Johanna Kijas

PHA NSW Accreditation

Professional Member


Johanna (Jo) Kijas was an academic in Australian History and Indigenous Studies for over fifteen years prior to becoming an independent public historian. Since 2002 Jo has built her consultancy business, Kijas Histories, in environmental, community and regional history. This includes seven published commissioned histories (with five National Trust and Museums & Galleries awards), three community publications and over twenty reports and articles. She was the historian who designed and developed content for the extensive Lismore City Council’s heritage interpretation walk ‘The Wilson River Story Sites’. Jo is an Adjunct Research Fellow at Southern Cross University, volunteers at the New Italy Museum Complex and travels widely from her home in North Coast NSW.

Area of Expertise

Environmental, community and regional history; oral history methodology and training; interpretative signage; commissioned histories.

Publications/Past Work


Kate Gahan and Johanna Kijas. ‘The Mental Welfare of Children’: A History of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services in Queensland, University of Queensland Press, St Lucia, 2014

Jo Kijas, Kate Gahan and the Museum Monday Group. Salami, Shortbread and Parrot Pie: Stories of Multicultural New Italy, New Italy Museum, 2013

Johanna Kijas Life Under the Light: Lighthouse Families of New South Wales, Office of Environment & Heritage, Sydney South, 2011

Johnna Kijas and Staff and Volunteers of Tweed River Regional Museum. Caravans and Communes: Stories of Settling in the Tweed 1970s & 1980s, Tweed Shire Council, Murwillumbah, 2011

Johanna Kijas. There Were Always People Here: A History of Yuraygir National Park, Department of Environment and Conservation, Hurstville, 2009.

Johanna Kijas. ‘Everyone Knew Everyone’: A Community History of Burleigh Heads, Gold Coast City Council, Southport, 2009.

Johanna Kijas. The Other Side of the World: International Migration to the Tweed 1940 – 1960, Tweed River Regional Museum, Tweed Heads, 2007.

Johanna Kijas. Revival, Renewal and Return; Ray Kelly and the NSW Sites of Significance Survey, Department of Environment and Conservation, Hurstville, 2005.

Johanna Kijas with Fay Kijas (eds). Changing Places: Stories of Coffs Harbour's transforming countryside, Deakin University Printers, 2001

Johanna Kijas, Jenny Ledgar and Anne Beasley (eds). Past Lives Fresh Views: Histories of the Mid-North Coast of New South Wales, Coffs Harbour, 1998.

Substantive Reports

Kijas Histories. Not leaving it to chance: Establishing an organisational culture for organ   donation in South Australia, for Donate Life SA 2011.

Kijas Histories. Nocoleche: A contextual and land tenure history for Nocoleche Nature Reserve, for the Department of Environment and Climate Change (NSW) NPWS Bourke Area 2009.

Kijas Histories. Lighthouse Keeping: A Partnership. Report on the DECC Lighthouses of Northern NSW Oral History Project, for the Parks and Wildlife Group Department of Environment and Climate Change (NSW) 2009.

Kijas, J. Yaegl Post-Contact Oral History Project for Yuraygir National Park, Policy and Knowledge Branch of the Culture and Heritage Division Department of Environment and Climate Change (NSW) 2007.

Kijas, J. Yuraygir National Park Contextual History: A Case Study for the “Cultural landscapes: Connecting History, Heritage and Reserve Management” Project. Published report prepared for the Cultural Heritage Division, NSW Department of Environment and Conservation, 2006.

Kijas, J. Accidental Evidence: Sourcing Documents about Aboriginal Women’s Fishing Practices of the 20th Century. Report and annotated references for the Aboriginal Women’s Fishing Heritage Project, NSW Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW), 2006.

Kijas, J. Women and Landscape: Western Parks Project. Published report prepared for the Cultural Heritage Division, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, 2003.

Refereed Reviewed Articles and Chapters

Kijas, J. ‘Same Place Different Views: Exploring the Wilsons River Story Sites Community History Project’ in The Public Historian, University of California, Vol 32, No 2, May 2010, pp 51-60.

Kijas, J. ‘Layers of Belonging in a “Seachange” Landscape: Stories of Look At Me Now Headland’ in Anna Haebich and Baden Offord (eds), Landscapes of Exile, Peter Lang, UK, 2007

Goodall H., Wearing S., Byrne D. and Kijas J. ‘Recognising cultural diversity: the Georges River project in south-western Sydney’. in E. Katz and H. Cheney (eds) Sustainability and Social Science, CSIRO, 2004.

Kijas, J. ‘"From Obscurity into the Fierce Light of Amazing Popularity": Internal Migration on the Far North Coast’ in Helen Wilson (ed), Belonging in the Rainbow Region, Southern Cross University Press, Lismore, 2003

Kijas, J. 'A place at the coast: Internal migration and the shift to the coastal-countryside' in Transformations: Region, Culture, Society, 2, 2002.

Kijas, J. ‘Contested Landscapes: The battle for Look-At-Me-Now Headland’ in M. Cotter et al (eds). Heritage Landscapes: Understanding Place and Communities, Southern Cross University Press, Lismore, 2001

Kijas, J. ‘Wilderness’ in Michael Williams (ed) Imaginary Homelands: The Dubious Cartographies of Australian Identity, Journal of Australian Studies, 61, 1999, pp143-151.

Kijas, J. ‘An “unfashionable concern with the past”: The historical anthropology of Diane Barwick’ in Australian Aboriginal Studies, 1, 1997, pp 48-60.