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. 127 – 23 July 2014


Hon Editor, Dr Ruth S. Kerr



1) Draft WA Aboriginal Heritage Amendment Bill 2014 - public comment invited


2) Trends in funding for performing arts


3) Port Arthur Female Factory


4) Research on shipwreck of Antares in 1914 near Nullamere, Victoria


5) Toodyay (WA) Convict Depot


6) History Council of Victoria - Annual Lecture - 24 July 2014




1) Draft WA Aboriginal Heritage Amendment Bill 2014 - public comment invited


The Western Australian Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 is an important piece of legislation and was designed to protect our unique Aboriginal heritage.


The Hon Peter Collier MLC, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, has released the draft Aboriginal Heritage Amendment Bill 2014 for public comment.


The public comment period closes on 6 August 2014.


For further information, visit the Western Australian Department of Aboriginal Affairs website


(Source: ICOMOS Australia Email News No 641 – 18 July 2014)


2) Trends in funding for performing arts


Interest by philanthropists in the performing arts in Australia is reported to be at a record high. Australian Major Performing Arts Group has reported that overall revenue from private donors, corporate sponsorship and fundraising events increased 11.3% in 2013 to $71.3 million. Of the total income 55% of the total revenue came from private donors, 42% from corporate sponsorship and only 3% from fundraising. This trend illustrates the change of approach and the sense of responsibility and interest by patrons. The peak years were 2005, 2006 and 2011. There were declines in succeeding years. The cost of attracting sponsors has risen to $7.7 million in 2013 by Sydney and Melbourne Opera Companies and Opera Australia. 


(Source: Australian Financial Review 19-20 July 2014 p.8)


3) Port Arthur Female Factory


The Federation notes and distributes the press release from Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority (PAHSMA), dated 17 July 2014. The little-known stories of Tasmania’s convict women are being recalled from the past in a new publication launched at the Cascades Female Factory Historic Site in South Hobart.


Pack of Thieves? 52 Female Factory Lives comprises a pack of playing cards providing a visual interpretation of 52 women and staff who were incarcerated or worked at the Cascades Female Factory, with an accompanying book recounting their life stories.


Their stories are all based on information gleaned from their records following research by some of Tasmania’s most noted historians, including Dr Alison Alexander, Professor Lucy Frost, Collette McAlpine and Dr Dianne Snowden, as well as staff from the Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority (PAHSMA), which has published the Pack of Thieves? and which manages the Cascades Female Factory. The illustrations have been created, again, based on historical records, by Tasmanian-born artist Simon Barnard.


The women depicted include convicts as well as staff of the Female Factory, which was Tasmania’s major women’s prison from 1828-1856 and is now on UNESCO’s World Heritage list along with Port Arthur and the Coal Mines Historic Sites as part of the Australian Convict Sites World Heritage property.


“We know from visitor feedback that it is the human stories that inspire an appreciation of the lives of such people during this period,” said Dr Jody Steele, Heritage Programs Manager for PAHSMA.


“Individual and often inspiring cases of hardship, resistance, and family connections including births, deaths and marriages often resonate with the lives of those living today.


Visitation of the Cascades Female Factory has grown dramatically since the Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority assumed management of it in early 2012, with visitor numbers doubling over the past two years to around 22,000 in the twelve months to the end of June.


The publication forms a companion piece to the Pack of Thieves? 52 Port Arthur Lives playing cards and booklet that relates the stories of male convicts at Port Arthur and which is now in its 6th reprint. Both will be available at the Port Arthur and Cascades Female Factory Historic Sites as well as selected bookshops and gift shops around Tasmania.


The project has been funded by a grant under the Sharing Community Heritage Stories sub-program of the Your Community Heritage Grants Program, 2012-2013, nationally funded through the Commonwealth Department of Environment.


