FAHS Update: State managers meeting at RAHS
to R: Amanda James (Senior Community History Officer, History SA);
Helen Brackin (Manager, RHSQ); Bernadette Flynn (Outreach Officer,
FAHS); Kate Prinsley (Executive Officer, RHSV) and Suzanne Holohan
(General Manager, RAHS)
Earlier in September, managers and
administrators of the state historical bodies affiliated with
FAHS met with the FAHS Outreach Officer Bernadette Flynn. The meeting
was hosted at the headquarters of the Royal Australian Historical
Society in Sydney with representatives from History SA (Amanda
James); RHSQ (Helen Brackin); RHSV (Kate Prinsley); RAHS (Suzanne
Holohan) and RWAHS (Lynn O'Hara via Skype).
The FAHS would like to thank all the state bodies for supporting this
meeting. This is the first time managers have been able to
meet face to face and directly engage in a forum of open
exchange and communication. Each of the representatives outlined
challenges and opportunities in their areas and presented methods
for supporting the important work of historical societies.
The FAHS Outreach Officer described current FAHS projects in collection management software research, the survey of
historical societies and the development of a succession
planning guide. Bernadette also provided updates on the GLAM
digital access project and the curriculum delivery guide. The
managers expressed an interest in obtaining support from the FAHS
to develop governance packs, help with advocacy, and the
need for dispute resolution mechanisms.
In the afternoon roundtable a lively discussion on forward planning
acknowledged the changing nature of historical societies and the
challenge of funding cutbacks, The group shared examples of innovation,
successful models for community engagement and creative ways of
generating revenue. Overall, the future for local
history was seen in a positive light due to the impact of digital
engagement and a growing interest and participation from the
A range of outcomes for future collaboration emerged from the shared
information sessions. Over the next few weeks the Outreach Officer will
be working with Suzanne Holohan on financial planning documents and a
budget template with other associations to follow.
Source: FAHS Outreach Officer, Dr Bernadette Flynn
The FAHS History Clinic now open - Tuesday afternoons by appointment
FAHS Outreach Office History Clinic is Open
The Dr is in the house Tuesdays 1pm-4pm by appointment
Want help setting up email campaigns?
Need advice on scanning, image resolution, data management ?
Confused about how to develop an interpretation plan ?
Trying to sort out the web; Facebook; Flickr; Instagram ?
Bernadette Flynn the FAHS Outreach Office is available at History
Clinic to assist with practical questions about running your historical
society. Dr Flynn has professional expertise in image management, video,
multimedia and has a particular interest in activating collections and
Lodge a request via email and book in for a session firstname.lastname@example.org
Sessions will be conducted online.
Further Information email@example.com or phone 02 4377-1682
The History of a Quilt and the Power of Objects
have power. This stems from their intrinsic interest, their beauty or
both. They also become potent when infused with memory. I have a 40cm
bronze statue of Diana the Huntress, which belonged to my maternal
grandmother. Whenever I look upon it I think of her; and also of my
younger self. As a young boy visiting my grandmother’s house I spent
much time sauntering from room to room looking at her objects:
beautifully ornate plates and cup and saucer tea sets, a Farmer John
toby jug, a tilting silver teapot and a sugar bowl among many
fascinating objects. The latter housed white sugar cubes behind a hinged
door, complete with tongs suspended alongside, which I used to sample
the sugary delight. I often gazed upon Diana’s beauty as a boy, and
marvelled at her raised spear, the poise and confidence of her stance,
her flowing dress exposing one breast, and the hunting dog by her side.
Some of these objects, including Diana, descended to me. While some are
not now my taste, I would not part with them. Objects then tell stories,
many of them about families. These family objects and their related
stories, buttress the memories of the older generation, inform the
young, and bind all kin in webs of memory. Below is the story of a
new-found family artefact, a quilt, which has struck an immediate
resonance in one extended family across the world.
In 1940-1941 three brothers went to war, the sons of James and Janet
Donnan of Ashgrove, Brisbane. Lieutenant Robert Donnan sailed with the
2/15 Battalion to the Middle East where he fought and was captured in
Libya in April 1941. He was imprisoned as a POW at Sulmona, Italy, where
he and his fellow POWs suffered severe winter conditions. While being
transported to Germany in September 1943, he and over thirty others
dropped onto the tracks through the carriage floor of a moving train,
evading machine gunners posted on the train’s roof. Robert Donnan and
others made their way over the Alps to Switzerland where they remained
until war’s end.
