Many inventive Australians have shared their ideas with the government, perhaps with the hope of financial backing, or just an earnest desire to solve an identified problem. There is also a formal relationship between inventors and the government through the process of applying for a patent to protect inventors' rights over their inventions. Consequently, the records are rich in ideas, plans and prototypes for inventions that range from the brilliant to the fanciful.
Since taking over the function of 'post and telegraph' from colonial times, the Australian Government’s interest in communication has broadened considerably. Radio, television and satellite communications have created a 'global village'. These technologies also present the government with regulatory responsibilities and – perhaps more challenging – change how our society functions.
The new frontier... The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation is Australia’s foremost agency for scientific research and development. Over 80 years it has faced diverse challenges to control the rabbit population, advance the wool industry, build computers and support the Apollo 11 mission.