Language(s) of presentations:
This paper provides a historical overview of the efforts of the Australian Society of Archivists (ASA) in supporting and extending archival education in Australia. It considers the experience of providing both continuing professional development for ASA members and awareness education on archives for members of the public. The ASA has relied largely on its own members to deliver its programs, with occasional partnerships with universities and other professional associations. Today it is attempting to deliver integrated programs based on its publications to a national and international audience.
The audience for this paper includes archivists with an interest in education and participants following the development theme of the conference. The paper discusses experience in Australia but does so within an international context.
Overall purpose and significance of session:
The purpose of this session is to discuss the challenges that face a professional association in providing archival education. Some of the challenges relate to the resources available to a voluntary professional organisation. Others relate to the dual responsibilities of serving the professional development needs of members and providing education about archives to the wider national community.
Founded in 1975, the Australian Society of Archivists (ASA) has always had education as one of its objectives. This paper traces the ASA's education efforts from localised activities in the late 1970s. It considers later developments including a grant-funded program of introductory workshops in the late 1980s and the impact of collaborative activities with archival programs based in universities. Recently the ASA has turned to refining its planning processes and prioritising education through the appointment of an Education Officer. In 2008 the ASA is rolling out workshops for both its professional members and community organisations responsible for their own archives. These programs, based around ASA publications Keeping Archives and Describing Archives in Context, are more ambitious than previous efforts but still largely rely on a voluntary model for their success. Among its current goals, the ASA is committed to continuing its international educational collaboration with PARBICA.