The second son, James Donnan, became a flying officer and was posted to Townsville for further training with the 22nd
Squadron in May 1942. There he met and later married a local girl,
Dorothy Masters, in May 1943. A fortnight later he was posted on active
service to Dutch New Guinea with the 86th Squadron. In
November 1943 he went missing in a Kittyhawk, A29-371, during a storm
while on a reconnaissance flight. He was never found.
The third son, David Donnan, joined the 2/2nd machine gun
Battalion and after training was posted to Merauke in New Guinea.
While there, he was wounded, losing an eye from a friendly-fire shrapnel
wound, just one month after his brother James went missing just a few
miles away. David Donnan recuperated from his injuries in Townsville,
staying with his sister-in-law Dorothy Donnan (nee Masters) and her
By December 1943, the Donnans now of Milton Brisbane had one son
missing; one son a former POW and recently an escapee living somewhere
in Switzerland; and one son seriously wounded and without an eye. This
was a familial impact more reminiscent of the First World War than the
After hoping against hope for almost three years for the return of
Flying Officer James Donnan, Dorothy his wife, remarried an American
Paul Jacobsen in 1946. They went to live in America, losing contact with
the Donnan family by 1954.
In 2013 the third son, David Donnan, then 94, discovered in a cupboard
his lost wartime letters home to his future wife Esme Evans. After
reading them, including descriptions of staying with Dorothy’s family
during his convalescence, David wondered about his lost brother James
and his wife Dorothy. He sought to contact Dorothy in America, and
after impressive detective work for one 94, turned up Dorothy’s
Australian relatives and was given Dorothy’s address in Racine,
Wisconsin USA. He made contact only to find Dorothy had advanced
dementia. However, contact was made with Dorothy’s daughter, Sandra and a
wonderful correspondence and friendship began. Letters and phone calls
full of questions followed, and family photographs flowed across the
ether, as David Donnan and Sandra Kosich (nee Jacobsen) sought to tease
out the story of two families joined by war - one in Australia and one
in America, but separated since 1954.
On 24 June 2016, an overseas parcel arrived at Camp Hill in Brisbane on
the eve of David Donnan’s 97 birthday. He opened it to find a quilt made
by Sandra Kosich. As he examined it, he quietly wept. I know this, as I
looked on, for David Donnan is my father-in-law.
Photo: David Donnan in front of the quilt which tells
the story of the three Donnan boys with the war service medals.
Donnan wept for Sandra’s kindness, and because the quilt was so
beautiful, as you can see. But he wept most of all, as it contained
screen-printed photographs of the two families separated by the Pacific
Ocean, and of the three Donnan boys; maps of the locations of the two
families now; and the flags of their English, Scottish and Danish
heritages. Most astonishing was that the centre of the quilt was lined
by the war service medals of Flying Officer James Donnan which had been
given to his wife on his death and had found their way to America. They
were returned via the quilt, and were back home with James Donnan’s only
surviving blood relative, his brother David! It was these Pacific War
service medals that moved David Donnan most of all, as these would have
been pinned to his brother’s breast, if he had survived. All the emotion
about his older brother rose to the surface; a brother whom he had
idolised. Present also was the guilt of being the one to survive.
The luminous quilt and its emotional reception by David and his large
Australian family, is a story of loss and recovery, of the power of
memory to bind two families, and ultimately, of the powerful emotions
engendered by the costs of war. But it is also a story of hope, as the
optimism of memory and the radiant beauty of a quilt, have outweighed
memories of despair.
Emeritus Professor in History, La Trobe University, FAHA, FRHSV
Vice President of the Royal Historical Society of Victoria
is based on Richard Broome's welcome address as Patron to the History
Teachers’ Association of Victoria, Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21 July
Featured Historical Society - Brisbane Water Historical Society
Founded in 1950, Brisbane Water Historical Society owns and maintains Henry Kendall Cottage and the Historical Museum complex.
The Henry Kendall Cottage is named after the poet who stayed at
Cooranbean from 1873-75. It was in the cottage that Henry
Kendall wrote the poems 'Name upon a Stone' and 'The Last of his Tribe'.
The Brisbane Water Historical Society was
set up in 1950 and broadly covers the former Gosford LGA area. The
society aims to research and foster an interest in the history of the
Brisbane Waters area and Henry Kendall.
