Changing times: 50 years of daylight saving

Written by Elizabeth Heffernan, RAHS Intern Daylight saving is an accepted, if confusing, part of life for most Australians. On the first Sunday in October, people living in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, and the Australian Capital Territory set our clocks forward by one hour to extend daylight hours after the working day. On the first Sunday in April, we set them back. The practice is a controversial one, neatly illustrated by the five time zones daylight saving … Read More

Ancestry Digitisation Grant Program 2021

During 2021, Ancestry.com is offering a series of grants to support the family history & archival community within Australia and New Zealand. The deadline for submissions is Saturday 31 July 2021.

2021 Transport Heritage Grants

Submissions for the 2021 Transport Heritage Grants Program are now OPEN! The closing date for submissions is 10 August 2021.

Kogarah Historical Society – 2021 Local History Awards

Kogarah Historical Society is pleased to announce its third Local History essay competition for the purpose of encouraging research and recording events in our district’s past. Entries should focus on any aspect of the history of the Kogarah or Georges River Council area and can include environmental heritage, built heritage, events and personalities.

Ninnis, Mertz, and Mawson

A man, Mertz, standing on the coast of Cape Denison, drfting snow making landscape fuzzy

Written by Elizabeth Heffernan, RAHS Intern 110 years ago in 1911 the Australasian Antarctic Expedition (AAE) set sail from Hobart, Tasmania, on the old whaling ship Aurora. Among the crew were a young Frank Hurley, soon-to-be war photographer; Frank Wild, English explorer and Antarctic veteran; Belgrave Ninnis, son of the Arctic explorer of the same name and lieutenant with the Royal Fusiliers; Xavier Mertz, Swiss champion skier; and Douglas Mawson, Australian geologist and leader of the expedition, six months shy … Read More

National Archaeology Week 2021

Join us as we celebrate National Archaeology Week 2021 (16 – 22 May) with a Special Evening Lecture: Dr Iain Stuart will trace the gold and silver mining history of Sunny Corner and its connection to the birth of Broken Hill.

On This Day: The Royal Mint

Written by RAHS Volunteer, Maximilian Reid On 14 May 1855, the Royal Mint in Sydney was first opened to the public. The discovery of gold in 1851 created the immediate need for such a vital institution due to the increased economic growth in the colony of New South Wales. The building itself – housed in the southern wing of the General Hospital and Dispensary – was already undergoing a conversion. The Hospital, built in 1811, was three buildings grouped together … Read More

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

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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

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‘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