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Australian Sesquicentennial Gift Trust Function

Australian Sesquicentennial Gift Trust for Awards in Oral History

Oral history in New Zealand has flourished over the last decade due largely to a million dollar gift from the Australian Government to mark the sesquicentennial of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.

The Australian Sesquicentennial Gift Trust for Awards in Oral History was established in February 1990 to record the oral history of New Zealand and its connections with the South Pacific.

A function to mark the extraordinary success of the initiative will be hosted by the Historical Branch of the Department of Internal Affairs and the Alexander Turnbull Library at 5.30pm on Wednesday February 2 on the first floor, National Library building, Molesworth Street, Wellington.

The function will be attended by the Deputy High Commissioner of Australia, His Excellency Ian Lincoln, the Acting General Manager of the Internal Affairs Heritage Branch, Jock Phillips, Chief Librarian, Alexander Turnbull Library and chair of the Australian Sesquicentennial Gift Trust, Judith Binney.

The Oral History Centre will be mounting a display reflecting a range of project over the last decade in the first floor foyer of the National Library building.

The million dollar gift was invested and each year since 1991 the trust board has distributed some of the interest as Awards in Oral History. To date, 169 projects have received assistance amounting to approximately $730,000.

The interviews have been recorded for a variety of reasons, including providing material for museum exhibitions, documenting local history, recording past ways of life, and uncovering the experiences of immigrants to this country. Particularly important have been those which reflect the life experiences of groups in society which have been overlooked in the written record.

One of the terms of the Awards is that the original recordings must be deposited at the Alexander Turnbull Library

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