National curriculum development has been a feature of the Australian education scene since the mid 1970's. The reactivation of the Curriculum Development Centre has provided the oppor- tunity to reassess the processes used in such initiatives. The result has been to highlight the nature of 'national' objectives as those objectives that are agreed upon by State and Commonwealth governments. The role of a national curriculum agency is to facilitate collaborative decision making so that a common objective can be derived and partnerships can be developed. In this way, projects can be sponsored that use both local needs and the national interest.