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Memento : Issue 24
This famous rock and roll program became a platform from which Australian musical talents like Dig Richards and Digger Revel further promoted their careers within the rock music industry. Sadly, only half a dozen episodes are known to have survived. Two of these are held in the National Archives, where our audiovisual preservation staff have been working to prolong the life of the fragile film we hold in our collection from various Commonwealth govern- ment agencies. This has involved a fair amount of 'rock 'n roll' of a technical nature. In the film sound business, 'rock and roll' refers to the way that various sound components are repeatedly run back and forth on their reels as the sound mix is perfected. Part of the preservation of the Six O'Clock Rock episodes has involved this type of work. Over the past two years, hundreds of films, video and sound recordings have been examined, cleaned, restored and copied by our preservation team. Other programs being treated include the film recording of the first night of ABC television, broadcast on 5 November 1956; and a much-loved ABC series, Seven Little Australians, first broadcast in August 1973. But it is not only precious ABC master materials that deserve our preservation attention. In our vast collection we hold thousands of films and tapes from all kinds of Commonwealth agencies. Celluloid treasures from Film Australia and its predecessors include Australian Colour Diary newsreels once shown in cinemas throughout Australia, ethnographic films such as Walkabout shot in central Australia in the 1940s, and a film on painter Albert Namatjira. Our preservation work does more than halt the deterioration of rare material, it also allows Australians of all ages to feast their eyes and ears on the nation's audiovisual past. At this year's Sydney International Film Festival, film lovers were treated to special screenings of early films by Australian directors Jane Campion, Gillian Armstrong, Phil Noyce and others. The films were made during their student years at the Australian Film, Radio and Television School. The prints were made from the master materials preserved in our low temperature film vault. And television viewers can look forward to a major documentary due for international screening next year called The Colour of War -- The Anzacs. The third in a series, it documents the experiences of Australians and New Zealanders from the Second World War to the Vietnam War. It includes rare colour footage. We have been helping the filmmakers to access the largely untapped film by the Department of Defence, and sound recordings from other agencies in our collection. This vital preservation work by our audiovisual experts has been made possible by special preservation funding from the Australian government. Renewed funding is allowing our work to continue, ensuring the long-term survival of these and many other film, video and sound recordings. Johnny O'Keefe with Dig Richards and Johnny Devlin. NAA: SP1011, item 3597  September 2003 MEMENTO 5 'Well, come on everybody it's six o'clock, uh huh' is bound to ring a bell with today's baby boomers. From 1958 to 1962, it was Johnny O'Keefe's opening line on the popular ABC television show Six O'Clock Rock. JOK rocks and rolls