‘History is central to reconciliation’: RAHS launches its inaugural Reconciliation Action Plan


Acknowledging Australia’s difficult past is a key step toward reconciliation between non-Aboriginal and Aboriginal peoples. By revisiting our own long history, and by promoting truth-telling in the histories that we write today, the Royal Australian Historical Society (RAHS) is proud to actively promote this journey via its inaugural Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). Today the Society formally launches its Reflect RAP, developed with guidance and endorsement from Reconciliation Australia. Launched on Gadigal land, this plan was shaped by a working party … Read More

Coronation Ceremonial Tree Planting at NSW Government House

On Saturday 6 May, RAHS President Iain Stuart attended a ceremonial tree planting at Government House to celebrate the coronation of Their Majesties King Charles III and Queen Camilla. The event began with a smoking ceremony by the Koomurri Dancers and included the National Anthem and Royal Anthem played by the Australian Army Band. Short addresses were delivered by His Excellency the Honourable Andrew Bell, Lieutenant-Governor of New South Wales, and Lottie Dalziel, NSW Young Australian of the Year. The … Read More

2023 Cultural Grants Program is now open!

We are pleased to share that the 2023 Cultural Grants Program is now open! The Cultural Grants Program is a Create NSW devolved funding program administered by the Royal Australian Historical Society on behalf of the NSW Government. This Cultural Grants program assists historical research and publication of local, community and regional history projects. Last year, eighteen projects were recommended for funding to the value of $59,105. Sixty per cent of projects focused on regional areas, twenty-three per cent on … Read More

Art and the Law: The Archibald prize case of 1944 and beyond

On 18 April the Supreme Court of New South Wales and the Francis Forbes Society for Australian Legal History will host a lecture by Dr Peter Edwell and the Hon. Keith Mason AC KC on “Art and the Law: The Archibald Prize case of 1944 and beyond”. When the dispute over the award of the Archibald Prize to William Dobell went to the Supreme Court of NSW in 1944 it made headlines around Australia. With Garfield Barwick as counsel for … Read More

2023 Annual General Meeting

A mine with four chimney stacks protruding from the ground in the centre of the photograph

A reminder that our online AGM is on Tuesday 18 April at 6 pm. RAHS Members are welcome to attend. Dr Iain Stuart will deliver the Presidential Address on Burraga and the Copper King: a short talk on the history of the Burraga Copper mine (west of Oberon) which was once owned by the now forgotten Copper King – Lewis Lloyd. To receive the link, please contact admin@rahs.org.au before 4 pm on Tuesday 18 April. We look forward to seeing … Read More

Kathleen Howell (c. 1904–2001) and Jean Robertson (1904–1981)

Jean Robertson and Kathleen Howell seated in Lancia Lambda with Barney the dog, car parked in suburban street.

To celebrate Women’s History Month in 2023, the Royal Australian Historical Society will continue our work from previous years to highlight Australian women that have contributed to our history in various and meaningful ways. You can browse the women featured on our webpage, Women’s History Month. Written by Jessica Buckton, RAHS Volunteer Today, most people have gone on a road trip at some point in their life. Whether it be a small trip, not far from your local area, or … Read More

Bicentenary of the Supreme Court of NSW

In February 1823, a report by John Thomas Bigge into judicial affairs in NSW was tabled in the House of Commons. It led to the Third Charter of Justice and the establishment of the current Supreme Court, which first sat on 17 May 1824,  as well as the first steps towards representative government in the Australian colonies. His enduring legacy is an independent, respected court system that upholds and promotes the rule of law. In 2023-24 the Supreme Court of … Read More

Central Coast Regional Seminar – Media Release

Black and white photograph of Woy Woy from Blackwall Hill

Land Records, Convict Crimes and Convicts Transported from Ireland: A Treasure Trove of Research Possibilities Date: Saturday 4th March 2023 Time: 10 am to 4 pm Venue: Gosford City Lions Hall, 3/8 Russell Drysdale St, East Gosford NSW 2250 The Royal Australian Historical Society (RAHS) is staging one of its popular regional seminars in conjunction with the Central Coast Family History Society. This one-day, face-to-face seminar will appeal to anyone who wants to learn more about convicts and their crimes, … Read More

Call for expressions of interest for new editor/s for the Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society

