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Establishment and functions

The National Archives of Australia Advisory Council (the Advisory Council) is established under subsection 10(1) of the Archives Act 1983. The main purpose of the council is to provide advice to the minister responsible for the National Archives of Australia and the Director-General on matters that relate to the National Archives.

Under section 11 of the Archives Act, the council is an advisory body with the following functions:

(1) The Council shall furnish advice to the Minister and the Director-General with respect to matters to which the functions of the Archives relate.

(2) The Minister or the Director-General may refer any matter of the kind referred to in subsection (1) (above) to the Council for advice and the Council may, if it thinks fit, consider and advise the Minister or the Director-General on a matter of that kind of its own motion.

Council membership

The Archives Act provides for an advisory council consisting of:

  • one senator chosen by the Senate
  • one member of the House of Representatives chosen by the House
  • 11 other members appointed by the minister.

Members serve for terms not exceeding three years, and may serve an additional term. During 2019–20, the council comprised:

  • Dr Denver Beanland AM (Chair)
  • Ms Jade Balfour
  • Professor (Emeritus) Peter Boyce AO
  • Mr Adam Creighton
  • Ms Suzanne Hampel OAM
  • Ms Anne Henderson AM
  • Dr Rosemary Laing
  • Dr Phil Robertson FTSE
  • Professor (Emeritus) Sally Walker AM
  • Professor John Williams.

Parliamentary representation

  • The Hon Kevin Andrews MP
  • Senator the Hon Kim Carr.

Summary of activities

The council met twice in 2019–20, in November 2019 and February 2020. The June 2020 meeting of the council was cancelled due to border restrictions imposed as a result of COVID-19.