Robin Wright

Robin Wright

Last updated on 25 September 2023

Robin Wright is Head of Australasia and Asia-Pacific for the Digital Preservation Coalition

In January 2018 the Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) embarked on a new strategic plan to prepare the transition to a truly global foundation.

That ambition was elaborated on in June 2019 when the DPC’s mission was formally expanded to include the following goal statement: To enhance our members’ experience and the capacity of the digital preservation community around the world through the provision of a stable and trusted platform for collaboration, owned and run for the benefit of the global digital preservation community, and accountable to them through membership.

In 2023, with a membership of 153 members worldwide, the DPC is well on its way to achieving that ambition – certainly a far cry from its humble beginnings in the UK in 2002 with just 20 members.

The DPC now plays a key role in the global discussion and implementation of digital preservation policy and practice around the world and has become a global community, working together to bring about a sustainable future for our digital assets.

The DPC’s activities have certainly flourished in Australasia and Asia-Pacific in the last 5 years, and in fact, last month we celebrated our 20th member in the region! In Australasia and Asia-Pacific alone, we now have the same number of members the DPC originally started out with in 2002.


The first DPC member in Australasia and Asia-Pacific was the University of Melbourne, which joined in June 2017 and played an important role in the plans for the global expansion of the organization.

Meanwhile, a grass roots Community of Practice called Australasia Preserves had evolved from a group of enthusiasts at the University of Melbourne and Australian State and National organisations who had a passion to share knowledge and information about digital preservation practice.  Common ground was the recognition that digital preservation is a global concern which needs to be addressed as such.

Then in 2019 and 2020 more Australasian members joined with the National Archives of Australia and AARNet joining and then followed in 2020 by universities and other National cultural organisations.

Behind the scenes and behind this growth, there has been the constant support of the University of Melbourne which was the driving force in establishing the DPC’s first office outside the UK - in Melbourne - with Jaye Weatherburn at the helm.

In the space of two years Jaye succeeded in achieving 5 strategic goals:

  1. Sustain and expand Australasia Preserves

  2. Deliver a DPC program in Australasia and surrounding territories

  3. Develop self-sustaining membership to support a permanent office

  4. Amplify digital preservation activities in Australasia for the benefit of DPC members

  5. Amplify the DPC’s messages about the need for and benefits of digital preservation

Picking up from where Jaye left off, this has manifested itself in an ongoing program of events held in local time zones for Australasia. These include online and face-to-face workshops and training, watch parties of DPC events held in other parts of the world, and presentations by local speakers on issues important for local DPC members such as Indigenous data sovereignty, cybersecurity, and preserving legacy database content.

I am delighted to have picked up the baton from Jaye, as the full-time Head of Australasia and Asia-Pacific based in the Melbourne office. It is my job to connect local DPC members and support their digital preservation activities, plans and needs. From the Melbourne office, we promote and advocate for the important role of digital preservation for organisations and communities in Australasia and the Asia-Pacific and communicates the benefits of DPC membership to relevant organisations throughout the region.

Following a delay due to Covid in 2020, the office was officially re-launched in March this year by William Kilbride, Executive Director of the DPC and Donna McRostie, Deputy Director, Research and Collection Stewardship at the University of Melbourne. This was followed by events hosted by DPC members in Canberra and Sydney, discussing some key digital preservation challenges.

For the future, the DPC’s strategic plan 2022 - 2027 outlines a vision to build a welcoming and inclusive global community, working together to bring about a sustainable future for our digital assets. The establishment of the DPC’s office in Australasia and the Asia-Pacific has brought together a flourishing local community around shared values and a common need to protect our digital assets in all our locations and contexts.

The 20 DPC members in Australasia and Asia-Pacific are now an important and active part of the global digital preservation community – and are looking forward to welcoming the next 20!

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#1 Richard Falkner 2023-10-02 00:52
Very pleased to be here Robin! Thanks for the warm welcome last week.

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