House debates

Thursday, 9 March 2023

Constituency Statements

National Library of Australia: Trove

10:41 am

Photo of Rebekha SharkieRebekha Sharkie (Mayo, Centre Alliance) Share this | | Hansard source

In the past three months, many constituents have written to me expressing their deep concerns about losing access to Trove. These constituents have provided me with examples of how they utilise Trove for the resources and research and, in some cases, to produce historical content for their local community. I thought I'd share some of these important stories so we all have a really good understanding of how important Trove is and the impact it could possibly have if the funding is cut.

These groups maintain local history archives used through Trove, including the Macclesfield History Group, who use Trove to maintain their history website; the Port Milang Historic Railway Museum, who locate and preserve relics from our past; and the Victor Harbor local history group, who host tutorials for local residents regarding the use of Trove to research their own family histories.

One constituent from Coromandel Valley, who was previously involved with the South Australian education department, conveyed to me how Trove has allowed him to keep his brain stimulated through retirement and facilitate access to library archives for schoolchildren in their homes. Another constituent from Strathalbyn used Trove to trace her family history from their arrival in South Australia in 1839, just three years after the establishment of the South Australian colony. Trove enabled her to investigate various family members' involvement in the Vietnam War of which she was previously unaware. A constituent from Encounter Bay has utilised Trove for several years to write and publish books on the local football and SANFL clubs and the establishment of Victor Harbor. This constituent shared with me their real fears of being unable to complete this research if Trove funding is cut, jeopardising years of research and creation.

Trove is widely used by a significant cohort of musicians in my electorate. One constituent in Lenswood notes that Trove enabled him to research theatre productions and locate CDs relating to genres of Australian music from classical to folk to progressive rock. And my constituents in Kangaroo Island also enjoy Trove's resources to enhance their knowledge of the history of shipping around the island. This has assisted their community group in seeking out and collecting maritime artefacts to display in a boathouse museum visited by schoolchildren and tourists alike.

Trove funding is under threat. We heard some very positive words from the minister when I asked him a question in question time, but there is no guarantee of funding beyond July. We know there are people halfway through their PhDs and they rely on Trove. Trove is a national treasure, and it's a treasure that we can't afford to lose. I would implore the government to come out now, to come out early, and guarantee this funding.