Oral history in a global world

  This week (13 to 16 September 2017) Oral History NSW hosted the 2017 Oral History Australia conference. Minna Muhlen-Schulte provides a snapshot. Moving memories: oral history in a global world presented an exciting, challenging and moving survey of the impacts of oral history. The conference also covered new directions shaping the discipline. Some of … Read more

Rebalancing the memorial landscape

  Minna Muhlen-Schulte reflects on the current debate about statues. As the removal of Confederate statues increases in the wake of Charlottesville, the questions proliferate about public history, the politics of commemoration and our role as professional historians in these debates. What happens when the meaning of a memorial or statue shifts between generations and … Read more

Colonial Frontier Massacres: mapping new forms of history

  Jennifer Debenham discusses the website, Colonial Frontier Massacres in Eastern Australia 1788-1872, which was formally launched at the annual Australian Historical Association’s conference in July by Indigenous Senior Lecturer, Dr Stephanie Gilbert, from the University of Newcastle’s Wollotuka Institute. The launch session was introduced by project leader, Professor Lyndall Ryan. Dr William (Bill) Pascoe, … Read more

Embracing ghosts? Local history, shared heritage and ‘dark tourism’

  by Peter Hobbins… “Where are the bodies buried?” For historians, who are not prone to excavation – or to desecrating graves – this seems an inappropriate question. Yet it’s one of the most common queries raised during the many public tours and talks that I’ve given on Sydney’s former Quarantine Station at North Head, near … Read more

Illegal Demolition of Historic Buildings in Australia

  by Yvonne Perkins Thousands of people have voiced their outrage at the latest illegal demolition of an historic building in Australia. The Corkman Irish Hotel, which had been part of inner-suburban Melbourne since the 1850s, is now a pile of rubble. Damaged a week earlier by a fire the police are investigating, the hotel … Read more

Political Amnesia

  … Francesca Beddie reviews Laura Tingle’s Quarterly Essay. In Political Amnesia How we forgot to govern Tingle uses the words ‘memory’ and ‘history’ interchangeably. This is a pity for the two are not the same. She herself acknowledges that ‘as time goes by, the memories tend to over-glorify the past, and under-comprehend how it came about.’ … Read more

Working with family historians

  … by Patricia Curthoys Between September 2012 and June 2013, I worked as a research officer for Dr Tanya Evans, of the Department of Modern History, Politics and International Relations, Macquarie University. One outcome of that project is Tanya’s recently published monograph – Fractured Families: Life on the margins in colonial New South Wales … Read more

AHA 2015: a personal reflection

  By Samantha Leah … The 2015 Australian Historical Association (AHA) conference was a combination of fascinating papers, talks and networking. Some delegates grasped the opportunity between sessions to connect and introduce, while others took the time to reflect on the implications of a paper for their own research. Most, like myself, did both. One … Read more

The best hidden river in the world?

  Stephen Gapps comments on the first episode of the ABC TV’s The Secret River Last summer I sailed my dodgy old 23-foot yacht for the first time out of the heads up to Broken Bay. I’d been sailing on the harbour for a while and it was time to go blue water adventuring. Sneaking … Read more

Tails from the Past

Re-enactment by the NSW Light horse brigade at Addison Road Community Centre, May 2015. (Photograph courtesy of Peter Arfanis) … by Sue Castrique On Saturday 2 May 2015, Addison Road Community Centre celebrated its centenary as an army depot with ‘Tails from the Past’, a day of activities that included stalls, music, a re-enactment of tent … Read more