Reflections on writing an ocean history

  by Dr Joy McCann, Visiting Fellow, School of History, Australian National University…  The central theme explored at the recent annual conference of the Australian Historical Association was ‘The Scale of History’. The organisers asked participants to consider how questions of scale—temporal, geographical, social, archival—influence their research. The theme resonated strongly with me, having recently … Read more

Social media and ‘saving’ specialist heritage

  by Peter Hobbins  … I was a reluctant adopter of social media, and have in fact given presentations entitled ‘the sceptic’s guide to Twitter’. Since sending my first tweet in 2014 (, however, I’ve come to appreciate the platform’s value in sharing information, building networks and serendipitously encountering all manner of unexpected content. Over … Read more

A green Public History Prize winner: Debbie Waddell

  … This year’s Public History Prize winner, Debbie Waddell talks about what history means to her. What are your plans after university? Are you pursuing a career in the history sector? After completing my BA later this year, I hope to undertake Honours, collaborating with a local environmental volunteer organisation to assist them to produce … Read more

Public History Prize winners announced

  …by Francesca Beddie The PHA NSW & ACT established the Public History Prize to encourage the application of historical practice to real-world issues. This year the essays we received were diverse: one considered the heritage significance of graffiti, several looked at gender in the war and interwar years, another discussed Ernest Titterton and two … Read more

Tyler Oration: capturing the LGBTQI voice through oral history

  … by Francesca Beddie Dr Shirleene Robinson, Associate Professor, Macquarie University, delivered the 2018 Peter Tyler oration, named in memory of an indefatigable member of the PHA. Dr Robinson paid tribute to Dr Tyler, saying he embedded the best of the profession, with his dedication to doing rigorous history that could engage the wider … Read more

Creating a wartime record

  … Ian Willis reports on the First World War Studies 2018 Conference Deakin University in Melbourne was the venue for a conference that examined the ‘Recording, Narrating and Archiving the First World War’ for the International Society for First World War Studies. This was the first time this interdisciplinary conference has been held outside the northern … Read more

Dangerous Oral Histories

  …by Minna Muhlen Schulte What are the ethical ramifications of interviewing a former paramilitary or a victim of violence? Can the work of historians contribute to truth and reconciliation or a transitional peace process? What is the role of a historian in documenting trauma and should you share this testimony? What are the personal … Read more

PHA NSW/ACT at the Australian Historical Association Conference

Professional Historians are presenting at the Australian Historical Conference in Canberra this week. in this blog post you can find out more about the conference and the papers that members of PHA NSW & ACT have prepared and learn how to follow the conference online..

Army, empire, natural history and a forgotten couple

  by Brian Walsh … I would like to reflect on some of the challenges I faced while writing my recently published book, William and Elizabeth Paterson – the Edge of Empire. The book is a dual biography of a couple largely forgotten in Australian history. Its scope includes William’s natural history excursions in southern Africa … Read more

Five minutes with Nicole Cama

  …Nicole Cama is PHA NSW and ACT’s Deputy Chair & Treasurer. Until recently, she was the Executive Officer of the History Council of NSW. Her area of historical interest is the history of Sydney. You can see examples of her work at What made you decide to pursue a career in history? I’ve had a passion for history … Read more