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Australian Paralympic History Project
The Australian Paralympic Committee is undertaking a range of activities to collect, manage and preserve the history of the Paralympic movement in Australia and to ensure its accessibility to future generations.
Wherever possible, the APC plans to provide access to the elements of the Paralympic history project outlined here through its website to maximise their accessibility to the widest possible audience.
The Paralympic historic project has the following elements:
1.1 APC holdings
The APC has an extensive collection of more than 10,000 photographs and more than 1,100 video items, which span the period from the creation of the APC in 1990 to the present.
The APC has entered into a formal agreement with the National Sports Information Centre (NSIC), which is part of the Australian Sports Commission, and based at the AIS in Canberra, under which the NSIC is evaluating, cataloguing, labelling and managing the APC’s audio-visual collection. Through the NSIC, the collection is being preserved and made accessible to researchers, coaches and the general public.
1.2 Historical photos and clippings
The APC is beginning to receive donations and loans of photos and newspaper clippings relating to the history of the Paralympic movement in Australia. These are forwarded to the NSIC, which scans these historical photos and newspaper clippings to ensure that permanent, high quality copies are stored. Where such items were loaned to the APC, they are then returned to the owners.
1.3 Historical film and other video
The APC is aware of the existence of footage on film and other media, from Games prior to 1990, and is keen to ensure the preservation of this important historical Paralympic sport footage.
To this end, the APC has initiated discussions with the National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA). The NFSA, a Division of the Australian Film Commission (AFC), is the national audiovisual archive of Australia. The NFSA plays a key role in documenting and interpreting the Australian experience. It aims to develop a collection of audiovisual and related materials of enduring cultural significance.
2. Oral history
The APC has entered into a formal agreement with the National Library of Australia (NLA) for the NLA to collect the oral histories of people who have played a significant role in the development of Paralympic sport in Australia. These interviews are part of the NLA’s ongoing oral history project. In accord with its national heritage responsibilities, the NLA produces, collects and preserves recorded interviews and other forms of oral history to meet the documentation, research, publication and exhibition needs of the Australian research community.
By July 2011, 23 interviews will be conducted, including interviews with all the eight surviving Paralympians from the first Games in Rome in 1960. (Interviews with six of the eight were conducted in 2010).
The NLA has set up a page on its website for the Paralympic interviews and the first of these are on the site. Click here to hear the interviews
The project will be reviewed after the initial round of interviews, with the intention to conduct further interviews until a comprehensive overview of the story of the Paralympic movement in Australia is achieved.
3. Video interviews
The APC’s communications team has started the process of recording short historical video interviews. This project commenced with the Rome Paralympians and will include interviews with all of those interviewed for the oral history project, to complement the oral history interviews. They will be used on the APC website, in the APC Paralympic Education Program and in other ways. For example, interviews with the Rome Paralympians were used in a video tribute to the first Games, which has since been used in a number of Australian and international forums and is posted on the APC’s YouTube site. Click here to view the video
4. Written history
The APC has called for expressions of interest to write the history of the Paralympic movement in Australia, drawing on and completing work that was initiated in the late 1990s.
Once written, this history will be published in an appropriate format and regularly updated.
5. Paralympic Hall of Fame
In 2011 the APC will launch the Australian Paralympic Hall of Fame and induct the inaugural athlete and associate members. Further inductions will be made in 2012 and thereafter.
Over coming years, the APC will investigate options for a physical home for the Australian Paralympic Hall of Fame.
Australian Paralympic Hall of Fame nominations are now open. Click here for more information about the Australian Paralympic Hall of Fame and how to nominate. Nominations close 25 March, 2011.
6. Equipment, uniforms and memorabilia
The APC is conducting discussions with relevant museums and historical organisations for the collection, management and preservation of Paralympic equipment, uniforms and memorabilia.
The Powerhouse Museum holds a comprehensive collection of items associated with the 2000 Sydney Paralympic Games. The National Sports Museum holds a small collection of donated items.
The APC is developing a collections policy and is looking at innovative ways to preserve and display Paralympic items of historical value, while respecting the wishes of the owners.
7. Reunions and alumni
In 2010 the APC invited all eight surviving 1960 Rome Paralympians to be its guests at the Paralympian of the Year dinner in Sydney on 18 October, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first Paralympic Games. The day after the dinner, the APC hosted an informal lunch for the 1960 Paralympians. Seven members of the 1960 Team and their partners were able to attend.
The APC is developing a strategy to conduct regular reunions for Paralympic Team members and to create an active alumni program for past Team members.
For more information on the Australian Paralympic History Project, please contact Tony Naar, General Manager, Knowledge Services, on +61 (0)2 9704 0510 or firstname.lastname@example.org