Colleen McEwen began her archival career in the Archives Division of the State Library of South Australia and, after posts at the Noel Butlin Archives Centre at the Australian National University (1982-1992) and the Ministry of Defence (1992-1997), joined the National Archives of Australia (1997-2007), where she worked in a number of roles including Director in the Information Management Branch. Her professional interests have included archival education, holding the education portfolio within the Australian Society of Archivists (ASA) from 2001to 2003, and was actively involved in accreditation of Australian university courses between 1997 and 2003. She became a Fellow of the ASA in 2007. She was the Australian Society of Archivists representative on the Section of Professional Associations (SPA) from 2004 and joint secretary from 2008 to 2012. In her SPA role she was responsible for the development of a number of Section guidelines and oversaw the development of the SPA Manual in three languages. She was project manager for the international working group that developed the Universal Declaration on Archives, endorsed by UNESCO in 2011.