The society today has an active membership of around 40 to 50 and is
active in securing grants and working with the local council. It
holds opens days, public programs for schools and hosts special events
and exhibition for heritage week (hosted by the National Trust) and
history week (hosted by the History Council of NSW). A monthly
newsletter the Cooranbean Courier is distributed to all
The outreach officer, Bernadette Flynn was delighted to meet
Shirley Rider, the Vice President and Edith Campbell, the acting
secretary of the BWHH. At the time of the visit, an exhibition on
the history of the CWA of NSW (Northumberland Group) was on
display for history week (and runs until 30th November).
Shirley and Edith outlined the history of the society and museum
sites, which includes the Henry Kendall cottage; historical museum;
slab shed; machinery shed; wash-house, and a two seater dunny. The
cottage, which now exhibits objects that reflect the lifestyles and
occupations of the residents was built by convict labour from
locally quarried sandstone blocks in 1836-40 and originally had a roof
made of timber shingles. For some time it ran as the Red Cow Inn and is
where Henry Kendall, author and bush poet stayed from 1873-75. During
his stay Henry Kendall wrote 'Names upon a Stone' and 'The Last of his
Tribe' and the small room where he slept displays his sofa
bed, which still bears his initials.
Edith Campbell, acting secretary and Shirley Rider, Vice President
in Slab Shed, Citrus Industry Exhibition, Brisbane
Water Historical Museum.
has a curator who manages the permanent exhibition and also
organises changing exhibitions from the collection and in
collaboration with other history and community groups. Significant items
in the collection include an early printing press of Tom Lyons, an
early member of BWHS and the James Dunlop Collection. As Shirley
recounts 'We consider ourselves very fortunate to have so many
of the tools and a lathe made by early astronomer, James Dunlop.
He was an exceptionally clever man and received a Gold Medal from
the Royal Astronomical Society in 1828 for his catalogues of stars and
nebulae. Governor Brisbane set up the Parramatta Observatory and
James Dunlop was the Superintendent from 1831 to 1847'. During
History Week 2016, the CWA Northumberland installed a temporary
exhibition 'More than Tea and Scones' which runs until November 30th.
The society owns the cottage and saved it by community
action including support from Wyong resident Spike Milligan. The
historical historical society was informed by the present owner of
the cottage, Van Adcock, son of Garnet Adcock, that he thought the
cottage may have to be demolished. It was saved by much fund
raising and public donations. The cottage was purchased in 1960 and the
society set about restoring it. Since then they have developed an
impressive range of historical activities, research and museum
experiences. The range of activities undertaken by the society and
the wonderful contribution to the community has been recognised through
the Central Coast awards for Excellence in Tourism (1995, 1996,
1997, 1998 and 1999) and the Heritage award
for Interpretation Projects and Heritage Events (2015).
The Henry Kendall Cottage and the Historical Museum is open 10am to 3pm
on Wed/Sat/Sun and all public holidays (except Christmas eve; Christmas
day, and Good Friday). The Grounds are open for inspection from
10.00 am to 4.00 pm daily.
email: firstname.lastname@example.org; ph: 02-4325-2270
Source: Brisbane Water Historical Society website and interview with Shirley Rider and Edith Campbell
BRISBANE OPEN HOUSE 8th-9th October
Brisbane Open House
is a free public festival that celebrates Brisbane’s architecture and
offers behind-the-scenes access to 100 buildings across the city.
Image: The Spring Hill Service Reservoirs -
one of the nineteenth century structures that played a vital role in
providing fresh water to Brisbane from 1871 to 1962.
The Australian Institute of Architects & EmAGN QLD
(Emerging Architects & Graduates Network) are hosting two SPEAKER
SERIES events on 'Valuing Heritage' (a talk and a workshop).
Talk: As our city continues to expand and develop how do we protect our
existing heritage? Come along to and hear from a panel discussing issues
around conservation, why we need to value our heritage places in
Brisbane, and the potential rewards. FREE | Bookings
Workshop: Join us as we gather together influential architects,
landscape architects, designers, planners and professionals
in conversation to explore the important ideas that shape our
city. Through a series of talks, hosted in the lead up to the
Brisbane Open House weekend, representatives from these key
professions will explore with audiences the ideas and opportunities that
influence the shape and experience of our city and its
buildings. FREE | Bookings required: http://bit.ly/2baJuKw
Further Information: http://brisbaneopenhouse.com.au/
Herstory: Exhibition about the Female Factory of Parramatta
HERSTORY - The stories of the women who lived in the Female Factory of Parramatta 1788-1840
- The exhibition in the Lucas Gallery of Hambledon Cottage tells the
story of the Factory Women of Parramatta - their courage in the face of
hardship and loss as well as their enduring spirit and legacy for not
only their thousands of descendants but for all Australians.
