Public Monuments – Contested Histories

History Council of Victoria: Making Public Histories Seminar Series Societies have always used statues and other monuments as ways of both recognising and contesting power and eminence. In Australia, as everywhere else, there is public debate over whether and which statues should be removed, who should make the decision, and what should be the fate of the statues themselves. Should new monuments be commissioned alongside or to replace them? Recent actions in Australia to remove, replace or protect statues and … Read More

‘This is the ABC’

Sydney's General Post Office, c. 1935

Written by RAHS volunteer Elizabeth Heffernan On Friday, 1 July 1932, after the 8pm bells of Sydney’s General Post Office, Conrad Charlton announced to the country: “This is the Australian Broadcasting Commission.” [1] It was the ABC’s first wireless radio broadcast after the Australian Broadcasting Commission Act 1932 was passed on 17 May. The transmission is estimated to have reached 6% of the country’s population at the time—almost 400 000 people from as far away as Perth. [2] The leaders … Read More

History Week 2020 – History: What is it good for?

Registrations are now open for History Week 2020 and close at 5pm on Monday, 27 July 2020 – Online & In-person History Week is the annual, state-wide celebration of history organised by the History Council of New South Wales. This is your opportunity to share your latest passion, a long term project or research that has moved you. Involve your local community in histories that matter through History Week 2020. What is the theme of History Week 2020? The theme of … Read More

Bungaree, Burigon and Aboriginal Newcastle

State Library of New South Wales: Scholar Talk During the years of the convict penal station at Newcastle (1804–23) Aboriginal people continued to live in and around the outpost, coming and going at will. Their presence was used by the colonial authorities as one form of unofficial control over the convicts, with guides and trackers in constant use to catch bolting convicts. They were also considered, on some levels, to be friends and comrades by the various commandants who ruled over … Read More

NSW Government Supports Our Diverse and Rich Local History, One of Our State’s Greatest Assets

23 June 2020 Royal Australian Historical Society (RAHS) President Christine Yeats announced today that ten local history projects will receive funding from the Small Grants Program for Local History and Archives. This grants program is administered by the Royal Australian Historical Society on behalf of the NSW Government through the Heritage Council of NSW. ‘History matters and it doesn’t have to be history on a global or national scale to be important. Focusing on history from the ‘ground up’ is … Read More

The Convict Valley: The bloody struggle on Australia’s early frontier

‘Deeply researched and beautifully written.’ – Professor Grace Karskens ‘Interweaving the Aboriginal, convict and mining pasts of the Hunter Valley, gifted storyteller Dunn reveals the missing and misunderstood complexities of these histories.’ – Professor John Maynard, The University of Newcastle ‘In this groundbreaking book, Mark Dunn shows how the Hunter Valley became the heartland of convict Australia.’ – Professor Lyndall Ryan, author of Tasmanian Aborigines The story of the second British penal settlement in Australia, where a notoriously brutal convict regime … Read More

Outside Off – Riot of 1879

Written by Maximilian Reid, RAHS volunteer RIOT, BETS AND CLASS “Cricket is now the prevailing amusement of the day. Let no man henceforth set up for a sporting character whose name is not enrolled among the ‘gentlemen cricketers’ of Sydney”[1] The Sydney Gazette, on the formation of a new cricket club, 1832. Victorian gentility, civility, and sobriety. If there is ever an image to be conjured of early colonial cricket, it seems to be this one.[2] However, early colonial cricket … Read More

Significance of St John’s Cemetery Parramatta

Written by Judith Dunn, RAHS Councillor and President of Friends of St John’s Cemetery In these days of a seemingly mad scramble to develop any conceivable space, the importance of our heritage is sometimes being overlooked by developers.  St John’s Cemetery at Parramatta is the oldest remaining European cemetery in Australia, the first burial recorded on 31 January 1790.  State Heritage listed in 1999, it neatly encapsulates and reflects the early growing town revealing local work trends, prosperity and poverty, … Read More