Blue Shield

Blue Shield Australia is a member of the international Blue Shield organisation, set up in 1996 to work to protect the world’s cultural heritage threatened by disasters of all types. Blue Shield acts as the cultural equivalent of the Red Cross internationally.

Blue Shield internationally

Following the Second World War, UNESCO adopted the Hague Convention (1954) which created rules to protect cultural goods during armed conflicts. This Convention was the first international treaty aimed at protecting cultural heritage in the context of war. The Blue Shield is the symbol used to identify cultural sites protected by this Convention.  

Blue Shield covers museums and archives, audiovisual supports, libraries, and monuments and sites. It brings together the knowledge, experience and international networks of the following non-governmental organisations dealing with cultural heritage:

  ICA: International Council on Archives (Council of Australasian Archives and Records Authorities)
  ICOM: International Council of Museums (ICOM Australia)
  IFLA: International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (ALIA) 
  ICOMOS: International Council on Monuments and Sites (Australia ICOMOS)
  CCAAA: Coordinating Council of Audiovisual Archives Associations     

Blue Shield Australia

Since 2005, Blue Shield Australia has provided a united voice for cultural institutions, galleries, libraries, archives, museums, historical societies, monuments and sites. Activities include:

  • Cross-sector conferences for industry leaders and policy makers at the Australian War Memorial (2010) and National Library of Australia (2018) www.blueshieldaustralia.org.au/symposium
  • Australian Government funded disaster planning events in regional Australia for industry practitioners, local government and emergency services (2012)
  • Annual national MayDay campaign promoting disaster preparedness, aligned with international peers
  • Support for Asia-Pacific neighbours (NZ and Japan) in their development of Blue Shield committees
  • BSA helped seed GLAM Peak, an industry body which has successfully delivered Catalyst (Arts) funded digital access to collections programs and worked with the Australian Government to achieve necessary copyright law reform (2017 and ongoing)

 

MayDay 

Blue Shield Australia runs an annual MayDay Campaign, promoting disaster planning and awareness during the month of May. Blue Shield encourages libraries and other cultural institutions to develop a disaster recovery plan, revise existing plans, trial the plan and build networks to deal with the aftermath of natural disasters. For more information, visit the Blue Shield Australia website.
 
Resources:
  • Blue Shield MayDay 2018 logos
  • Blue Shield Background Flyer pdf
  • Blue Shield MayDay flyer pdf
  • Blue Shield Australia MayDay 2017 How will you celebrate pdf