In a first for Australia, the International Council on Archives (ICA) based in Paris, last night elected the head of the National Archives of Australia as its next president, the highest post in the ICA.
David Fricker, Director-General of the National Archives, will take up the four-year position in October, when the current president, Martin Berendse from the National Archives of the Netherlands, vacates the role.
Mr Fricker has been with the National Archives since January 2012. Prior to this he held a senior executive role in ASIO and, throughout his career, has worked for government and corporate organisations as well as running his own consultancy company.
He sees his varied career posts as linking and strengthening his commitment to archival records and to the potential of information to improve every aspect of society. He describes archivists as 'the stewards of records of humanity'.
'I feel very privileged to have been appointed as president-elect of the ICA,' he said. 'It is recognition of the key role Australia plays in the international archival community and, in particular, our partnerships with Asian archival institutions.
'In this digital world, it is vital that archival organisations work collaboratively on a world-wide basis to face the challenges posed in preserving electronic records and making them available in a form that fuels the new digital economy. In recent years the ICA has transformed itself into a stronger, more focused and inclusive organisation and is poised to become even more influential across all spheres of industry, academia and government.'
The Hon Dr John Bannon AO, FASSA, Chairman of the Advisory Council of the National Archives of Australia, has congratulated Mr Fricker on the appointment.
'While this is an honour for the National Archives of Australia and a tribute to its international reputation, it also recognises the high regard in which David Fricker is held by our archival partners and their acknowledgement of his efforts to strengthen those partnerships,' said Dr Bannon.
David Fricker has been on the executive board of the ICA since 2012. He is also currently serving as president of the Forum of National Archivists (FAN). The forum meets within the framework of the ICA conference and develops high-level strategic responses to the contemporary challenges of managing archives.