Hunter Fighter Collection Incorporated
This document outlines the Collections policy for Hunter Fighter Collection Incorporated, NSW.
Hunter Fighter Collection Incorporated (HFC) was established in September 2019 and is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to preserve the story and history of military aircraft and people for this and future generations. Hunter Fighter Collection is a registered Charity with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission and has ATO deductible gift recipient (DGR) status. Our collection is displayed at the Hunter Warbirds Aviation Attraction at Scone Memorial Airport,
Walter Pye Avenue, Scone, NSW in a joint co-operative arrangement with the Upper Hunter Shire Council. Hunter Fighter Collection Incorporated is the curator of the Hunter Warbirds Museum.
These Objectives define our Mission, and we are committed to them.
- To preserve the story and history of military aircraft and people for this and future generations.
- To restore Australian Military aircraft to airworthy condition and fly them for the education and cultural benefit of the Australian community
- To create a flying memorial to those who served as aircrew and ground crew in the Australian Flying Corps and RAAF since World War One.
- To preserve for future generations, significant examples of Australian achievement in aircraft manufacturing and engineering.
- To remind Australians of the critical role of men and women in areas such as manufacturing munitions required for the defence of Australia.
- To establish the aircraft and artefacts as a focus for Australians to express their pride in past achievements.
- To demonstrate the gratitude of those who have benefited from the efforts and sacrifice of those Australians who participated in World War I and II and other theatres of war.
- To attend Air shows throughout Australia thereby allowing an increased number of Australians to take pride in historically important aircraft and in those who flew, serviced and built Military Aircraft in Australia and abroad.
- To educate Australians in the place and role of Aviation in the Australian Military Forces over the past 100 years.
Hunter Fighter Collection Incorporated is focused on the collection, acquisition, restoration, and display of historical and significant Australian built and operated aircraft to airworthy or static Museum standard status. The aircraft collection and related artefacts are acquired and are restored on site by HFC volunteers and contractors; they are housed in an Aviation Museum hangar, located at Scone Airport NSW which also houses the collection of historic aviation related artefacts.
The Collection also displays aircraft and artefacts at various displays and commemorations across Australia to educate the Australian Community about the role played by Military Aviation in the defence of Australia.
With the dedication of our volunteers & the financial support of our benefactors and the public, Hunter Fighter Collection Incorporated is giving Australian Aviation History a voice in the community. our mission to connect and educate the local and Hunter Valley region and Australian community on the contribution made by people and aircraft and of their place in military history. The work done by our organisation aims to engender community pride and connect the community with their military history.
This Collection Policy guides the decision-making process for shaping the collections of Hunter Fighter Collection Inc. It is a set of principles that guides collecting, loans, deaccessioning, collection care and access to our aircraft and exhibits. The Collection Policy is important as it shapes what Hunter Fighter Collection, and the Hunter Warbirds aviation attraction represents to the community and visitors.
In February 2021 it was recommended that Hunter Warbirds would adopt a theme of Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) fighter and trainer warbirds along with people and artefacts with a connection to the Hunter Region dating back to WWI, up to the present day.
Hunter Fighter Collection fulfils the role of providing the collection on loan to the Upper Hunter Shire Council, that is displayed at Hunter Warbirds. HFC collects aircraft and artefacts based on this theme for display at Hunter Warbirds.
What Hunter Fighter Collection collects
Hunter Fighter Collection collects aircraft and artifacts related to the Australian Flying Corps (AFC) and the RAAF, its people and the Australian Military Aviation industry. It also has reference to the greater Australian community and their interaction with Military aviation.
A major focus of Hunter Fighter Collection Inc is the fighter and trainer aircraft of the AFC and RAAF. We also have a focus on other AFC and RAAF aircraft and adversary aircraft which fought against our forces in all conflicts.
The time scale of Hunter Fighter Collection is from pre-WWI when the predecessor of the AFC and RAAF was established up to the present-day RAAF.
Hunter Fighter Collection collects aircraft and items related to Australia and all theatres of conflict in which the AFC and RAAF served as well as items relating to the Australian Military Aviation industry. We also represent the service of Australian aviators who served in other Air Forces such as the RAF in the UK.
Hunter Fighter Collection also strives to tell the story of the Australian community and its participation in the history of our Military aviation heritage and in particular the people of the Hunter Valley and regions.
The Hunter valley of NSW has a history stretching back to WWI when local citizens donated in excess of 12 aircraft to the Australian Battleplane Fund which is one of the largest contributions by any community globally in WWI. Many Hunter Valley airmen fought in WWI as pilots in the AFC and RFC as well as ground staff.
In the inter war years the RAAF utilized Scone as a training base for RAAF Squadrons from RAAF base Richmond.
