Friends work together to encourage public and private support for the Library and its great collections and resources.

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Friends Members at a White Gloves event

Know your Friends Committee

The 16-member Friends Committee is made up of people with a diverse range of skills and experiences; all passionate about the National Library of Australia and focused towards supporting the activities of the Library and enriching Friends experiences.

What does it do?

The Committee is responsible for managing the affairs of the Friends of the National Library of Australia Association; supporting the Library through community awareness and fundraising; and creating a community for Friends through communications and events. More details are in the Rules of Association and the Friends’ corporate documents.

Two key initiatives administered by the Committee are funding to support the annual Friends Creative Arts Fellowship and Friends NLA Travelling Staff Fellowship.

Who is on the Committee?

There are 12 members elected from Friends nominees, together with the Director-General of the Library, two nominees of the Library and the Friends Executive Officer.

Committee members may serve a maximum three consecutive years under the Rules so each year several new members are elected. 

Welcome to the 2022 Committee:

Margaret Nichols (Chair)
Jo Schumann* (Treasurer)
Nancy Clarke
Ken Douglas
Sue Gage
Dr Peggy Horn
Larissa Karpish*
Gary Kent
Nivarith Nair*
Karin Oldfield
Dr Anna Robinson
Dr Marie-Louise Ayres (Director-General, NLA)*
Stuart Baines (A/g Director Community Engagement, NLA)*
Helen Wade (Reading Rooms Manager, NLA)*
Lauren Conron (Friends Executive Officer, NLA)*

The incoming Committee chooses the Chair, Deputy Chair and Treasurer at its first meeting in December, after the AGM.

* Members of the 2021 Committee

Thank you to the 2021 members who guided the Friends through the challenging year—those above who have returned for 2022, and to Kerry Blackburn (Chair), Margo Geering, Meredith Hinchliffe, Clare Kinnane, Colleen Kinnane, Jennifer Mardel, Janice Taylor (Deputy Chair) and Grahame Thom (Treasurer).

The sub-committees

There are three, very active sub-committees, with members of the Committee on one or more sub-committees:

  • Communications
  • Events
  • Finance

The Communications sub-committee develops an annual strategy for promoting Friends activities; support for the Library and membership promotion; publishes a quarterly newsletter; and seeks to utilise social media more effectively.

The Events sub-committee plans and implements Friends-exclusive on-site and online events, in cooperation with the Library, including activities such as exhibition previews, special presentations, curator talks, ‘White Gloves’ viewing of collections items and ‘Meet the Author’.

The Finance sub-committee oversees all financial matters relating to the association, including cash reserves, incoming funds and expenditure.

When do the Committee and the sub-committees meet?

The full Committee meets once every second month during the year and the sub-committees in the intervening months. Meetings are held on-site at the Library, where possible, with Zoom options also available.

Committee members do not have to live in the ACT. The Friends is a national association so members from states and regional areas are welcome on the Committee.

How do you nominate for the Friends Committee?

Nominations from financial members of the Friends are called for each year in the lead up to the Annual General Meeting held in November. Keep an eye on the Friends pages on the Library website, in the online Friends Weekly News sent to all Friends and in the Spring Friends quarterly newsletter. Nominations close no later than one calendar month before the AGM.

The Committee for the coming year is then elected by Friends members at the AGM.