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

Virus on the march? Military model and metaphor in the Covid-19 pandemic

The 2022 Ben Haneman Memorial Lecture by Professor Warwick Anderson is presented by the State Library of NSW Foundation and the Australian and New Zealand Society of the History of Medicine. What should a medical historian say when a general calls, asking for advice on a vaccine rollout during the pandemic? For generations, we have heard warnings of the dangers of facile resort to war metaphors in dealing with epidemic disease. But what if public health originally derived from military models, … Read More

History of the Australian Backyard

History of the Australian Backyard is a fun talk that will have everyone recognising something they remember from past gardens and their childhoods and will also pose a few questions about where our gardens are heading in the future. Judy Horton OAM is a horticulturist who in 2015 retired after working for 22 years as a garden adviser for Yates. While at Yates Judy was responsible for updating six editions of Yates Garden Guide, the best-selling Australian gardening book. One … Read More

Lessons from History: Leading historians tackle Australia’s greatest challenges

Lessons from History is written with the conviction that we must see the world, and confront its many challenges, with an understanding of what has gone before. Historians including Mahsheed Ansari, Joan Beaumont, Frank Bongiorno, Ann Curthoys, Graeme Davison, Yves Rees and Peter Spearritt tackle the biggest challenges that face Australia and the world and show how the past provides context and insight that can guide us today and tomorrow. Carolyn Holbrook is a historian in the Contemporary Histories Research … Read More

ABLAZE: The true story of the first Aboriginal filmmaker

ABLAZE is coming to the ABC for NAIDOC week. Premiering Wednesday 6 July at 8.30pm on ABC Plus and available on ABC Iview straight afterwards. ABLAZE is a film about Bill Onus – a truly heroic cultural and political figure who revived his people’s culture in the 1940’s and 50’s and helped ignite a civil rights movement that helped change the course of history for Indigenous Australians. The documentary is written and directed by Alec Morgan (Lousy Little Sixpence) and … Read More

Mosman Historical Society presents: Preserving Our Military History

Colonel John Platt (Rtd) will discuss how the Australia Remembers Northern Beaches and North Shore Committee preserves and promotes the memory, along with the military history and records, of those who served and died for the nation, especially within Sydney’s northern beaches and north shore. One of its important community activities is establishing plaques that focus on Australian armed services personnel recognised for valour, gallantry and distinguished service. Two already recognised are Lieutenant Colonel Douglas Marks, DSO, MC (from Neutral … Read More

Picturing Post-War Reconstruction at a Local Level

Bruce Pennay OAM The term ‘reconstruction’ has become fashionable amid a pandemic, as it did amid the Second World War. Reformist political parties seize on what appear to be opportunities for building anew after a crisis, rather than enduring a return to pre-crisis normality. Crises become turning points. Stuart Macintyre saw the transition from war … Read More

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More Than a Glass and a Half: A History of Cadbury in Australia

More Than a Glass and a Half reveals the sweet secrets of CADBURY in Australia. A Melbourne professor with a sweet tooth has written a book celebrating 100 years of Cadbury making chocolate in Australia. A self-professed ‘chocoholic’, Professor Robert Crawford has fond memories visiting Tasmania’s Cadbury Factory as a 10-year-old boy – sparking a lifelong passion for the chocolate brand. In More Than a Glass and a Half, Professor Crawford combines archive material and interviews with employees, their families and … Read More

Update to History House Project Website

The RAHS has recently updated its website resources on the History House Project. As well as providing key project information, we have included additional articles and images that provide insights into the building’s 150-year-history at 133 Macquarie Street. Now known as ‘History House’, it has changed names three times, survived an arson attack in 1889 and evolved from being a place of politics to a place for history. In addition to these stories, the website also includes information on the … Read More

Heritage at Parramatta Square

Written by Graham Shirley While many RAHS members will be familiar with the colonial-built heritage of Parramatta, we would also like to draw their attention to permanent historical displays in the lobbies of two newly opened buildings in the Parramatta Square precinct. These buildings are 3 and 6 Parramatta Square, and their lobbies are open to the public between Mondays and Fridays, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. A $2.7 billion complex of mostly high-rise buildings, Parramatta Square is bounded by … Read More

Vandemonians: The Repressed History of Colonial Victoria

From award-winning author and historian Janet McCalman, the engrossing tale of Tasmanian convict settlers in colonial Victoria. It was meant to be ‘Victoria the Free’, uncontaminated by the Convict Stain. Yet they came in their tens of thousands as soon as they were cut free or able to bolt. More than half of all those transported to Van Diemen’s Land as convicts would one day settle or spend time in Victoria. There they were demonised as Vandemonians. Some could never … Read More

Centenary of Manly Warringah & Pittwater Historical Society

The Manly Warringah & Pittwater Historical Society will be celebrating its Centenary in 2024 and is planning a number of events to mark the occasion. It will launch “A History of Manly, Warringah & Pittwater Historical Society 1924-2024” being written by Dr. Keith Amos, a Fellow of the Society. It will also mount historic photographic displays in five Northern Beaches libraries and is running at least two “writing history” competitions – one for school-aged children and one for adults. Other … Read More

Remembering Australia’s War in Vietnam, 1962-1972

A new exhibition is open at the Anzac Memorial in Sydney’s Hyde Park. The exhibition marks the 50th anniversary of the end of Australia’s war in Vietnam — the defining event for an entire generation. Discover the lived experiences of veterans of Australia’s war in Vietnam through the personal stories of four Australians – the last Australian engineer officer to leave Vietnam, one of the first RAAF gunship pilots to deploy, an Australian entertainer and a nurse working in a … Read More

Contribute to the NSW War Memorials Register

Have you heard about the NSW War Memorials Register? Co-managed by the State Library of NSW and the NSW Office for Veterans Affairs, the Register is an extensive online database of war memorials across NSW. It enables individuals to record accurate information about these special sites, and the names inscribed upon them honouring those who served and made the ultimate sacrifice. The Register holds over 3,500 listings of war memorials in NSW and over 200,000 veteran listings, and you can … Read More

Australia’s Great Depression by Joan Beaumont

How a nation shattered by the Great War survived the worst economic crisis it has ever faced. Some generations are born unlucky. Australians who survived the horrors of the Great War and the Spanish flu epidemic that followed were soon faced with the shock of the Great Depression. Today we remember long dole queues, shanty towns and destitute men roaming the country in search of work. With over a third of the workforce unemployed in 1932, Australia was one of … Read More