Honouring Dr Lesley Muir OAM

In June 2012, the RAHS Council agreed that the keynote address to all RAHS State Conferences would be named after Lesley Muir, and that the address would be considered for publication. This was an acknowledgement of the contribution that Lesley made to both the RAHS and local history in Australia.

Lesley was an active member of the Affiliated Societies network from the early 1980s, serving on its Affiliated Societies Committee from 1985-2012. She also served as an RAHS Councillor from 2002-2012. Lesley had many research interests. From the 1980s she worked with Canterbury and District Historical Society to research, write and publish booklets on aspects of the district’s history. Her largest community project involved researching and editing Canterbury’s Boys: World War 1 and Sydney’s Suburban Fringe. In 1994 she was awarded of Doctor of Philosophy in Historical Geography for her thesis Shady Acres: Politicians, Developers and the Design of Sydney’s Public Transport System 1873-1895. Lesley worked tirelessly to promote local history. Many RAHS and Affiliated Societies members enjoyed her tours, workshops, talks and articles. Shortly before her death, she was made a Fellow of the RAHS, the Society’s highest accolade. Those who knew her speak fondly of her energy, enthusiasm and modesty. The Lesley Muir address continues her legacy by focusing on historical geography and the importance of place in history.

Copies of the Lesley Muir Address (as printed in History magazine)


2016 Lesley Muir Address – Times are A-Changing: New Horizons in History presented by Associate Professor Grace Karskens

The 2016 Lesley Muir Address was delivered by Associate Professor Grace Karskens at the RAHS Conference held in Wollongong, NSW, on 22nd and 23rd October. The theme of the conference was Times are A-Changing: History and Innovation. Grace discussed our rapidly changing times, the digital revolution and its far-reaching implications for researchers. Read More


bankstown map 1913

2015 Lesley Muir Address – British Child Migrant Experiences presented by Mr David Hill

The 2015 Lesley Muir Address was delivered by Mr David Hill at the RAHS Conference held in Bankstown, Sydney, on 24th and 25th October. The theme of the conference was Migration Matters. David shared his own experience and reflected on the experience of other British child migrants who came to Australia and attended the Fairbridge Farm School near Molong in NSW. Notes on the address was published in the December 2015 edition of HistoryRead More


2014 Lesley Muir Address – Anzac Day Early Rituals presented by Bill Gammage AM – adjunct professor in the Humanities Research Centre at the Australian National University (ANU)

Bill Gammage gave the 2014 Lesley Muir Address at the RAHS Annual State History Conference held on 25th and 26th October at Mittagong. The theme of the conference was Moving History. He examined how Anzac Day rituals began and how they differed from place to place and year to year. An overview of the address was published in the December 2014 edition of History. Read More


History-mag_II2013 Lesley Muir Address – History and Place presented by Associate Professor John McQuilton

Associate Professor John McQuilton gave the 2013 Lesley Muir Address at the RAHS State History Conference held on 1 and 2 November at Katoomba RSL. The theme of the conference was The Great Divide: Getting there from here. Associate Professor McQuilton examined the importance of place in history using one event, the impact of the Great War, on one place – North Eastern Victoria. The address had particular resonance with the audience, many of whom were involved in projects related to World War I commemorative activities. Click on the image Evans Crown, Bathurst Road [RAHS Frank Walker Crossings Collection]. Read More



2012 Inaugural Lesley Muir Address – Cleaning up in Sydney presented by Professor Peter Spearritt

Professor Peter Spearritt gave the inaugural Lesley Muir Address at the RAHS State History Conference held on 20 and 21 October at the Rowers on Cooks River at Wolli Creek. The theme of the conference was Saturated with Filth and Corruption: NSW History? Professor Spearrit opened his address by saying how it was ‘an honour to give an address in memory of Dr Lesley Muir, who did so much to bring the environmental history of the Canterbury Bankstown region to the notice of researchers and the local community’. Read More

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