Parramatta Female Factory site with its historic buildings is one of
the hidden gems of Colonial Parramatta. It was commissioned by Governor
Lachlan Macquarie in 1818 and designed by convict architect Francis
exhibition displays very rare artifacts supplied by relatives of the
women and pictures of the surviving sandstone buildings. The Female
Factory was a refuge for the women, a factory for the spinning and
production of cloth, a lying-in hospital, a gaol and a marriage bureau.
is an opportunity for descendants, family and history buffs to discover
more about the legacy of the Founding Mothers of this nation! The
significant site of the Female Factory with its layers of history is a
testament to at least 5000 of the estimated 24,000 women who were
transported to the colony of New South Wales from 1788 to
1840. This exhibition has been enhanced and proven so popular that
it has been extended to 31 March 2017.
: Lucas Gallery within Hambledon Cottage House Museum, Gregory Place, Parramatta
Open: Sunday, Thursday- Saturday 11:00
to 16:00 (Open most public holidays, except Christmas Day and Boxing
Day, groups of 15 or more on other days and times by appointment)
Source: Museums and Galleries NSW
2016 RAHS Conference, October 22nd - 23rd, Wollongong
The theme of the 2016 RAHS Conference is Times Are A-Changing – History and Innovation.
Image: Sublime Point Lookout,
Woolongong, c.1925, RAHS Collection
digital revolution is impacting how we research and produce history.
There is also an increasing appetite for local and community history
that connects people to their identity and place. History plays a
critical role in advocacy campaigns to ensure that these places remain
part of our cultural landscape in this era of widespread urban
development. How historical societies engage with these developments is
critical to ensure their continued relevancy in 21st century Australia.
The RAHS invites you to join the 2016 conference in Wollongong to
explore these topics, learn skills that will support your history
projects and enjoy opportunities to network and share histories with RAHS members and friends.
The Conference will be held at Centro CBD, Wollongong (28 Stewart St.
Wollongong NSW) on Saturday 22nd – Sunday 23rd October 2016.
Click here to
explore the 2016 RAHS Conference website, which includes an up-to-date
program, speaker and tour information, booking details and much more.
Source: RAHS Newsletter
Living Heritage Grants Program, Victoria
Living Heritage Grants Program
A new heritage grants program launched by Victorian Minister
for Planning, The Hon Richard Wynne MP will support the
repair and conservation of ‘at risk’ State heritage listed heritage
places and objects included in the Victorian Heritage Register (VHR),
under the Heritage Act 1995.
The Living Heritage Grants program
will provide opportunities for community and not-for-profit
organisations, committees of management and local councils to obtain
funding for heritage works. Matched funding will also be available for
places of worship and, in some instances, heritage places and objects in
private ownership where a broader community benefit can be
A $7 million program over four years, the Living Heritage Grants Program is part of a $30 million funding boost by
the Andrews Labor Government to safeguard and protect Victoria’s key
heritage places. There will be subsequent programs in 2017, 2018
Applications will close on 7 November and application details and guidelines are available online at: www.dtpli.vic.gov.au/heritage/about-heritage-in-victoria/living-heritage-program
The grants will help secure the future of many heritage places which
contribute to the liveability and cultural diversity of Victoria,
providing a wide range of economic, social and community benefits.
Heritage is a major attraction for all Victoria, with the latest data
showing that the State’s heritage buildings, sites and monuments were
visited by more than 1.9 million people last year, including around one
million international visitors.
The Living Heritage Grants program is being run through Heritage Victoria located within the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP).
For further information, please email email@example.com or call (03) 9938 6851.
History Tour, Lake Claremont, WA
History Out and About: Walking Tour of Lake Claremont
Save the date: 13th October, 9-11am Friends of Lake Claremont (FOLC) http://friendsoflakeclaremont.org/
Lake Claremont has amazingly diverse
flora and a large variety of birdlife as well as an interesting and
varied history. Prior to European settlement the lake was a large
wetland area abundant in plant and animal life. It formed a part of
the hunting and food gathering territory of the Mooro people. Lake
Claremont is recognised as a site of significant
Aboriginal heritage. First European settlement of the area was
around 1831. In 1850 military pensioners arriving from England
were granted areas of land around Butler’s Swamp. Then there were
orchards and market gardens but rising waters destroyed many of the
market gardens and profoundly changed the character of the vegetation.
