INQURY INTO STATE RECORDS ACT- SITE VISIT

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Today the Social Issues Committee inspected the Museum of Sydney, NSW State Archives at Kingswood and Elizabeth Farm at Parramatta as part of our inquiry into the state archives act and the proposal to merge the Sydney Living Museums and State Archives. Very illuminating site visits. 

Please read below for some history of the sites visited by the Social Issues Committee. 

Museum of Sydney

A modern museum built over and around the remains of Australia’s first Government House, the Museum of Sydney celebrates the people and events that have shaped the character and soul of this city. In 1788 Governor Phillip chose this site for his official residence. It quickly became the centre of the colony’s administrative and social life, and an important focus of first contact between the Gadigal people and the colonisers. The next eight governors also lived here, and as banquets and balls, the business of government and family home merged, the public and private lives of the colony’s leading citizens played out. Today, through a diverse and changing program of exhibitions and events, the Museum of Sydney explores the stories of this city from its origins to today, while the remains of the original building can be glimpsed through glass openings in the museum forecourt and foyer.

Western Sydney Records Centre

The State Archives and Records Authority of New South Wales (NSW State Archives and Records) is one of Australia’s pre-eminent Archives and Records Authorities with a vast collection of historical records and archives dating back to the European settlement of Australia in 1788. With responsibilities for the development, preservation and access for the State’s archives, NSW State Archives and Records is also responsible for managing and storing over 650 kilometres of semi-permanent Government records for NSW public sector offices.

Elizabeth Farm

This restful homestead hides a dark and stormy past. Built for the young military couple John and Elizabeth Macarthur and their growing family, Elizabeth Farm has witnessed major events in the growth of the colony, from the toppling of governors and convict rebellion to the birth of the Australian wool industry. As the original cottage was transformed into a fine colonial bungalow, the family’s life was equally gripped with turmoil and drama. Today, set within a re-created 1830s garden, Elizabeth Farm is an ‘access all areas’ museum. There are no barriers, locked doors or delicate furnishings. Australia’s oldest homestead is now our most immersive ‘living’ house museum. 

For further information on the Social Issues Committee inquiry into the State Records Act 1998 and Policy Paper on its Review please visit the Committees website