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e-BULLETIN No. 112 – 25 June 2013


Hon Editor, Dr Ruth S. Kerr


1) Australian Government Budget - heritage grants


2) Boer War memorial


3) South Australian history - Burra


4) Railway heritage in New South Wales


5) Destruction of Mayan pyramid in Central America


6) 2013 Hazel de Berg Award for Excellence in Oral History


7) Additions of Australian newspapers to National Library of Australia's Trove service


8) National Archives of Australia publication


9) New book on Ludwig Leichhardt


10) National Family History Month - August 2013



1) Australian Government Budget - heritage grants


The Commonwealth Government’s budget in May provided an outline of proposed expenditure on heritage as well as education, defence etc. The proposed Australian Government budgeted expenditure on heritage grants is provided under the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (SEWPaC) as follows (taken from the SEWPaC Budget Statement).


The table on p.32 (Program Expenses 1.1: Sustainable Management of Natural Resources and the Environment) shows GVESHO - Grants to Voluntary Environment and Sustainable Heritage Organisations - $1,346,000 in 2013-14 and stable to 2016-17. The GVESHO program has been in operation since 1973, initially for voluntary environmental conservation organisations, but since 1999 voluntary heritage organisations have also been eligible.

The table on p.69 (Program Expenses 5.1: Conservation of Australia's Heritage and Environment)

shows heritage grants reduced from $7,420,000 in 2012-13 to $4,420,000 in 2013-14 and then stable at that level to 2016-2017. The large drop from 2012-13 to 2013-14 is due to the termination of the "Your Community Heritage" Program, which was supplementary funding for the years 2011-12 and 2012-13 only, made available in the May 2011 Budget.

(Source:  SEWPAC Budget Statement – 2013-2014



2) Boer War memorial


A bid has been launched to establish a war memorial in Anzac Parade in Canberra to the second Boer War in Africa (1899-1902) in which around 25,000 Australians including 60 nurses served. It was the second war in which Australians had participated (as New South Wales soldiers had served in the Sudan war in 1884). Britain was attempting to extend its empire over gold and diamond mining areas dominated by British prospectors, but was held by Boers (mainly the Transvaal). Britain succeeded in 1901 and the war ended in 1902 with the Boer surrender. It was the first war in human history where journalists and photographers recorded the fighting and military camps and published articles in the European press. The Boer War memorial proposed is being promoted through the National Boer War Memorial Association. A petition of at least 10,000 signatures will be presented to Parliament. The memorial is expected to cost $3.5 million.


(Source: Australian Financial Review 15 May 2013 p.8)



3) South Australian history - Burra


The ABC has some mining history on their website. Recently they interviewed mining historian, Dr Peter Bell (a Fellow of the Federation of Australian Historical Societies and a member of the Australasian Mining History Association) who provided an extensive overview of the history of Burra and the cottage on the entry to the town on the Adelaide Road. It is available on the following website:


The interview was based on Peter’s article, "Continuity in Australian Timber Domestic Building: an Early Cottage at Burra", published in Australian Journal of Historical Archaeology 8, 1990, pp. 3-12.


(Source: Dr Peter Bell, Australasian Mining History Association – 8 May 2013)


4) Railway heritage in New South Wales


The state of railway heritage in Australia was featured in the Australian on 20 May 2013. The issues of preservation programs and governance are referred to. The Australian article distinguishes Victoria’s Puffing Billy railway in the Dandenongs (controlled under Victorian legislation) and Ipswich Rail Workshops Museum in Queensland (operated by Queensland Museum) as successes. The article also refers to a rail heritage review, ‘All Aboard! A Fresh Start for Transport Heritage in NSW’, a report undertaken on New South Wales rail heritage organizations (where there are 26 separate voluntary organizations). It highlights Thirlmere (90kms from Sydney) and Broadmeadow in Newcastle. New South Wales Transport Minister, Hon Gladys Berejiklian MP has accepted the report’s recommendation to establish one body, Transport Heritage NSW, as a not-for-profit company, to manage rail heritage.


(Source: Australian 20 May 2013 p.3; ‘All Aboard! A Fresh Start for Transport Heritage in NSW’,




5) Destruction of Mayan pyramid in Central America


A road-building company has substantially destroyed one of Belize’s largest Mayan pyramids in Central America. The Ministry of Tourism and Culture expressed outrage at the demolition of the Nohmul complex in northern Belize to extract crushed rock for a road project, and is investigating it. The ceremonial centre dates back at least 2,300 years and was a focal point for tourists.


Norman Hammond, an emeritus professor of archaeology at Boston University who worked in Belizean research projects in the 1980s stated to the Seattle Times that bulldozing Maya mounds for road fill is said to be an endemic problem in Belize. He indicated that the whole of the San Estevan Center has disappeared, both of the major pyramids at Louisville, and other smaller structures at Nohmul.


