Preserve, Strengthen and Renew aims to return material held in the AIATSIS archive, record new material with community members and to help establish protocols for keeping cultural material safe. This project aims to ensure that Indigenous communities are able to access relevant cultural material held in collections and to determine their own processes for knowledge production, documentation, and preservation.
In 2016-2018, AIATSIS ran a research pilot with three partners in Western Australia — the Karajarri and Kiwirrkurra peoples (with support from Central Desert Native Title Services, Desert Support Services and the Kimberley Land Council) and the Wangka Maya Pilbara Aboriginal Language Centre. The pilot project culminated in a two-day workshop bringing project partners together with practitioners interested in the management of cultural material. All reports associated with the project have been linked below. The final project report, which summarises key lessons and findings, is now in the final stages of preparation.
Following the completion of the pilot, some preliminary engagements have been made with Aboriginal communities on the south coast of New South Wales. Work is currently being undertaken to preserve an old community resource, with preparations for return of material to community.