Aus map - Federation of Australian Historical Societies Tasmanian Historical research Association Royal Historical Society of Queensland Royal Australian Historical Society Canberra & District Historical Society Royal Historical Society of Victoria History Trust of South Australia Historical Society of the Northern Territory Royal Western Australian Historical Society


search tips advanced search
site search by freefind





e-BULLETIN No. 113 – 28 July 2013


Hon Editor, Dr Ruth S. Kerr


1) International Famine Commemoration - Sydney, 25-28 August 2013


2) Queensland Births Deaths and Marriages available electronically


3) Brisbane's North Bank historic precinct


4) Opening of museum in Chillagoe Court House, Queensland


5) Heritage listing for timber tramway in Great Sandy Region, Queensland


6) New South Wales heritage sights - Sydney CBD


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



1) International Famine Commemoration - Sydney, 25-28 August 2013


The Australian Monument to the Great Irish Famine (1845-1848) is located at the Hyde Park Barracks, on Macquarie Street, Sydney, Australia. The monument was inspired by the arrival in Australia of over 4,000 single young women, most of whom were teenaged orphans. They arrived under a special emigration scheme designed to resettle destitute girls from the workhouses of Ireland during the Great Famine. The Great Irish Famine Commemoration Committee (GIFCC) have broadened their activities to commemorate all who left their homes seeking a new life in the colonies and States of Australia but these workhouse orphan girls and the historical links back to Ireland remain the focus of this project.


Over the weekend of 25-28 August, the GIFCC is hosting the International Famine Commemoration in Sydney.


Friday 23 August 2013 - Dinner in NSW Parliament House

Saturday 24 August 2013 - Seminar in NSW Parliament Theatrette

Sunday 25 August 2013 - 14th Annual Gathering at the Famine Memorial at Hyde Park Barracks


Download the invitation letter here.

Download the booking form here.


For further information, visit the website:


(Source: Dr. Perry McIntyre, email 26 June2013)



2) Queensland Births Deaths and Marriages available electronically


Queensland Attorney-General, Hon Jarrod Bleijie MP, has announced that scans of nearly 650,000 historical records from Births, Deaths and Marriages can now be accessed through an enhanced family research web service provided by the state government.


These records can now be downloaded instantly to home computers, tablets and smart phones at a greatly reduced cost. The Attorney General stated that the Queensland Registry holds around 6,000,000 life event records and expects to have them all digitized by 2015. The digitization provides another preservation format.


Historians can now download a scanned image for $20, compared to $39 previously for a hard copy certificate ordered over the counter.

The event register dates back to 1829.


The release of the digitized records coincided with the 2013 Mary Poppins festival in Maryborough. The birth registration for P.L. Travers – the creator of Mary Poppins – reveals she was born Helen Lyndon Goff at Maryborough in 1899. Her father was a bank manager whose home overlooked the Mary River.


The registry’s historical records can be searched and ordered through the Births, Deaths and Marriages website at


(Source: Media Statements 19 June 2013 – Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Hon J. Bleijie MP)




3) Brisbane's North Bank historic precinct

The Royal Historical Society of Queensland based in the Commissariat Store (Queensland’s oldest habitable building) and the National Trust of Queensland have highlighted the need for government to promote the historic significance of the birthplace of Brisbane in William Street on the Brisbane River and to open the historic precinct in celebration of the cultural values there. Tony Moore of Brisbane Times who visited the Commissariat Store on 12 July has stated that Brisbane’s William Street could be developed to recognize its historical significance in the same way The Rocks has been in Sydney, acknowledging that this is the view of the historians he interviewed. The Brisbane Times has published an article by him on this on 13 July 2013:

Time is right to develop Brisbane's Circular Quay

and another on 22 July 2013:

Brisbane's birthplace recognition backed by heritage and tourism groups

(Source: Brisbane Times - 13 July 2013 and 22 July2013)




4) Opening of museum in Chillagoe Court House, Queensland


Court House where a Royal Commission and hearings were held involving two former Queensland Premiers


