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e-BULLETIN No. 105 – 27 November 2012


Hon Editor, Dr Ruth S. Kerr



1) Australian Prospectors & Miners Hall of Fame - Kalgoorlie


2) Mary Valley Heritage Railway – Gympie to Imbil, Queensland


3) A seminar to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the North Mount Lyell mining disaster - 29 November 2012


4) New York State's Curious, Century-Old Law Requiring Every City and Town to Have a Historian


5) Migrant Women and Leadership Seminar


6) Oral History National Conference, Adelaide, 2013




1) Australian Prospectors & Miners Hall of Fame - Kalgoorlie


Nominations for Inductees in 2012-2013


The Australian Prospectors & Miners Hall of Fame (APMHoF) provides a memorial to the men and women who have made a significant contribution, exceptional achievement or achieved remarkable success in the mining and natural resource environment in Australia. Since its inception, the centre has inducted over 100 outstanding individuals who, through sheer grit and determination, have played a major role in developing Australia as a country rich in resources.


Nominations for 2012-2013 are now open. All nominations must be submitted to the Inductees Selection Committee for review by 31st of March 2013. Successful nominations will be announced and inducted in a Gala Dinner in Perth, date TBA. For information, please contact Kim Hewson, on


(Source: ARMHoF website




2) Mary Valley Heritage Railway – Gympie to Imbil, Queensland


Gympie – The Mary Valley Rattler historic tourist train has had two derailments recently and has other financial challenges. The Rail Safety Regulator is inquiring into the recent derailment. The Mary Valley Heritage Rail (MVHR) association has stated that it needs funding of $100,000 immediately and around $1 million in the long term. They also state that they attract $2 million to the region annually and provide 25 jobs in running the operation of which the steam train and carriages is only a small part. The association is in financial difficulties and is considering selling assets. Maintaining the permanent way is a primary and significant investment and required asset to run a railway. MVHR has provided a vital emergency rail link for people across Deep Creek bridge at Monkland in flood times.


(Sources: Gympie Times 29 September 2012 p.13,  6 October 2012 p.7, 27 October 2012 pp.1,5, 10 November 2012 p.11 including photographs; Sunshine Coast Sunday 7 October 2012 p.4 and 21 October 2012 p.13.)



3) A seminar to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the North Mount Lyell mining disaster - 29 November 2012

University of Melbourne Archives - seminar


Further information on speakers and event details are available from the Archives at the email address below, and from the University of Melbourne links below.

Contact: Jane Beattie, Reading Room Officer, University of Melbourne Archives, 3rd floor, Baillieu Library, The University of Melbourne, Vic 3010

P: +61 3 8344 4122

(Sources: Email from University of Melbourne Archives – 29 October 2012

University of Melbourne - Library news

University of Melbourne - Library Collections Blog)



4) New York State's Curious, Century-Old Law Requiring Every City and Town to Have a Historian


“In 1919, the New York state legislature mandated that every "city, town, or village" must have an official historian. It's a regulation that's unique among the 50 states, and basically unenforceable. Towns are not required to pay these record-keepers, who are appointed by a town mayor or manager. Municipalities that fail to find a volunteer are sent a strongly worded letter, but little else can be done.


Still, New York's cities have managed to fill the vast majority of these 1,600 positions, even tiny towns like Broome, population 204. The folks in these roles are an eclectic bunch, to say the least - the oldest town historian to serve was 103, the youngest is 13 - drawn to the gig by that crucial mix of obsession, pride, and boosterism.


"Each makes of it what they want," says Queens historian Jack Eichenbaum (behemoth New York is required to have a historian for every borough), a local college professor. "If you talked to the Manhattan borough historian or the Bronx, we do very different things.


"Eichenbaum offers a lot of walking tours, and tries to avoid writing history papers and public speaking. "What happens in upstate counties is something else entirely," he says. "I've never attended a meeting with them."


… The phenomenon of local historians came of age in the early days of the Industrial age. As Americans began populating "the frontier," they struggled to define themselves and their role in the places they called home. "In the late 19th century, you see a local history rush," says James Grossman, Executive Director of the American Historical Association.


This fascination with ourselves was fueled by commercial firms that drafted early town histories, books that resemble the Who’s Who franchise of today. For a couple of dollars, anyone could contribute a piece about their own place in the history of their town, be it the story of their family, their house, or their autobiography.


It was around this time that city historians also became part-time urban boosters. "Cities began using history as an economic asset," Grossman says. Many early historians were "people who had relationships with commercial interests, trying to promote city growth."

It was out of this tradition that New York's 1919 law was born. The state was still high off a frenzied celebration, in 1909, of its 300th anniversary. In those days, New York City was booming and Buffalo was a major player on the national scene. The Erie Canal had been lucrative beyond all imaginings.


… The key is finding the right … Historians don't all have to be 65-year-old retirees."


There are signs that the state wants to return the historians to their booster roots. Governor Andrew Cuomo, a self-proclaimed history buff, told attendees at a recent event "it was clear to me growing up that New York was a special place; we don't tell that story as much or as often."


He wants to do a better job. In March, Cuomo launched the Path Through History, which aims to turn upstate New York's past into a tourist draw. This summer, many historians gathered to nominate places along the New York State thruway (which cuts right across the state) for plaques that designate the spots as historically significant. Eventually the program will encompass an interactive website and smartphone app that "allows tourists to custom-tailer a trip based on specific top areas."


Even if these programs don't pay off with tourism dollars, the effort highlights why New York's program is still smart, despite its uneven delivery. In a state where most of the money, power, and clout is clustered around New York City, a local historian makes every little town or hamlet feel that their stories and cherished buildings are important, too.






5) Migrant Women and Leadership Seminar


Migrant Women and Leadership Seminar

Friday, 30 November 2012 9.30am-­4pm


Immigration Museum, Old Customs House, 400 Flinders Street, Melbourne

Chaired by Joy Damousi


Melba Marginson, ‘The joys of engaging in community leadership’


Voula Messimeri AM, ‘Leadership and civic engagement by CALD women in Australia is  essential, not a luxury’


Adele Murdolo, ‘From victim to migrant success: migrant women’s leadership stories’


Sevgi Kilic, ‘Representation, Identity, and Leadership’


Helen Nickas, ‘Greek-­Australian women writers: taking the lead in giving voice to the migrant story’


Nathalie Nguyen, ‘Vietnamese Women and Leadership’


(Source: Royal Historical Society of Victoria – 16 November 2012)




6) Oral History National Conference, Adelaide, 2013


OHAA Biennial National Conference, 21-24 September 2013, Adelaide


The Oral History Association of Australia, History SA and the University of South Australia will jointly host this conference, which will bring together professional, academic, community and oral historians. The conference will feature a range of themes relating to contested histories; memory, technology and new developments in oral history; urban history, and Indigenous history. We hope the conference will also consider history and the future.

The conference will be held at the University of South Australia, City West Campus, Adelaide, South Australia.


For further information:


Please submit proposals to:


Post: GPO Box 1836, ADELAIDE, SA, 5001


The closing date for proposals is Monday 11 March 2013.


Further details and enquiries:

Mandy Paul, Senior Curator, History SA, (08) 8203 9808

June Edwards, (08) 8293 1314

Karen Blackwood, Administration Officer, History SA, (08) 8203 9807


(Sources: Royal Historical Society of Victoria – 16 November 2012