Our history up in flames? Why the crisis at the National Archives must be urgently addressed

Michelle Arrow, Macquarie University Imagine you are in a large building near Parliament House in Canberra filled with irreplaceable objects. Not jewels, medals or paintings, but a collection of letters, tapes and documents of Australian life. The collection contains letters written to and from prime ministers, and recordings of their speeches. It has historic episodes of the ABC television programs Four Corners and Countdown. Audio recordings of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. Your grandmother’s migration records. Your … Read More

RAHS Day Lecture – That Luminous Moment: The ‘wild and enthusiastic’ ways of artist, mystic and republican Adelaide Ironside (1831-1867)

Adelaide Ironside was born in Sydney to a native-born mother and a Scottish auctioneer. When her parents’ marriage ended in 1834, she and her mother went to live at Redman’s Court, just a stone’s throw from Circular Quay and across from the town’s goal where her grandfather was Principal Gaoler. Although Adelaide’s remaining art and archive is porous, there is much to suggest she was first taught to paint by her grandmother, who was transported for forgery during the Napoleonic … Read More

Blanket Returns at NSW State Archives

The Blanket Returns list Aboriginal people who received blankets from the colonial authorities and are an important resource for Aboriginal family history and personal research.

Remembering Regional City 75th Anniversaries, 2020-2022

Bruce Pennay Commemorative anniversaries are carefully selected. They are used to revisit and refine public memory of a past shared by a particular nation or community within it. More often than not, they focus public attention on matters significant to the now as much as the then. They are commonly intent on sharing a past … Read More

Would you like to see this content? Purchase an RAHS membership here.
Existing members login to see the discount for this product.
Thank you.

Statues of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, Queen’s Square

Written by Phil Donnelly, President of The Bouddi Society For many years the statues of Victoria and Albert faced each other across Macquarie Street, the Queen’s statue in front of St James Church and Albert the Good in front of Hyde Park Barracks. This alignment reflected the opinion of historians that the marriage between Victoria and Albert was one of the great historical love matches.[1] In 1888 Queen Victoria’s Statue was erected in front of St James Church before a … Read More

Women’s Protests: Then and Now

Protestors at the first IWD rally in Melbourne, 1975.

By Elizabeth Heffernan, RAHS Intern On Monday 15 March 2021, thousands of protestors attended more than forty ‘March 4 Justice’ events across the country. From Melbourne to Mullumbimby, participants rallied against the virulent culture of gendered violence, harassment, and discrimination that plagues even the highest offices of federal parliament. They wore black and carried placards denouncing misogyny, domestic violence, rape culture, and sexual abuse in the workplace. Their rallying cry was simple and became a trending hashtag: #EnoughIsEnough. Women’s protests … Read More

Faith Bandler (1918-2015)

Written by Elizabeth Heffernan, RAHS Intern To celebrate Women’s History Month in 2021, 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. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this webpage contains the names of people who have passed away. “My belief is in people,” said activist and … Read More

Judy Cassab (1920-2015)

Portrait of Judy Cassab

Written by Elizabeth Heffernan, RAHS Intern To celebrate Women’s History Month in 2021, 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. A two-time Archibald Prize winner with such high-profile portrait subjects as Joan Sutherland, Princess Alexandra, and Queen Sikrit of Thailand, Judy Cassab’s extraordinary life took her from Nazi-occupied … Read More

Ruby Payne-Scott (1912-1981)

Ruby Payne-Scott

Written by Elizabeth Heffernan, RAHS Intern To celebrate Women’s History Month in 2021, 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. Ruby Payne-Scott was Australia’s first woman radio astronomer. Though relatively unknown during her lifetime, due to both the obscurity of her work and wartime confidentiality, today Ruby is … Read More

Lambing Flat Riots

‘ROLL UP’ proclaims the Lambing Flat banner, a square flag featuring a cross design reminiscent of Eureka. ‘ROLL UP—NO CHINESE’. Now on display in the Lambing Flat Folk Museum in Young, NSW, the banner is both a symbol and a stark reminder of the virulent racism, prejudice, and intolerance against Chinese gold miners in nineteenth-century … Read More

Would you like to see this content? Purchase an RAHS membership here.
Existing members login to see the discount for this product.
Thank you.

‘The Penny Gaff’: A New Historical Resource

Honey Family Poster

The circus is a rich and vibrant part of Australian cultural history that continues to flourish in many different forms today. Some of the most famous international circus stars of the twentieth century were Australian; at the height of the industry, 17 large circuses were travelling the country at once. Dive into the lives, travelling routes, performances and more of our country’s most celebrated circus troupes in Mark St Leon’s new website, ‘The Penny Gaff’, dedicated to the history of … Read More

Essie Coffey (1941-1998)

Essie Coffey, 1991

Written by Elizabeth Heffernan, RAHS Intern To celebrate Women’s History Month in 2021, 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. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this webpage contains the images and names of people who have passed away. Affectionately known as the Bush Queen … Read More

Women of the RAHS: An Anniversary

Minnie Lee and her husband Alfred

Written by Elizabeth Heffernan, RAHS Intern A charming and gracious personality, a shrewd and clever brain, a genius for friendship, hers were no mean gifts … So described the obituary for Mrs Minnie Lee née Dodds (1860-1938) in the Sydney Morning Herald in 1938. A tireless worker for the women’s movement in Sydney for forty years, Minnie was involved in a number of societies and organisations during her lifetime. These included the Australian Red Cross, the Society of Women Writers … Read More

The Real Sacred River: Truth-Telling and the Power of Regional Histories

Regional history is a powerful way to explore the implications, possibilities and challenges of truth-telling that includes but goes beyond frontier violence and massacre history. In this lecture, Grace Karskens will present some of the findings from a current collaborative project, ‘The Real Secret River: Dyarubbin’.

Dawn O’Donnell (1927-2007)

Dawn O'Donnell, 1993

Written by Elizabeth Heffernan, RAHS Intern To celebrate Women’s History Month in 2021, 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. “Convent girl turned ice skater [who] became the godmother of Sydney’s Golden Mile”. [1] So begins the hour-long documentary on Dawn O’Donnell, Croc-A-Dyke Dundee, perfectly summarising the vibrant life and … Read More

Bligh’s Bounty logbooks recognised by UNESCO

The logbooks of William Bligh, which document the most notorious mutiny in history, were officially inscribed on the UNESCO Australian Memory of the World register on Friday 26 February 2021.

Jessie Street (1889-1970)

Jessie Street representing Australia at the United Nations, circa 1945.

Written by Elizabeth Heffernan, RAHS Intern To celebrate Women’s History Month in 2021, 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. Feminist, activist, and diplomat Lady Jessie Street was an instrumental figure in Australian and world politics during the twentieth century. Today the Jessie Street Trust provides funding for … Read More