‘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

2022 AGHS Annual National Conference

The 2022 Australian Garden History Society Annual National Conference – Landscape on the Edge: Challenge and Opportunity, will be held in Hobert on 11-13 November 2022.

The Fin de Siècle Imagination in Australia, 1890-1914

This book explores the fin de siècle, an era of powerful global movements and turbulent transition, in Australia and beyond through a series of biographical microhistories. From the first wave feminist Rose Summerfield and the working class radical John Dwyer, to the indigenous rights advocate David Unaipon and the poet Christopher Brennan, Mark Hearn traces the transnational identities, philosophies, ideas and cultures that characterised this era. Examining the struggles and aspirations of fin de siècle lives; respect for the rights … Read More

Shortlists for 2022 NSW Premier’s History Awards

The State Library of NSW announced on 8 August the shortlists for the NSW Premier’s History Awards. The awards recognise distinguished achievement by Australian historians. Eight judges considered 168 entries across five prize categories, with $75,000 in prize money to be awarded. The entries in the Australian History Prize and the NSW Community and Regional History Prize reflect growing interests in Australia’s relationship with the Pacific and Southeast Asia, and the impact of colonisation on Indigenous Australians and our environment. … Read More

Good Servants and Valuable Wives: 190 years since the arrival of the Red Rover in 1832

Written by Patrick Bourke, RAHS Member On 10 August 1832 the Red Rover arrived in Sydney Harbour with 202 free young unmarried Irish women onboard. This ship had left Cork, Ireland, on 10 April 1832. On 15 August the young women left the Red Rover and were housed in the Sydney lumber yard, which was at the southern corner of George and Bridge streets, until they could find employment. There is now a Royal Australian Historical Society green plaque on … Read More

Celebrating 200 Years of the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW

This year marks a significant milestone for the history of agriculture in NSW as the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW celebrates its 200th anniversary. Formed on 5 July 1822 as the Agricultural Society of NSW (it was granted the ‘Royal’ prefix in 1891), the Society’s aim was to promote the colony’s agriculture, showcasing best practices and celebrating innovation at its annual show. First held at Parramatta in 1823, the annual show became an opportunity to share ideas, conduct business and … Read More

Spies and Sparrows: ASIO and the Cold War

The untold stories of espionage in Australia In the wake of the Second World War and the realisation that the Soviet Union had set up extensive espionage networks around the world, Australia responded by establishing its own spy-hunting agency: ASIO. By the 1950s its counterespionage activities were increasingly supplemented by attempts at countersubversion – identifying individuals and organisations suspected of activities that threatened national security. In doing so, it crossed the boundary from being a professional agency that collected, evaluated … Read More

2022 Lane Cove History Prize

The Lane Cove History Prize is open for 2022, after a year in abeyance because of the lockdown in 2021. We warmly encourage all local historians to make this a good year for the prize, pursuing any of a number of potential themes, to do with persons, places or community groups. Make this a year for opening up possibilities in researching entries, whether written, oral or visual in some aspect of Lane Cove and its environs. In 2022 entrants are … Read More

Gold and the Holtermann Name – Together Again

This October marks 150 years since the discovery of the world’s largest known single mass of gold, the Beyers and Holtermann Specimen, at Hill End, near Bathurst. Often incorrectly referred to as the ‘Holtermann Nugget’, the gold mass contained 3,000 ounces of gold in one lump and was discovered on 19th October 1872 at Star Hope Mine, Hill End, which was originally established by Bernard Otto Holtermann and Louis Beyers. News of this stunning find quickly reverberated around the world … Read More

Trailblazing Women of Australian Public Broadcasting, 1945-1975

Trailblazing Women of Australian Public Broadcasting, 1945-1975 offers a compelling new perspective of Australian radio and television history. It chronicles how a group of female producers defied the odds and forged remarkable careers in public-affairs production at the ABC in the post-war decades. Kay Kinane, Catherine King, Therése Denny and Joyce Belfrage were ambitious and resourceful producers, part of the vanguard of Australian broadcasters who used mass media as a vehicle for their social and political activism. Fiercely dedicated to … Read More

Breaking the Mould with Robert Griffin

Join Robert Griffin and the Historic Houses Association of Australia for a talk about combating mould. Mould has become one of the surprisingly popular talking subjects around houses of the Eastern Seaboard of Australia this year. The summer and autumn rains of 2022 have created mould situations and challenges for thousands of homeowners as they deal with this persistent and most unwelcome house guest! Distinguished HHA Curator Robert Griffin presents a talk not only on the science of mould and … Read More

Sydney at War 1942

Eighty years ago, Sydney had been at war for fifteen months. Our forces were all away in either Europe, the Middle East or Malaya. Australians didn’t see the war come home until the cataclysmic events in the second half of 1941, which brought the war closer to our threshold as the Japanese drove to create the Greater Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. In this presentation Ron Lyons will talk about Australia’s entry into the war and, in particular, life in wartime Sydney … Read More

An Uncommon Hangman: The life and deaths of Robert ‘Nosey Bob’ Howard

This is the story of Robert Rice Howard (1832–1906), the man known as Nosey Bob. It is also an important chapter in the story of the changing attitudes towards capital punishment in Australia, as the country transformed from generally enthusiastic spectators at executions into campaigners for the abolition of the death penalty. These interconnected stories are told through the men, and the one woman, who met Nosey Bob under the worst possible circumstances between his first employment by the Department … Read More