Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society
Volume 109, Part 2, December 2023
The December 2023 issue of the Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society features four research articles that explore law and politics, sport and race relations, agriculture, and diplomacy. The issue also features eight book reviews on the latest Australian history titles. As Dr Samuel White, the new Chief Editor notes, it is in many ways a transition piece: covering colonial and post-colonial Australian history, as well as marking the end of an era of stewardship. Moving forward, the JRAHS will be seeking to grow and change how the Journal engages with history, including a new ‘Interpret an Image’ part, similar to the Victorian Historical Journal.
The issue’s front cover features the Memorial Rock at the Myall Creek Massacre Memorial Site, which is where the journal begins. Jim Ritchie’s article revisits the abandoned third trial against the remaining four accused of the massacre of 28 Wirrayaraay People on 10 June 1838.
Sydney businessman, philanthropist and social advocate Mei Quong Tart is the subject of Marc Sebastian Rerceretnam’s article. It is a timely contribution, given that Quong Tart’s former home in Ashfield was honoured with a Blue Plaque in July. Rerceretnam explores how Quong Tart used popular sport to influence anti-Chinese public opinion.
Ian D. Rae’s biographical article discusses Angus Mackay’s contributions to agricultural education in late nineteenth-century New South Wales. Mackay wrote several books on bees, sugar cane, agricultural chemistry, and guides to agriculture in Australian settings, delivered public lectures, and was an instructor at the Sydney Technical College.
James Cotton’s article rounds out the issue. Cotton considers the contributions of the lesser-known individuals in the Chungking (Chongqing) Legation, whose roles in the mission to open diplomatic relations with China in 1941 have been neglected or overlooked.
This issue also marks a change in the editorial team, as Christine Yeats will be stepping down as journal editor and handing the reigns to Dr Samuel White in 2024. ‘It is an absolute honour to address you as the new editor of the JRAHS’, Samuel said. ‘I am filled with a profound sense of reverence for the journal’s esteemed legacy and an overwhelming excitement for the future’. Christine thanked Samuel for accepting the role of editor on behalf of the RAHS.
Suzanne Holohan, General Manager, Royal Australian Historical Society.
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