Collecting for the Nation: The Australiana Fund
NewSouth, $79.99 hb, 313 pp, 9781742235698
In 1976, when Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser and his wife, Tamie, were on an official visit to the White House in Washington, she was shown the collection of Americana acquired through the White House Historical Association, an idea of Jacqueline Kennedy’s as First Lady. Her enthusiasm for a similar Australian fund coincided with government concern about the care and condition of not just one but four official establishments – Government House and The Lodge in Canberra, Admiralty House and Kirribilli House in Sydney. The committee formed to take responsibility for the buildings’ interiors, exteriors, and grounds recommended the formation of an Australiana Fund, which was to be autonomous, not advisory.