Canberra, as our nation’s capital, has many attractions for the tourists but one which is perhaps not as well known as the others is the National Archives. . . . “We are the nation’s memory – a living collection of government records illuminating our history and identity.”
It is an unprepossessing building which in its former life housed government offices and was a post office. You can read its history on the red sign shown in the photo.
The Archives building is hidden away to the back and left of old Parliament House. It is in the Parliamentary triangle so is within easy access of the Parliament buildings, the Art Gallery, the Portrait Gallery, the High Court and Questacon – Science and Technology Centre. . . . . . .all worth a visit.
It had been a while since we had last been there so decided to pay a visit. There was an excellent exhibition on the life of Gough Whitlam, one of our previous prime ministers. The archives has much to commend it and I suggest you take a quick look at the National Archives of Australia website to get some idea of what to expect if you decide to visit.
I have used the online facility to research my family’s arrival in Australia. You can get copies of documents and can make use of the reading room. My younger daughter was able to get copies of the Defence service record of her grandpa who served on the Kokoda Track in World War 2.
On a recent visit to Canberra that is exactly what we did. There was a particular part of the gallery devoted to an exhibition of Women in Focus.
This Gallery requires you to really take your time as the accompanying captions to the portraits provide so much information which furthers understanding of the particular portrait. John Brack is one of my favourite artists so I was pleased to find portraits by him, one being in the Women in Focus exhibition.
The Portrait Gallery displays portraits in a variety of mediums and photography has become more prevalent in recent times.
Lee Lin Chin
After viewing Women in Focus the remainder of our time was spent in the rest of the gallery.
Various sporting identities were included with one prominent rugby union player displayed.
It has been a few years since I last visited the Portrait Gallery and it was an enjoyable visit. Like all galleries only a fraction of the collection is on display at any time and it was with this thought that I bought this book.Now I can dip into the book and imagine I am at the Gallery. Each portrait is accompanied by the information relating to both the artist and the sitter. A potted look at Australia’s history and culture.