The Catholic Diocesan Archivists of Australia held its annual assembly in Perth on Tuesday 6 July, drawing over 29 delegates (online and in person) who spent the day discussing a range of topics including information governance, records management technology and new ways of serving the Church in the digital age.
The theme for the assembly was ‘Walking together in Service with our Community’.
A milestone of the day was the session which showcased the Archdiocese of Perth’s new Information Management Strategy called ‘Serving the Church in the Digital Age.’
The Catholic Diocesan Archivists of Australia (CDAA) is a sub-committee of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, established to foster fellowship and professional development among the Catholic diocesan archivists of Australia.
With more than 15 speakers presenting throughout the day, archivists were given the opportunity to reflect upon various topics, beginning with Pope St Paul VI’s address to ecclesiastical archivists over the 8-hour meeting, hosted by the Archdiocese’s Office of the Archbishop, the Archives Advisory Group and the Archives Office.
Keynote speaker Director State Records of WA and State Archivist Damian Shepherd spoke about the ways which the State Records Office has been working with a range of agencies to support digital transformation of government services.
He discussed a rare alignment of technological change, that challenges its’ users to trust in government, and the adoption of more flexible approaches to working which provides an opportunity to realise the value of the archive information assets.
The Archdiocese of Perth also shared its’ focus on a new vision and mission statement for the Archives Office, and the new information management strategy, policies, and records management system which are also a key platform of the Archdiocesan Transition Programme.
Office of the Archbishop Executive Director Daniel Lynch, in his opening address, reflected on the theme of the meeting, and what this means to the Archdiocese of Perth.
“As the Church in Australia looks to the future through the Plenary Council, we in Perth Archdiocese have also begun to look to the future. One way in which we are preparing for the future is through the Archdiocesan Transition Program, Mr Lynch said.
“The Program aims to re-orient the Archdiocese toward a service delivery model which ensures we are providing an engaging and effective service to our community.
“The Archdiocese of Perth’s ‘Serving the Church in the Digital Age’ is a key platform and practical step forward for our organisation which supports the Transition Program.
“The Church must seek to embrace new governance measures and technologies to ensure it has the best capabilities to share the message of Christ today and in the future,” he added.
Archdiocese Archivist and Director Odhran O’Brien said the meeting identified many opportunities and challenges for the Church across Australia as it seeks to adapt to new ways of doing things.
“Our parishes and agencies now create large volumes of digital information which needs to be managed and this is a particular challenge for regional dioceses,” Mr O’Brien said.
“The key message that came out of the meeting was that if we are going to respond to these challenges effectively as a national community then collaboration is more crucial than ever.”