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New Archives and Information Governance Board Chair, Ms Julie Fuge, with former Chair Deacon Patrick Moore and Board member Ms Sue Sondalini – who have both volunteered 31 and 6 years respectively, of pastoral, archival and industry expertise. Photo: Supplied.

The sounds of happy chatter and enjoyable camaraderie filled the walls of the Catholic Pastoral Centre at lunchtime celebration on the last day of June 2023.

Central to the joyful occasion was Deacon Patrick Moore and Ms Sue Sondalini - members of the Archives Advisory Board, who have generously volunteered 31 and 6 years respectively, of pastoral, archival and industry expertise.

This year, Deacon Patrick and Sue announced their retirement from the Archives Advisory Board, and without a doubt, their contribution sparked reminisces of milestone moments, of the duality of challenges and achievements that comes with the passing of eras, of precious professional and personal friendships.

Some of these living recollections have been kindly shared by Deacon Patrick and Sue, as they - even in their retirement - continue to passionately advocate for professional standards, national accreditation and contemporary management of the Archdiocese’s important archives and digital information.

Sue Sondalini joined the Archives Advisory Board in 2017 at the invitation of Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB, recognising her valuable contribution as WA Archivist for the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart since 2012.

“As an archivist with an interest in social history I am interested in ensuring the records of religious organisations are cared for appropriately and valued,” said Sue.

“So the opportunity to join the Archives Advisory Board for the Archdiocese of Perth was very welcomed and I was - and am still today - honoured, to have been considered and to have contributed.”

When asked about some of her favourite moments during her Board member tenure, Sue shared a few memories close to her heart.

“In 2021 I assisted at an information session organised by the Archives and Information Governance Office (AIGO) for several religious orders who were considering the future storage of their records. What a great moment to see all of us collectively working together to care for our valuable stories.”

“Another memorable moment was the meeting of the ASA Faith Traditions Group last August (2022) when we remembered the feast of St Lawrence the Patron Saint of Archivists with a prayer service and then a tour of the beautiful convent building where the Catholic Pastoral Centre is now housed.”

“Although this was an ASA event, being a member of the Archives Advisory Board made it possible for me to firstly, know about the event and secondly, participate. Being part of community related Boards offer you these opportunities to experience more.”

“Lastly, I have been privileged to witness and contribute to the Archives taking on a leadership role in ensuring records of the archdiocese are appropriately managed and stored. The increased professionalism in this work will help to ensure records of past activities are cared for and accessible when information is required.”

Many would associate Deacon Patrick Moore as the Director and Chaplain at the Stella Maris Seafarers' Centre in Fremantle, where for many years, he attended to the needs and wellbeing of shipping workers that pass through the Fremantle port.

What you might be learning today by reading this story, is that Deacon Patrick was previously on the Executive Team at the State Library of WA, and in 1992 was recommended to the then (first) Chair of the Archives Advisory Board, Monsignor Michael Keating, to join.

“Two years into being a member of the Board, I was honoured to be recommended and accept the role of Chair,” said Deacon Patrick.

“Early into this new role, I had the opportunity to lead the drafting of the initial Archives policy suite, based on the model that Catholic Education WA - where I was also a member of the standing committees - kindly shared.”

Spanning an impressive three decades of service to the advancement of AIGO, Deacon Patrick has been involved in many significant projects, moments and achievements.

He highlights two that come easily and fondly to mind when invited to reminisce: The relocation of the Archives from Chapter Hall at Cathedral House to Highgate and the adoption of the Serving the Church in the Digital Age: The Archdiocese of Perth's Information Governance Strategy and the increased focus on digital records was another significant moment.

Deacon Patrick emphasises the importance of the latter by commenting that “The most exciting opportunity for the Archives will be the future research it can facilitate.”

“AIGO is capturing our digital records so well that future generations will have great insight into this period in the life of the Church.”

The presence and contribution of both Deacon Patrick and Sue has and will continue to be felt as AIGO continues to set the professional standards for caring, protecting and guarding one of the Church’s important assets - its records.

“A heartfelt thanks goes to Deacon Patrick and Sue for their years of commitment and generous sharing of time and expertise as members of the Archives Advisory Board,” commented Odhran O’Brien, Director of AIGO.

“The reputation and high regards placed on our Archives amongst our Catholic and industry colleagues has its basis on a collaborative vision - one that our have been working towards to meet the outcomes of the Serving the Church in the Digital Age: The Archdiocese of Perth's Information Governance Strategy.”

“As such we are excited to invite and welcome new Board members, including Ms Julie Fuge, as Chair at our new quarterly meeting, as we continue to build on the great works and legacy of Deacon Patrick, Sue and all archivists and community contributors before them.”