The Council of the RAHS is seeking expressions of interest for the position of editor of the Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society (JRAHS). The current editor Adjunct Associate Professor Carol Liston AO and our proof reader Mrs Joy Hughes are stepping down after many years of distinguished services in their respective roles. The RAHS Council thanks Adjunct Associate Professor Carol Liston AO for her service as editor and Mrs Joy Hughes for her service as journal proof reader. … Read More

Christmas Close 2022

The Royal Australian Historical Society wishes all our members and friends a happy Christmas and a safe holiday. We thank you for your support throughout 2022 and look forward to bringing you more history content in 2023. Our Christmas Close period will commence from Wednesday, 21 December 2022, to Monday, 9 January 2023.

What is a Huguenot?

Written by Robert Nash (Secretary and Editor, Huguenot Society of Australia) Recently the Royal Australian Historical Society was kind enough to give me a Certificate of Achievement for services to Huguenot historical research in Australia. This was very good of the Society, and I am grateful, but it has occurred to me that many people will be confused about exactly who these people with the strange name were, and how they are relevant to Australia. In short, the Huguenots were … Read More

The Last Outlaws Podcast

Jimmy Governor, a young Aboriginal man and the last outlaw of Australia

The Last Outlaws won the 2022 NSW Premier’s History Prize in Digital History. Maximilian Reid reviews the podcast for the RAHS.

‘French Connection’ wins 2022 NSW Premier’s History Prize

Congratulations to Alexis Bergantz whose book French Connection won the Australian History Prize for the 2022 NSW Premier’s History Awards. In French Connection, Bergantz draws on a variety of sources to discuss the place of France and French culture in Australia from 1850 to the First World War. In particular, Bergantz uses individual case studies to show how Australians imagined and were influenced by French culture, how a French penal colony in the Pacific dredged up memories of Australia’s convict past, … Read More

Nominations for 2022 RAHS Certificates of Achievement

The Royal Australian Historical Society (RAHS)

Nomination Deadline Monday 3 October 2022 RAHS Affiliated Societies play a critical role in promoting local and community history throughout New South Wales. The RAHS Certificate of Achievement honours the wide-ranging contributions made by their members. In 2021, the RAHS awarded ten Certificates of Achievement at its online seminar Exciting New World: Australian Life in the 1920s and 1930s. The seminar was organised by the RAHS Affiliated Societies Committee, so was the perfect event to honour the work of the … Read More

Media Release – Country Calling: History on the Land

Join the RAHS for a special online event to be held via Zoom on 22 October 2022 and learn about new developments in local and community history as we explore Country Calling: History on the Land. Session A – Facing the Truth: How to Create History with Aboriginal Peoples The special event begins with a morning session (10.00am – 12.00pm) that features historians, curators, and archaeologists who practice truth-telling in their history-making. Marika Duczynski (Repatriation Officer and Curator of Indigenous … Read More

Media Release – Agricultural Shows in NSW: Competition, Community, Country

The RAHS is pleased to announce the launch of Competition, Community, Country: Agricultural Shows in NSW, a new website that aims to introduce the history of NSW agricultural shows to the public, including students, teachers, and researchers. With a focus on local history, particularly regional history, this website offers a new way for individuals to learn about and connect with their local community. As RAHS President Dr Iain Stuart explains, ‘the aim of the website is to encourage people to … Read More

Vale Queen Elizabeth II (1926-2022)

The RAHS would like to offer condolences to those close to Queen Elizabeth II who are experiencing a profound personal loss at her death. As the longest reigning monarch in British history, the late Queen will be remembered for her enormous dedication to the role she performed for more than seventy years. To commemorate her passing, the RAHS has shared images and articles of the 1954 Royal Tour of Queen Elizabeth II, when the 27-year-old Queen and her husband, Prince … Read More

Scholar Talk: “Here’s To’ee”: Tapping the Tooheys Collection

The Tooheys Limited collection has been an untapped resource, in the Mitchell stack, unnoticed by historians. Dr Lisa Murray – 2021 Hertzberg Fellow – has been exploring this special collection of business and industry records. The Tooheys Limited collection, which comprises 300 volumes, provides an important counterpoint to the extensive Tooth & Co collections held elsewhere. Lisa will share some of her insights and discoveries from tapping these historical records, including the architects who were commissioned by Tooheys to redesign their pubs. … Read More