Anne-Marie Schwirtlich

  • Member of the Order of Australia 2015

(for significant service to the library and archives sector through leadership roles at state and national level, and to professional information management organisations)

From the Governor General's website:


For significant service to the library and archives sector through leadership roles at state and national level, and to professional information management organisations.

Director-General, National Library of Australia, since 2011; Library Officer, 1998.

Chief Executive Officer and State Librarian, State Library of Victoria, 2003-2011.

Acting Director, Arts Victoria, 2006.

Acting Director-General, National Archives, 2000-2003; Archives Officer, 1995-1998 and 1978-1984.

Senior Curator, Printed and Written Records, National War Memorial, 1988-1995.

Member, Australian Library and Information Association, since 1992; Member, Editorial Committee, Australian Academic and Research Libraries Journal, current.

Chair, National and State Libraries Australasia, 2004-2006; Member, since 2003.

President, Australian Society of Archivists, 1989-1990; Vice-President, 1990-1991; Honorary Secretary, 1983-1985; Fellow, since 1992; Awarded Laureate, 1993.

Member, Libraries Australia Advisory Committee and National Cultural Heritage Committee, current.

Member, International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, ongoing; Member, Conference of Directors of National Libraries.

Professional Associate, International Committee on Archives.

Redmond Barry Award 2016 citation Anne-Marie Schwirtlich AM

Anne‐Marie is an outstanding leader in the library and archives sector.  Her knowledge and passion for Australia’s history and culture, strategic intelligence, astute judgement and exemplary management skills have led her to the pinnacle of the profession as Director-General of the National Library of Australia. Prior to joining the National Library, she held many and varied roles in both National and State cultural institutions, including the National Archives of Australia, the Australian War Memorial, the State Library of Victoria and Arts Victoria. 

Beginning her career as an archivist, Anne-Marie soon demonstrated leadership qualities that led to a period of time as Acting Director-General of the National Archives of Australia. Moving to become CEO and State Librarian at the State Library of Victoria in 2003, Anne‐Marie embraced the digital age and repositioned services to ensure that the library was well placed to meet the needs of society into the future. Her significant achievements in that role include developing the SLV21 – Creating a Library for the 21st Century strategic plan; obtaining substantial investment for large-scale digitisation of collection items; establishing two permanent exhibitions to showcase the State Library’s collections; and building an offsite store in Ballarat to house collection material. In 2011, Anne-Marie became Director-General of the National Library where her list of achievements will long out-last her tenure. During her period in office, Trove has been embedded as an essential component of the Australian research infrastructure, growing to more than 500 million resources and achieving the highest award for Excellence in eGovernment in 2011.  During her term, the National Library has successfully negotiated a change to legal deposit legislation that will enable the Library to acquire and preserve electronic and born-digital publications for future generations.  

The library’s exhibition program has been exemplary, with events such as ‘Mapping Our World: Terra Incognita to Australia’ and ‘Celestial Empire: Life in China 1644-1911’ drawing record numbers through the Library’s doors.  Anne-Marie also oversaw a substantial renovation to the National Library building.

Her influence extends beyond the institutions in which she has worked. She has been actively engaged with professional associations throughout her career, including ALIA, IFLA and the Australian Society of Archivists, serving as president of that Association in 1989-1990. Anne-Marie is the longest serving member of National and State Libraries Australasia, which she chaired from July 2004 to December 2006. Her work with the Conference of Directors of National Libraries in Asia and Oceania also demonstrates her commitment, spirit of collaboration and willingness to share the work of the National Library with others in the region. In summary, Anne‐Marie epitomises the values and principles of the sector and actively promotes the role of libraries as universal places for learning, information and culture. Her influence and contributions will continue well beyond her own career.  She is a very worthy recipient of the Redmond Barry award.