Presentation box with video cassette and documents, Ansett Airlines, Olympic Games, Sydney, 2000, wood/card/metal/plastic/cloth, Australia, 1996
This presentation box and its contents document Ansett's proposal to be the official airline of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Presented to SOCOG as part of Ansett's pitch for the honour of being named the official Olympic airline, the box contains a video cassette and two A4 cards showing the agenda for a meeting held on 29 February 1996 to discuss Ansett's 'A Partnership for Olympism' proposal. Added significance comes from the source of the box's timber, as explained on a plaque inside the lid: 'This box was handcrafted from the Oregon wood of Sir Reginald Ansett's original aircraft hanger in Hamilton, Victoria'. For this reason the box is linked with aviation history, and shows how Ansett used its history to demonstrate its proud traditions and to emphasize its fitness to be associated with the Games.
In 1935 after the Victorian Government passed legislation which ended Reg Ansett's road freight operation, his response was to recruit a pilot and an engineer, and launch Ansett Airways. Using a Porterfield aircraft they began to give flying lessons and flew to various properties, creating interest in the concept of an airline and selling shares. A victory in the 1935 Brisbane-Adelaide air race earnt for Ansett the first prize of five hundred pounds. They bought an Airspeed Envoy and, in 1936, invested a thousand pounds in their first commercial machine, a Fokker F.XI Universal. Services began from the small field at Hamilton, Victoria, in early 1936. Ansett then purchased an eight-seat Envoy for services to Sydney. Income was supplemented by Reg Ansett's flying school, and weekend barnstorming, joy-rides and parachuting.
In 1936 the Government set up the Department of Civil Aviation, with authority to to subsidise airlines, and Ansett, though it had not yet achieved any major profit, survived. Mail contracts followed, and in 1937 Ansett Airways Limited was incorporated in Victoria as a public company.
Box made on behalf of Ansett from the Oregon wood of Sir Reginald Ansett's original aircraft hanger in Hamilton, Victoria.
Used by Ansett in their proposal to SOCOG.
Given by Ansett to SOCOG during their 1996 pitch to be the official Olympic airline.