(Source:   Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority, dated 17 July 2014 – ICOMOS Email News  No.641 – 18 July 2014)


4) Research on shipwreck of Antares in 1914 near Nullamere, Victoria


The Eden Killer Whale Museum has issued a press release seeking information on the shipwreck of the Antares. 2104 marks the centenary of the loss of the windjammer Antares near Nullawerre, Victoria.  Built in Glasgow in 1888, it was originally named SUTLEJ but was renamed by the Semider Brothers of Genoa, Italy who purchased her in 1907.  Shipping articles reveal she was a regular visitor to Australia, bringing with her general cargo, including roofing tiles and marble.


Antares was long overdue and her disappearance remained a mystery until a local resident, while horse riding along the cliffs, discovered the remains of a ship.   Police contacted the Warrnambool Harbour Master who investigated the report.  Wreckage and her cargo was strewn across the base of the 200 metre high cliffs.  The shipwreck was visible in 8 feet of water, and was described by Captain Marshall as split open, with her pars lying over one side.  He discovered the remains of a ‘black’ man and a board bearing the name SUTLEJ, most likely the remains of her lifeboat.  The recovered body was buried in Warrnambool cemetery and in recent years a headstone marking the grave and commemorating the event has been erected.  It remains a mystery as to how she and the 24 crew came to their fatal end. 


Descendants of the resident who reported the wreck in 1914 are asking for help in finding relatives of the lost crew, which without a manifesto has been difficult.  A commemorative plaque and dedication ceremony will take place in December this year. Please contact John Mathieson at if you are able to assist with any information.


(Source: Press Release by Eden Killer Whale Museum, NSW – Email from Jody White, Collection Manager – 18 July 2014)


5) Toodyay (WA) Convict Depot


The archaeological remains of a former convict depot, buried beneath and around the Shire of Toodyay’s offices, have been registered on the Western Australian heritage register. It has been announced by Heritage Minister, Hon Albert Jacob MP.
It is a rare and large and intact archaeological site of a former convict depot. ‘The two-hectare site has the potential to reveal significant information about the convict era’, Mr Jacob said.
Convict depots were administrative centres for hiring ticket-of-leave men to local landowners and providing accommodation when the men were between jobs or working on public infrastructure. The depots typically catered for 60 to 120 men. Hundreds of ticket-of-leave men, and later probationary convicts, passed through the Toodyay Convict Depot, which operated from 1852 to 1856 and 1862 to 1872.
“University of Western Australia students excavated six trenches in 2010, revealing intact foundations of the barracks, hospital, kitchen, warders’ quarters, commissariat store and privy as well as objects used by the convicts and guards. Future excavations may reveal more information about how the convicts lived and were treated, as well as the lives of their overseers,” the Minister said.
The former Toodyay Court House, designed by renowned architect George Temple Poole and used as the shire’s offices, was built in 1897 over the ruins and is also included in the listing.


(Source: Heritage Council of Western Australia. Heritage Matters eNewsletter July 2014)


6) History Council of Victoria - Annual Lecture - 24 July 2014


The History Council of Victoria is pleased to announce its annual lecture for 2014:


Title:               Worlds Apart: A Comparative History of Responses to
AIDS in Australia and the United States


Lecturer:        Dr Paul Sendziuk, University of Adelaide


In contrast to many countries, Australia quickly developed a range of pragmatic and innovative measures to prevent the spread of HIV. The United States largely failed to heed Australia's example. This illustrated lecture outlines how two countries, facing similar epidemics, came to adopt such different approaches to AIDS control, and suggests the consequences.


This lecture is held in conjunction with AIDS 2014: 20th International AIDS Conference and is part of the Making Public Histories seminar series, organised in collaboration with the State Library of Victoria and the Institute of Public History (Monash University).


The presenter, Dr Paul Sendziuk, is the author of Learning to Trust: Australian Responses to AIDS and is an Associate Professor in the School of History and Politics at the University of Adelaide.


Date:  Thursday 24 July 2014


Time:  6.00 -7.00 p.m.


Location:   State Library of Victoria - Village Roadshow Theatre
328 Swanston Street, Melbourne (Entry via La Trobe Street)


Tickets:     $10.00 (includes booking fee)






(Source: Email from History Council of Victoria – 14 July 2014)