On Saturday, 1 June 2013 the Chillagoe Court House Museum was officially opened by Magistrate Tom Braes. He had grown up in the region and had visited Chillagoe and Mungana for holidays as a child. The Court House Museum has been developed over several years by the Chillagoe Alliance Inc, a community history and cultural group. The museum has been installed in the Court Room of the Court House and contains court and police artefacts and copies of historical documents. A mock court scene was played out before 80 people in attendance. Police had also occupied part of the building over many years and Inspector Rolf Straatemeier of Mareeba, spoke on behalf of the police contingent in attendance. After a visit to the Chillagoe Cemetery for a historic tribute to the Atherton Family led by Cr Evan McGrath, and lunch, historic talks were held in the afternoon. These talks were presented by Dr Ruth Kerr on the history of the development of the Chillagoe mines and smelters and an overview of the Mungana Scandal in the 1920s, Mr Robin Smith spoke about the personalities involved in the Mungana Scandal, former Premiers Edward G. Theodore and William McCormack; Mining Warden, R.A. Dunlop; Chillagoe Smelters Manager, Peter Goddard; and miner, Fred Reid (whose grand daughter was in attendance). Retired Police Sergeant, Mr Norris Carney, spoke on life as a policeman at Chillagoe in the late 1960s and 1970s which was highly illuminating and entertaining. A PowerPoint presentation prepared by Ms Sue Colman operated all day showing photographs of the mining, pastoral, transport, social, sporting and cultural aspects of the Chillagoe – Mungana region. The Queensland Transport Department is restoring the Chillagoe railway station and goods shed, built in representative styles of Queensland railway architecture in timber and iron. After the suspension of railway services on the Chillagoe line the Chillagoe buildings on 31 December 1992 were severely damaged by white ants and storms.


(Source: Notes on personal visit by Ruth Kerr)



5) Heritage listing for timber tramway in Great Sandy Region, Queensland


Pettigrew’s Timber Tramway Complex in the Cooloola National Park in the Great Sandy Region was entered on the Queensland Heritage Register on 12 July 2013 by the Queensland Heritage Council. This was the culmination of advocacy by Royal Historical Society of Queensland members Dr Elaine Brown and Dr Ruth Kerr, supported by Gympie Regional Council and advanced by the Cultural Heritage Branch of the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection. A significant aspect of the listing is that of the recognition of European history and technical endeavour within a National Park. The historical research on Pettigrew’s tramway and the locomotive, Mary Ann, was initiated by the late John Kerr in his article, ‘The Calooli Creek and Thannae Railway, Tin Can Bay: Queensland’s First Private Railway and First Queensland-built Locomotive’ Queensland Heritage, November 1970, vol.2, no.3, pp.14-20. The locomotive commenced to run on 30 June 1873 – the first locomotive constructed in Queensland (by John Walker & Co of Maryborough). The 140th anniversary of that event was celebrated in Maryborough on Sunday, 30 June 2013, when Mr Peter Olds of Old Engineering, Maryborough, invited descendants of the Pettigrew and Sim families and Elaine and Geoff Brown and Ruth Kerr to attend for a kauri pine planting ceremony in Kent Street, Maryborough. The Mayor of the Fraser Coast Regional Council, Mr Gerard O’Connell, presided. Utilising the photography in John Kerr’s article, Peter Olds had constructed a small model of Mary Ann in the mid 1970s. In the 1990s he constructed a full size model which was completed in 1998. The current Mary Ann has now been running in central Maryborough for 14 years as a tourist train. On 30 June Maryborough City Whistle Stop Inc ran trips for the public all day in association with the Mary Poppins Festival.

(Source: Notes on personal visit by Ruth Kerr)



6) New South Wales heritage sights - Sydney CBD


The New South Wales government has announced that it proposes to sell the Chief Secretary’s building in the Sydney CBD. The building was built in 1880. The other two buildings to be sold are the Lads building and the Education building. These are bounded by Bridge, Loftus, Bent, Young and Macquarie Streets. The government has stated that it desires to preserve the heritage values of the buildings. The Treasury building dating from 1851 has already been sold some years ago and converted to the Intercontinental Hotel.

(Source: The Weekend Australian 20-21 July 2013 p.10)




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


The National Library of Australia (NLA) has announced that the following issues of newspapers and journals have been newly added to Digitised newspapers on Trove .


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.



South 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 10 million pages from over 500 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. To read more about 10 million digitised newspaper pages now available through Trove, see the NLA's Behind the Scenes blog.


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 organisations.


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: Email from Dr Hilary Berthon, Australian Newspaper Plan, National Library of Australia, e:; t: +61 02 6262 1642;  – 26 June 2013)