The executive director of the Sydney Theatre Company will take over the reins as the head of the National Film and Sound Archives.
Patrick McIntyre has been announced as the archive's newest chief executive, following an international search.
He's the first Australian to serve as the head of the archives since 2011, with previous appointees hailing from Austria and the Netherlands.
The incoming chief executive said the new role would be a change of pace following more than 20 years in the performing arts space, but was looking forward to the challenge.
"Performing arts is a super commercial, hyper-fast-moving environment with new productions and lots happening," Mr McIntyre said.
"With the archives, it's all about knowledge and discovery and reflection and it's one of the memory cells of the nation.
"I think it's true to say the collection resonates differently to an Australian than someone coming in from abroad."
Along with his more than 10 years as one of the key players behind the Sydney Theatre Company, Mr McIntyre has also held executive roles with the Sydney Film Festival and the Australian Ballet.
He is set to begin in the new position from October as part of a five-year contract.
Mr McIntyre's appointment came following the resignation of Jan Muller in late 2020 after more than three years in the role, in order to return to his home in the Netherlands.
While some of his predecessors may have led the archives from afar, Mr McIntyre said he intended to move to Canberra as part of the role.
"I grew up in Armidale and I've always felt like Canberra is an enormous version of it, with hot and dry summers and cold winters, and so coming to Canberra was a drawcard to me," he told The Canberra Times. The archives are in the middle of digitising its collection of Australian film, videos, television, photos and sound recordings.
Staff have been in a race against time to protect magnetic tape holdings such as video and audio cassettes before 2025, when the material would be considered lost.
Mr McIntyre said digitisation efforts were essential for the archives, not only for preserving its content, but to allow for more people to experience Australia's audio-visual history.
"It would help to make the stories we tell more accessible and relevant to young people, but also everyone as well," he said.
The National Film and Sound Archives have been housed in the heritage-listed former Institute of Anatomy since it began in 1984, and previous heads of the institution have flagged intentions to move it to a new site on Acton peninsula.
While Mr McIntyre said it was too early for him to be drawn on whether there should be a new home for the collection, he said a physical presence was critical for the archives.
"The collection itself has to live somewhere that is fit for purpose and be secure, and the actual storage facility also must be secure," he said.
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