, an area that he says is ‘under-documented in an historical sense and under-represented in archives’. Mr Smith used the award to identify relevant holdings of the various collecting institutions around the country and to add new entries to the online Guide to Australian Business Records. In addition to enhancing the content of the online guide, he also redesigned the website which can be viewed at www.gabr.net.au . The 2005 Ian Maclean Award winner is Dr Nikki Henningham. She will use her award to locate records relating to migrant women’s experiences in Australia and to augment the existing holdings of official archival repositories. ‘Cultural diversity is a central feature of the modern Australian nation, but the papers of migrant women and their organisations are still under-represented in existing archival databases,’ says Dr Henningham. As very few records relating to migrant women have been deposited in official archival repositories, the project will entail considerable detective work. While women have had very active roles in public life, quite often this work has taken place through professional and private networks and is not always captured in official archival repositories. ‘Very often, if records do exist, they are embedded within the records of their husbands or other male family members,’ says Dr Henningham. ‘The valuable records of many Australian women remain in private hands, in many cases, gathering dust in back offices, sheds or under beds.’ Dr Henningham’s experience as a research fellow, historian, and Executive Officer of the Australian Women’s Archive Project will assist her to locate this material and coordinate an accessible online register. The results of Dr Henningham’s research will be published on the National Archives’ website (www.naa.gov.au) and the Australian Women’s Archives Project website (www.womenaustralia.info) which links researchers to information about women held in archival collections around Australia. She will also present a public lecture about her findings. For more information about the Ian Maclean Award, please see the online brochure on the Archives’ website (www. naa.gov.au), or contact Derina McLaughlin at firstname.lastname@example.org or on (02) 6212 3986. Applications for the 2006 Ian Maclean Award close 10 March 2006. An archivist’s legacy Dr Nikki Henningham, winner of the 2005 Ian Maclean Award. This hair-raising incident is contained in one of several security reports about Prime Minister McMahon’s family between 1971 and 1973. The security report on the ‘kidnapping’ of Sonia McMahon and the discriminatory Department of Trade minute have been digitised and are available for viewing on our website at www.naa.gov.au . To see the documents simply click on RecordSearch, and key in (respectively) A1209, 1971/9346 or A3120, 106/1/6 next to ‘Reference number’ and then click on ‘View digitised copy’. Spring–Summer 2005 memeNto 7 excerpt from minute paper on women trade commissioners: (v) A man normally has his household run efficiently by his wife, who also looks after much of the entertaining. A woman Trade Commissioner would have all this on top of her normal work; (viii) A spinster lady can, and very often does, turn into something of a battleaxe with the passing years. A man usually mellows. (above left) NAA: A3120, 106/1/6; NAA: A1209, 1971/9346 (below left) Lady Sonia McMahon standing next to our June ‘Find of the Month’ display which features the security report on her kidnapping in 1971. Two gems from our collection