About us

The Australasian Digital Recordkeeping Initiative (ADRI) is an undertaking of the Council of Australasian Archives and Records Authorities, the peak body of government archives and records institutions in Australia and New Zealand.

On 26 May 2004 Dr Peter Shergold AM, Secretary, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet launched the Australasian Digital Recordkeeping Initiative. He was speaking at the 'The Business e-Volution of Government' conference hosted by the Institute of Public Administration Australia (IPAA) ACT Division and the Australian Government Information Management Office. Read Dr Shergold's paper, Digital Amnesia: The Danger in Forgetting the Future, on the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet website.

ADRI was formed to articulate and promote a common approach to digital recordkeeping and to collaborate, engage and inform, and share resources in the development of practical strategies for enabling the creation and preservation of, and long-term access to, born-digital and digitised records.

The public records institutions of Australia and New Zealand face similar, if not identical, challenges in the digital era:

  • How can they best support government agencies to make and manage full and accurate digital records of their decisions and activities?
  • How can they ensure that digital records are preserved (either in or out of archival custody) in an authentic, reliable and useable form for as long as they are required by government and the people?
  • How can digital records best be made available for use after they have been preserved?

The primary objective of ADRI is to pool resources and expertise to find better ways to ensure that digital records are preserved and made accessible for the future. Every one of the national, state and territory public records institutions in Australia and New Zealand have joined together to form this Initiative. They have agreed to collaborate on the development, articulation and implementation of a common set of strategies for enabling the making, keeping and using of the digital records of governments.

The scope of work that ADRI will undertake covers the range of activities that can broadly be identified as:

  • Making and managing digital records
  • Keeping digital records in agencies and in archives and records authorities
  • Transferring digital records to archives and records authorities
  • Using digital records and archives

The existence of ADRI is not meant to override the ability of individual jurisdictions to set their own strategic priorities and jurisdiction-specific policies and strategies, providing such policies and strategies are consistent with the overarching ADRI Framework.

The Initiative promotes a single Australasian approach to digital public recordkeeping across all jurisdictions and provides a space for communication and information sharing between the members. The collaboration ensures the best possible strategic use of limited collective resources and maximises the wider awareness and impact of the agreed approach to addressing the challenge of digital records.

The collaboration builds on and acknowledges many years of Australasian collaboration in the development of concepts, tools, standards and strategies for good recordkeeping. The Initiative's approach will add value to existing jurisdiction-specific initiatives.

Photograph of the members of ADRI

Representatives of ADRI member institutions in Canberra for the first plenary meeting of ADRI, 8 March 2004.

Front row (L to R): Simon Davis (NAA), Janet Prowse (Queensland State Archives), Ross Gibbs (NAA), Andrew Wilson (NAA), Stephen Ellis (NAA), Justine Heazlewood (Public Record Office Victoria).

Back row: Tony Caravella (WA State Records), Michael Allen (State Records NSW), Janet Benson (Qld), Matthew Hockey (Archives New Zealand), Richard Gore (State Records NSW), Steve Stuckey (NAA), Karen Horsfall (State Records South Australia), David Wardle (ACT Territory Records Office), Bill Taylor (Archives Office of Tasmania), Adrian Cunningham (NAA).