UNESCO listing for AusStage

30 March 2021

AusStage, the world-leading digital humanities platform preserving and showcasing the history of Australian live performance, has been welcomed to the prestigious UNESCO Memory of the World register.

The UNESCO Australian Memory of the World program honours documentary heritage of significance in Australia and around the world, and advocates for its preservation.

UQ has been a partner of AusStage from the beginning (20 years ago), and Professor Joanne Tompkins (founding member) and Dr Bernadette Cochrane from the School of Communication and Arts are to be congratulated for their involvement.

Hosted by Flinders University and receiving seven major ARC Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LIEF) scheme grantsAusStage features researchers from 14 Australian universities, and has domestic and international partners including Australian Dance Theatre, Performing Arts Heritage Network, Australia Council for the Arts, Victoria and Albert Museum, University of Oslo, Norway and The Hang Seng University of Hong Kong.

AusStage is now a model being replicated around the world – including the Victoria & Albert Museum-led UKStage and IbsenStage (University of Oslo). 

Flinders chief investigator, AusStage co-founder E/Prof Julie Holledge, said the recognition by UNESCO is “a crucial reminder of the importance of such artistic activity, showing the interconnected networks of people, places and organisations over the entire history of Australia’s written documentation, including evidence of Indigenous historical performance sites before the First Fleet’s arrival in 1788."

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