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ECU Archives News


Edith Cowan University’s (ECU’s) latest move shows a deep appreciation for a rich history dating back to 1902.

Archivist Helen Hopper has been appointed to manage ECU’s Archives and recently relocated to Western Australia to fill the position.

Ms Hopper has worked in archives internationally after studying History at University College London (UCL), and postgraduate Archives and Records Management studies at Liverpool University.

Her esteemed professional history includes roles of University Archivist and Records Manager at the Royal Northern College of Music, UK, Public Services Archivist at Lancashire Record Office, Archives Collection Manager at the South Australian Museum, and most recently, six years as an Archivist at the Australian National University and Noel Butlin Archives Centre.

“Being aware of your own history is more than interesting; it’s relevant. With history you have the facts. This connects us to the community because we can use the past to inform current processes,” said Ms Hopper.

She is now assessing the collections with a well-trained eye and developing a thorough understanding of ECU’s history.

Legacy Gifts Coordinator, ECU Office of Development and Alumni Relations Susan Morrow is thrilled with the recent recruitment.

“From the alumni perspective ECU has an amazing diverse history like other institutions in Australia.

“The University plays a role in the cultural narrative, and an Archivist will help us preserve the items, records of people and ideas that make up not only our history, but the story of Perth and Western Australia as well.”

Ms Hopper will ensure existing records are maintained and accessibility and visibility improved, including greater access for researchers. She will also explore the digital preservation of current records as part of the Information Management and Archive Services team.

Proposed projects for 2020 include an audit of the Archives, and to process the papers and personal research library of May O’Brien, the first female Aboriginal teacher in Western Australia. Ms Hopper will also aid preparations for ECU’s 30th anniversary celebrations by highlighting some of the achievements along its journey.

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