And in the 1960s the area was used as a rubbish tip. Subsequently
the council constructed a golf course on the site and in 2009 the golf
course was closed after a referendum was put to residents
concerning the future of the lake http://friendsoflakeclaremont.org/?page_id=183
We will see the more recent history of the lake, one of the largest
and most successful ongoing restoration projects in Perth led by the
DATE: Thursday 13 October 2016
RENDEZVOUS: Meet at the Lake Claremont Golf Club
car park, Lapsley Road, Claremont at 9 a.m for a leisurely walk and
talk of 2 – 2.5 hours around the Lake, and self funded coffee
after for those who wish at
the local Lake Espresso café on Lapsley Road.
WALK LEADER: Greg Simpson and/or Heidi Hardisty
TOUR COST: $25 members/ $31.50 non members (includes donation to FOLC)
Numbers are limited to 25. Bookings essential
Source: RWAHS Circular
New History Museum Opens in the NT
The National Trust Northern Territory has been granted a Crown Lease over the heritage listed building located on the former Stella Maris Hostel site
at 1 McMinn Street, Darwin. The date of construction of the
building is not known but was most likely in the 1920s or 1930s. It was
built to accommodate staff of the North Australia Railway (NAR) and was
known as Road Masters House. The road master was the officer
responsible for track maintenance. It was occupied by NAR staff until
damaged by Cyclone Tracy in 1974.
lease provides for the building to be used as a museum. It is proposed
that the exhibits will cover three themes: the History of the
Building; the North Australia Railway and the History of
The inaugural exhibition is titled Mapping Darwin’s History.
The theme is land development. It comprises 23 maps and 37 photos
relating to the maps. They cover the period from European discovery and
settlement of Port Darwin through to the present day. The map and photo
exhibits are complemented with a collection of survey, drafting and
mapping equipment that have been used over time to survey, map and
construct Darwin. The exhibits have been sourced largely from the
Department of Lands, Planning and the Environment; the Northern
Territory Library; the National Library of Australia and private
feature of the display is the collection of instruments used by
pioneering surveyor Gilbert McMinn that were donated some years ago by
the descendants of McMinn to the NT Surveyor-General. McMinn was a
senior surveyor with the 1869 Goyder Survey Expedition and was involved
with the survey and construction of the Overland Telegraph Line. He
later carried out the first investigation of a route for the Palmerston
to Pine Creek Railway.
is intended that future exhibitions will cover the history of the house
and its association with the North Australia Railway. This will include
material on Darwin’s social history to complement the land development
For further Information: http://www.nationaltrustnt.com.au/the-roadmasters-house-museum/
The museum is open to the public on every
day except Monday and Saturday from 10.00am to 1.00pm until further
notice. Volunteer museum attendants are being sought from persons able
to spend 3 hours a week at the museum on a weekly or fortnightly roster.
Interested persons can contact Trevor Menzies on 0418 892 897 or email:
firstname.lastname@example.org for details. Offers to assist will be most welcome.
Source: HSNT Newsletter
Postgraduate Research Opportunity, WA
Collecting the West: An Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Project
Project leaders: Alistair Paterson (UWA) & Andrea Witcomb (Deakin University)
Collecting the West: How collections create Western Australia, post-graduate research opportunities
of Western Australia and Deakin University in partnership with
Western Australian Museum, State Library of Western Australia, Art
Gallery of Western Australia, and British Museum.
a unique collaboration between Western Australia’s public collecting
institutions, the British Museum and an interdisciplinary team of
researchers, the Collecting the West project
aims to understand how practices of collecting and display created
knowledge about Western Australia that shaped its social relations,
mediated its relationship to the environment and produced its identity
in Australia and overseas from pre-colonial times to the present. This
understanding will be used to produce a new vision of how contemporary
collecting and display practices could enable a new vision of Western
Australia’s place in the world to emerge, one that is better suited to
the demands of the future.
are seeking postgraduate students to join our great team of university
and institutional researchers at UWA and Deakin University.
For more information about this research opportunity, download the Collecting the West PhD projects information package. Note that scholarships are also available, with an application deadline of 31 October 2016.
Source: ICOMOS E-Mail News No 747
The FAHS e-Bulletin, No. 156,
28th Sept 2016