Australasian Digital Recordkeeping Initiative

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

ADRI Is a Working Group of CAARA. The ADRI Convenor is appointed by CAARA. The current ADRI Convenor is Justine Heazlewood, Director and Keeper of Public Records, Public Record Office Victoria.

Justine Heazlewood

Justine Heazlewood, Current Convenor of ADRI

ADRI’s Objective

ADRI was formed to articulate and promote a common approach to digital record keeping across all governments in Australia and New Zealand.  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.

CAARA ensures that ADRI outcomes meet the needs and expectations of all ADRI member institutions and that ADRI objectives are met. As ADRI work is completed, it is put up to CAARA for approval.

About ADRI

Project Teams

ADRI members regularly meet to propose new work items, agree on which member institution will take the lead (or sponsor) each particular project and to form project teams.  The sponsoring institution takes responsibility for ensuring that the project mandate is carried out. The teams may be made up of representatives from single institutions or from a range of ADRI member institutions.

Each team will have one project manager (from the sponsoring institution) who will have day-to-day authority over the project.  The project manager ensures eh project is delivered to the agreed level of quality, within time-frames and budgets (as determined by ADRI).  The project manager will be responsible for holding project meetings and reporting back to the wider ADRI group. 

Project teams may consist of one person.

The History of ADRI

On 26 may 2004, Dr Peter Shergold AM, Secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, launched the Australasian Digital Recordkeeping Initiative. He was speaking at 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’, here.

The existence of ADRI is not mean 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.

ADRI 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.  ADRI’s approach will add value to existing jurisdiction-specific initiatives.

Representatives of ADRI member institutions for the first plenary meeting
Canberra, 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).

Current Work Items

ADRI collaborate in the development of practical strategies to enable the creation, preservation and access to born-digital and digitised records.  A number of projects are currently underway, including:

  • Machine learning applications for Archives, and
  • Recordkeeping metadata property reference set