(Source: Courier-Mail 14 May 2013,



6) 2013 Hazel de Berg Award for Excellence in Oral History


The Award is open to everyone and is offered by the Oral History Association of Australia. It will be presented at the biennial Oral History Conference to be held in Adelaide 21-24 September 2013. Closing date for nominations is 12 July 2013.


As contributions may be made in a variety of ways, the award criteria provide for activities that further the practice and appreciation of oral history through the raising of awareness within the profession; the promotion of oral history within the history community; the recording and documentation of oral history; the preservation and archiving of oral history collections; and, to ensure that other significant efforts are not overlooked, such other contributions to oral history considered worthy of recognition.


The award was named in honour of Hazel de Berg in recognition of her pioneering work in oral history. From 1957, Hazel documented Australia's social history by recording poets, novelists, historians, painters, musicians and scientists - people who were contributing to the ongoing intellectual life of Australia. A significant number of her interviews are now held in the oral history collection of the National Library of Australia as the Hazel de Berg Oral History Collection, a collection which comprises approximately 1300 hour-long taped interviews.

The De Berg family generously offered to provide the award and arranged for its design by the glass artist Brian Hirst. It is an attractive ellipsoid-shaped clear glass ornament into which aqua glass has been injected in the shape of a microphone with speech bubbles.

Download the nomination form from or

Anyone can make a nomination and there is no impediment to a person nominating themself.

This national award presents the opportunity to give public recognition and encouragement not only to the recipient but to the important role of oral history.


(Source: FAHS - 15 June 2013)



7) Additions of Australian newspapers to National Library of Australia's Trove service


The National Library of Australia has announced that issues of the following digitised newspapers to Trove, and further issues will become available shortly.


New South Wales:

 * Digitisation of these titles has been supported by the State Library of NSW as part of the Digital Excellence Program, funded by the NSW Government.



Western Australia:

To find out the latest titles which have been added to TROVE, researchers may subscribe to one of the National Library of Australia’s Web feeds.


Through TROVE, the national resource discovery service, there is free online access to over nine million pages from over 450 Australian newspapers. All of the digitised newspapers are fully text-searchable and users can enrich and enhance the data through subject tagging, text correction and annotations.


Titles have been selected by the National Library of Australia in consultation with the state and territory libraries. A number of the titles are being digitised with the generous support and funding from a range of historical societies and interest groups.


Libraries and organisations wishing to digitise a newspaper title should access the National Library of Australia’s Contributor guidelines. Additional information may be obtained by emailing


(Source: National Library of Australia email 7 May 2013)



8) National Archives of Australia publication


"The Arrangement and Description of Archives amid Administrative and Technological Change:
Essays by and about Peter Scott

Known as the 'Peter Scott Book', this publication showcases the work undertaken by Peter, who developed the Australian Series System (also known as the Commonwealth Record Series (CRS)), used to organise and describe records held in the National Archives of Australia. The system was developed in the 1960s based on an idea of archives staff member, Peter Scott. The CRS system is based on the principle of ‘series’ rather than ‘agencies’ which State Archives utilize in arrangement and description. Agencies (government departments and statutory authorities) create series (that is groups of related records created by the agency) which are made up of items (records of any sort).


His published work on the series system changed archival thinking in Australia and internationally. It became the foundation of archival arrangement and description work in National Archives of Australia. The publication of this collection of Peter Scott’s essays enables researchers to understand the National Archives of Australia system including that it determines access to its records by file rather that series.


Copies are available for purchase from the ASA Online Store for ASA members ($99 + P&H) Non-members ($120 + P&H).


(Source: Australian Society of Archivists Member Update Issue 23: 14 May 2013)



9) New book on Ludwig Leichhardt


The book, Where is Dr. Leichhardt? - The Greatest Mystery in Australian History, by Darrell Lewis was launched on 16 May by Professor Peter Reed at the National Library of Australia in association with the Museums Australia Conference. The book was also launched at Avid Reader Bookshop, 193 Boundary St, West End, QLD, on 7 June 2013.


(Publication Details: Paperback, ISBN (pb): 978-1-921867-76-7, ISBN (epub): 978-1-921867-75-0, RRP AUD$39.95)


(Source: Kununurra Historical Society - – 15 May 2013)



10) National Family History Month - August 2013


National Family History Month will be launched in Brisbane by Associate Professor Cliff Pollard BD, MBBS, FRACS, FRCS, FACS on 1 August 2013. He will be speaking on
speaking on Brisbane Hospital's Doctors & Nurses at War.


The launch will also include a short presentation on the National Archives of Australia's repatriation records by Greg Cope, Acting Director, Brisbane Office and Presentation of the Nick Vine Hall Awards for the best genealogy/family history society journals or newsletters in 2012.


Date: Thursday 1 August 2013 at 2.00pm
Venue: National Archives of Australia, Brisbane Office, 16 Corporate Drive, Cannon Hill, Brisbane, QLD 4170
RSVP: by 25 July 2013 to



(Source: Australasian Federation of Family History Organisations – 13 June 2013)