The Dhiiyaan Aboriginal Centre in Moree houses thousands of files and photographs that document Kamilaroi family and local histories, primarily from Moree but also for many inter-related communities throughout north-western NSW and southern Queensland.
The Dhiiyaan archive has been created over many years, beginning in the early 1990s with meticulous work undertaken by Kamilaroi Elder and local historian Aunty Noeline Briggs-Smith, in association with the Northern Regional Library Service (Moree). The collection includes contributions from Kamilaroi families from throughout the region and has become a uniquely significant resource for researchers, historians and others interested in rural Indigenous affairs.
The State Library have been working with the Moree Plains Shire Council and the Dhiiyaan Centre to preserve this important collection. In late 2014, staff from the Indigenous Services team spent a week at Dhiiyaan, to begin work to rehouse the collection into archival storage containers. This has involved packaging existing files and photos into acid-free envelopes and proper archive boxes, and removal of contaminants for later storage in a purpose-built “cool room.” A catalogue of the collection is being produced in tandem with an ongoing effort to digitise thousands of photographs.
Picture: Nathan Sentance (pictured left) and Ronald Briggs (pictured right) at the Dhiiyaan Aboriginal Centre.