The Australian Kodakery was the staff newsletter 'For the Men and Women of Kodak'. It began as an 8 page black and white newsletter in July 1968 and evolved into a standard 12 page colour magazine called 'Kodak News'. The monthly, sometimes bi-monthly, magazine communicated staff achievements and business updates to Kodak employees throughout the country.
Some regular features of the magazine were the 'Noticeboard', which appeared intermittently, listing births, marriages, engagements and other personal life events of staff at all levels. Staff could also advertise upcoming events, items for sale, rooms for rent and other exchanges.
The Kodakery featured regular articles about the hobbies and private achievements of staff members, such as 'Shane' winning a shooting medal, or the Coburg head gardener, Les Goeswinckel, setting up a hydroponics garden at home. In the main, however, the longer feature articles were about Kodak department changes, product launches, and organised workplace recreation such as the the Kodak Camera Club, 'Fit Pit', women's group and sport's teams. Staff parties, especially the Christmas party, were featured in double page photo spreads, often in colour. There was also a semi-regular insert, the Retiree Newsletter, which later became a column entitled 'Retiree Roundabout'. This reported on the activities and whereabouts of former Kodak employees. By positively focusing on individuals at all levels of the company, Kodak Australasia fostered a sense of community and connectedness through the magazine.
Personal stories and achievements were the mainstay of the Kodakery newsletter at its inception. Later, into the early 1980s, this sort of content was somewhat reduced in favour of an increase in material about Kodak achievements in business, particularly in sales and marketing. The magazine began to reflect this stronger corporate focus from the mid-1980s. In the first issue of Kodak News (No.172, July 1985), Managing Director Ed Woods stressed the message and purpose of the new-look publication as one of positivity and quality, influenced by their participation in the Australian Quality Awards programme: 'Kodak News is aimed at reinforcing the Kodak approach of Quality in everything we do. [It] is designed to provide positive communication between all members of the company'. There was a Focus on People section specifically for the staff news but overall the Kodak News magazine featured less personal interest stories.
As the magazine moved into the mid 1990s, Kodak News came to represent the company professionally and provided a united image of the Kodak Australasia corporation to share with its employees. In the 200th edition, published in 1990, there was a callout for staff to contribute to the magazine - a sign that employees were perhaps now less engaged in the content than editors desired. In 1992, four of the six cover photographs featured executive management. However, the following year, there was a notable increase in staff participation throughout the entire magazine and 5 of the 6 cover photographs in 1993 featured employees, three of those in manual positions in factories and construction.
Photographs were an important feature of the magazine, expressing the focus of the company. Images of 'Kodakians' (as Kodak workers sometimes referred to themselves) appear on nearly every page to bring articles to life and while colour was used in a limited way throughout the magazine, by the mid 1980s the covers were lavish, and the centrefold was also in full colour.
The Kodakeries and Kodak News give colour, names and faces to the corporate Kodak Australasia history and will be a valuable research resource.