Siiri Iismaa on behalf of AESL at opening of archives new premises
The AESL (Austraalia Eesti Seltside Liit or Council of Estonian Societies in Australia Inc) held a meeting a few years ago at which one of the discussion points was the future of the Estonian Archives in Australia.
Many emphasised how important the archives are to maintaining a memory of Australian-Estonian culture – documenting key events in our history, preserving key documents, as well as remembering people and former organisations involved in major projects. At the Annual General Meeting of the AESL it was agreed that the Archives are a very valuable and essential asset for the Estonian diaspora in Australia.
As the custodians of the Archives, AESL is pleased to see that the location of the Archives was a major consideration in planning the renovation of the Estonian House in Sydney. Looking at the new home of the Archives, we can see the wonderful work that has eventuated. We thank the architects (Giles Parker and Aldo Raadik), the Sydney Estonian House Co-Operative chaired by Graeme Reinthal, and especially we thank Hillar Ranniko, who has devoted so much time and energy to make sure that the vision became a reality.
We would also like to thank the Estonian Cultural Foundation in Australi(ECFA) for their generous support, without which, none of this would have been possible.
We also pay tribute to Maie Barrow, former archivists and the team of volunteers. Maie has been our Head Archivist for 28 years now. We are currently looking for someone to take over this responsibility as Maie is looking to reduce her workload. So if you know of anyone, please ask them to contact Maie.
On behalf of AESL, thank you and congratulations to all involved.