Due to unforeseen circumstances, this event has been cancelled [Notice date: 4 July 2024].

2024 NAIDOC Week History Seminar

Friday, 12 July 2024, 10 am to 2.45 pm

Blue Mountains Theatre and Community Hub, Springwood

The RAHS is proud to partner with the Professional Historians Association NSW-ACT for our first-ever NAIDOC Week seminar at Springwood. The seminar will celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ resilience and activism and appeal to anyone interested in bringing Aboriginal people to the forefront of local history and state archives collections.

altWe are thrilled to host Emeritus Professor John Maynard as our keynote speaker. Professor Maynard is a Worimi man from the Port Stephens region of NSW. His presentation will mark the centenary of organised Aboriginal political activism in Australia, drawing on research from his updated book, Fight for Liberty and Freedom, which tells the story of the Australian Aboriginal Progressive Association (AAPA). Formed in 1924 under the leadership of John’s grandfather, Fred Maynard, the AAPA’s 1920s platform remains relevant to Aboriginal activism today.

Professional Historian and RAHS Councillor Dr Mark Dunn also joins the seminar program. His presentation will discuss ways researchers and historians can uncover Aboriginal/First Nations history through local history. Using specific examples from different places, his talk will outline methods and approaches to help researchers, records to consider, challenges to expect, and protocols to consider.

Jasmyn Irwin and Emily Hanna from the Museums of History NSW round out the seminar. They will guide participants through the Rediscovering Indigenous Languages project, which seeks to improve First Nations’ access to archival material about culture, kinship, stories, and languages within the State Archives Collection.

PHA NSW-ACT Chair Dr Naomi Parry Duncan said she was pleased to partner with the RAHS on this initiative. ‘One of my personal missions as a historian is to encourage researchers to look out for stories about the tenacity and ongoing presence of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their cultures in our communities, especially when we are writing local histories and heritage studies. I am, therefore, very pleased that the PHA NSW-ACT is partnering with the RAHS for NAIDOC Week.’

RAHS Events Committee Chair Christine Yeats added that ‘with so many records available online through Trove and other archives, it has never been easier to learn about the past. This seminar will give participants the practical tools to consider how to find and integrate Aboriginal peoples and perspectives into their history-making.’

About the speakers:

Emeritus Professor John Maynard is a Worimi Aboriginal man from the Port Stephens region of New South Wales. He has held several major positions and served on numerous prominent organisations and committees, including Deputy Chairperson of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) and the Executive Committee of the Australian Historical Association. He was the recipient of the Aboriginal History (Australian National University) Stanner Fellowship 1996, the New South Wales Premiers Indigenous History Fellow 2003, Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow 2004, University of Newcastle Researcher of the Year 2008 and 2012. In 2014 he was elected a member of the prestigious Australian Social Sciences Academy and in 2020 made a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. He gained his PhD in 2003, examining the rise of early Aboriginal political activism. He has worked with and within many Aboriginal communities, urban, rural and remote. Professor Maynard’s publications have concentrated on the intersections of Aboriginal political and social history, and the history of Australian race relations. He is the author of several books, including Aboriginal Stars of the Turf, Fight for Liberty and Freedom, The Aboriginal Soccer Tribe, Aborigines and the Sport of Kings, True Light and Shade and Living with the Locals.

Dr Mark Dunn is a public historian who has worked for over twenty years in heritage and archaeology. He completed a PhD in History in 2015 at the University of New South Wales on the colonial Hunter Valley. He is the former chair of the Professional Historians Association (NSW & ACT) and was the C.H. Currey Fellow at SLNSW in 2016. His book The Convict Valley covers the history of the Hunter Valley in NSW between 1790 and 1850, investigating the lives, interactions and interconnectedness of the convict, Aboriginal and settler communities during this frontier colonial period.

Jasmyn Irwin is Senior Advisor, First Nations Community Access to Archives, Museums of History NSW.

Emily Hanna is Lead Archivist, Collection Discovery at Museums of History NSW. For many years, Emily has helped people to access the NSW State Archives Collection across a range of channels, including the reading room, enquiry services and talks.

The logo of NSW government

The RAHS Western Sydney Seminar Program is supported by grant funding from Create NSW. The aim of the program is to promote the study, writing and dissemination of Australian history. It aims to develop historical expertise in the community that will support history and heritage projects.

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