The 2023 Lesley Muir Address

Looking for ways ahead: A local response from Albury-Wodonga

The 2023 Lesley Muir Address will be presented during the 2023 RAHS Conference at Wagga Wagga by Adjunct Associate Professor Bruce Pennay OAM.

A black and white photograph of a horse-drawn cart crossing the Murray River. A man with a long beard sits on a log in the foreground.

Photograph – Murray River Crossing, by A.J. Campbell, Barmah, New South Wales, 1893 [Museums Victoria]

Participants at a conference themed The Way Ahead come with hopes of pondering the ways ahead for their work and that of their historical societies. This talk will be a picture-led analysis of how one local history society is feeling its way ahead. It is inspired by both grim and optimistic predictions made by local history practitioners and theorists on recent developments in the field.

I want to point to the ways local historians are meeting the challenges and realising the promise of new technologies. And I want to point ahead to ways one society is trying, with Aboriginal collaborators, to unravel stories about contact and post-contact engagements between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people at the Murray River Crossing Place.

Bruce Pennay is an Adjunct Associate Professor at Charles Sturt University. His research interests focus on two broad topic areas: the cultural heritage of the New South Wales/ Victorian border region; and post-war immigration history and heritage. Shortly after he retired in 1999, he won several awards, including a life membership of the History Council of New South Wales and a Medal of the Order of Australia. Twenty years on, he received additional awards, including an honorary doctorate from Charles Sturt University in 2019. In 2023, he was made an honorary life member of the Albury and District Historical Society. Bruce has been a member of local historical societies for many years. He has contributed articles and reviews to the RAHS Journal and Magazine. He is a volunteer at Albury Library Museum and the Bonegilla Migrant Experience. At 85, Bruce is still pursuing several self-funded and community heritage-funded projects. All have involved close collaborations within the Albury and the Wodonga District Historical Societies.

Learn more about the Lesley Muir Address and past addresses.

Find out more about the 2023 RAHS Conference at Wagga Wagga.

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