During WWII many local citizens also served again in the RAAF and RAF and made a huge contribution. In addition, during WWII the Australian Aviation industry was established and grew to be a huge manufacturing concern, in its own right. Various heavy industry firms in the Hunter region made considerable contribution to Australia’s aviation industry. This participation in Australian Military aviation continues to the present day.
Finally, RAAF Base Williamtown in the Hunter Valley was constructed in WWII and has grown to be Australia’s home of Fighter aircraft operations and training to the present day. With such a historical legacy the Hunter valley and Scone in particular have a compelling story to tell about Australian military aviation and the regions commitment to it.
Type of objects to be collected
Hunter Fighter Collection collects aircraft, equipment, and all types of artifacts relating to our Mission and Vision.
The HFC has a tight focus on our collection and acquisitions to it, based on strict relevance to this policy as dictated through our Mission and Vision statements. It is vital that HFC remains focused and collects only aircraft and artifacts related to our story.
How the organisation collects
HFC acquires material for our collection based upon the following factors.
Method of acquisition
HFC employs many methods of acquisition including donation, loan, bequest, purchase, or transfer from individuals, governments, or commercial organisations. We seek to avoid donations with specific conditions attached to the object as these can restrict museum activities or draw on scarce resources, however on occasion this may be necessary with tight controls.
The acquisition of all items by HFC is overseen by members of the Hunter Fighter Collection Board of Management. This committee makes decision-making easier and includes the Public Officer/Curator, Chairman and 2-3 Board members. The decisions of this committee are final and binding and are documented in reporting to the Board of Management.
HFC acquires material based upon the following criteria.
- Relevance: does the acquisition fit the museum’s purpose and key collecting areas as contained in our Mission and Vision.
- Significance: priority is given to objects that are significant for their historic, aesthetic, local or community involvement.
- Provenance and documentation: Priority is given to objects where the history is known and supporting documentation can be provided.
- Rarity and representativeness: priority is given to rare or excellent representative examples of a particular type of object.
- Condition: is the object in good condition? Does it require professional conservation treatment, is it affordable to maintain the item.
- Storage: can the object be adequately cared for, if it is large and needs cover, can that be provided. Does it require special treatment in a special environment.
- Display: can the object be used for display or is there something that prevents this, such as fragility.
- Duplications: Assess if examples of the item already exist in the HFC collection. If an item has better provenance and clearer history than one already in the collection, we will consider deaccessioning the existing one to make way for a better example.
- Legal title: does the donor have legal ownership of the item and therefore the right to donate it. All donors are required to sign a Deed of Gift which clarifies that the object has been gifted or loaned.
Items accepted by Hunter Fighter Collection are subject to treatment through the Hunter Fighter Collection Care and Conservation Plan and are briefly outlined as follows.
- On receipt of an object or aircraft, a receipt is issued, and the details recorded.
- The object or aircraft is tagged.
- The HFC acquisitions committee considers the item and on acceptance of the object the Deed of Gift is signed.
- The item is registered then numbered and catalogued.
- Significance assessment conducted.
- If the object is not acquired, the item is returned with a letter of thanks and explanation.
Storage and conservation
HFC Cares for its collection in the following way.
- Items shall be stored and or displayed in an appropriate manner to ensure access and preservation is ongoing.
- The condition of the HFC collection on display and in storage will be regularly checked and monitored.
- Advice from a trained conservator and/or aviation engineer will be sought before commencing conservation work.
- Restorative work and conservation treatments will be photographed, documented, and recorded in the object file along with the outline of the proposed treatment and people involved in the work.
- Archival quality materials will be used for all significant materials.
Deaccession and disposal
HFC deaccessioning process of removing an object from the collection is as follows. Careful assessment to objects recommended for deaccessioning and disposal will be made by the HFC acquisitions committee.
The HFC collection policy includes the following criteria for deaccessioning.
- Object doesn’t comply with the current acquisition policy.
- Conservation and storage costs are beyond the means of the museum.
- Object is damaged beyond repair.
- An object is a lesser quality duplicate of an object the museum already owns and is not required for changeover, education, or other purpose.
- Object has disputed ownership – a substantiated request for return of the object to its original owner is received.
- Object lacks provenance or supporting documentation.
Methods of disposal
- Returned to the original donor or family.
- Transfer to another not-for-profit and comparable organisation.
- Use as an educative tool.
- Destruction, if the objects are damaged beyond repair.
HFC accepts the loan of aircraft and other items from individuals and organisations if they meet the terms of our collection policy. Each loan item will be treated on its individual merits. Generally, HFC will not accept loans with disadvantageous terms, onerous conditions, or unreasonable expectations of the loaning party. The HFC acquisitions committee will make decisions on each and every offer of loan items and conditions applied to their loan.
The public has access to the HFC Collection Policy through the HFC website.
The HFC Collection Policy is a living document and is open to review and amendment yearly or as required to address urgent requirements. The policy review is an open item at the Annual General Meeting each year.