Welcome to the Federation of Australian Historical Societies 

The Federation of Australian Historical Societies is supported through funding from the Australian Government’s Community Heritage and Icons Grants program via the ACT Government

No. 169, 27th Sept 2017
Researcher/Writer Sought for FAHS Guide
History Council of NSW, Annual History Citation
GLAM Peak: National Framework Expert Reference Group
History top billing at Writers' Festival, MacDonald River, NSW
Featured Historical Society - Kurrajong-Comleroy Historical Society
Fire at Richmond Vale Rail Museum
$804,445 Funding for Dhiiyaan Archive, Moree
Celebrating Our National Heritage
Australia’s bid to host 2020 ICOMOS Triennial General Assembly
Historic kerb stones unearthed, Brisbane
Northern Territory History books launched at the NT Library
A History of Public Trustees
SA State History Conference, Public Lecture, Adelaide
History Week 2017, Melbourne and Victoria
Bicentennial Australian History Lecture, Sydney
Lunchtime Lecture, RHSV, Melbourne
NFSA's Digital Directions symposium, ACT
Researcher/Writer Sought for FAHS Guide
Researcher/Writer Sought for Guide to ‘Born Digital’ Data for Community Historical and Heritage Societies & Museums

The FAHS are seeking a person to research and write an online guide (or possibly two associated guides) about the preservation of data that is born digital. This encompasses: first, the archiving a society’s own records; and second, the collection and preservation of a wider range of material relating to their community history and heritage.

The author will be paid $8400 for 200 hours of research and writing of a total of 8000 to 10,000 words in one or two associated documents, plus $300 home office and research expenses. To be completed by 31st March 2018.

Applicants should have appropriate experience in working with and preserving digital data, a proven research and writing record, and ideally some experience in working with community history and heritage societies.

The position description is on the FAHS website 

Inquiries and applications with referees to: Assoc. Prof Don Garden, President, d.garden@unimelb.edu.au

Applications close 5.00 pm Friday 27 October 2017.
History Council of NSW, Annual History Citation

The 2017 Annual History Citation was awarded to Emeritus Professor David Carment, AM at the Annual History Lecture on 5th September.

History Council of NSW gave the award in recognition of David's outstanding contributions to historical scholarship, and his generosity and unwavering commitment to supporting the history community, including mentoring its emerging professionals. 
David is recognised as one of Australia’s leading experts on Northern Australian history and has been widely published on this topic. During his time at Charles Darwin University, Northern Territory, he was Dean of the Faculty of Law, Business and Arts. In 2008 he was made Emeritus Professor at the university, ‘in recognition of his distinguished service to the University, outstanding contributions to the advancement of northern Australian history, and commitment to the communities of the Northern Territory’.

His tireless service to the history community continued beyond his retirement from the university. He is a former President of the Australian Historical Association, the Royal Australian Historical Society and the History Council of NSW. In 2003, his service to the community was publicly recognised when he was made a Member of the Order of Australia. In 2004 David was awarded a Fellowship of the Federation of Australian Historical Societies.

Source: http://historycouncilnsw.org.au/2017-hcnsw-award-winners-announced/  
GLAM Peak: National Framework Expert Reference Group 
The FAHS Outreach Officer, Dr Bernadette Flynn has been invited to join the GLAM Peak Expert Reference Group on digital collections and programs.

The group is progressing a roadmap for the digital access plans for states and territories. 

Bernadette will be representing and working for the benefit of the historical society sector.


The first task of the experts group will be to undertake a Review of the Draft National Access to Collections Framework, which sets out the principles and strategies to achieve digital access to a rich diversity of Australian content by national and international audiences. The draft national framework can be found at:

History top billing at Writers' Festival, MacDonald River, NSW

Across myriad forms, the St Albans Writers' Festival provoked reflections on the importance of history.  

In one session, Australian History was refracted through the writings of three very different authors: Tom Griffiths, David Hunt and Rachel Landers. They spoke about the hunger for history and meaning and discussed the importance of bringing the ethics of inquiry into the text.

In other talks: Gil Jones spoke about the dispossession of the Darkinyung people on whose land St Albans stands. Mark Tedeschi presented from his latest book Murder at Myall Creek about the 1838 trails and of George Plunkett, the prosecutor at these trials. 

A few highlights were Paul Irish who talked with Stan Grant about his new book Hidden in Plain View, which reveals where Aboriginal people continued to live in the Sydney area, creating relationships and economic links with Europeans. Stan Grant spoke on The Australian Dream, blood and belonging - asking 'what is our foundation story?'   

In the 1836 Settlers Arms Inn history was served up as a gastronomic feast. Jacqui Newling, from the Sydney Living Museums, created a 1836-style menu evoking the food which might have been served when the pub was new....from main courses including kangeroo tail soup, hominy, pease pudding, warrigal greens and pickled cabbage to sweet tarts, jellies and cheeses.

Bernadette Flynn, FAHS Outreach Officer attended the St Albans writers' festival, 8-10 September 2017 
Featured Historical Society - Kurrajong-Comleroy Historical Society
Kurrajong-Comleroy Historical Society, was formed in 2001 to research, preserve and promote the heritage of 'The Kurrajong', the district north and west of the Hawkesbury River in the Hawkesbury local government area of NSW.  

The millstones which form the logo were used in the watermills dating back to the early days in the area.
The Kurrajong-Comleroy Historical Society has a membership of 100 or so with around 30 or 40 people actively engaged in local and family history research, publications and collection management. 

The Society runs a range of historical field trips and hosts guest speakers. Previous talks cover a wide spectrum of topics from: the Mills of the Hawkesbury River; Female Convicts and the Female Factory; Bushranger 'Thunderbolt'; to the history and background of Norman Lindsay and the Kurrajong Radio Museum. 

A newsletter The Millstone published every two months serves as the Society’s journal. Past issues of The Millstone can be viewed on the Society website through the Archive Menu. A new coffee table book Built in the Kurrajong complements two other high quality illustrated publications sourced from the society's image collection and state archives along with contemporary photographs to place the history in context.

Photo: left, K-CHS  Family History Group members study the St Stephen's church register; right, History tour of the Pansy Steam Train Line.

The Society is particularly active in collecting and archiving photographs and documents relating to the history of the area. Vice-President, David Griffiths has developed an online library system for storing and retrieving images and documents - The Image & Document Archive (IDA). This is designed for use by K-CHS and any other groups who have collections of images and documents that they wish to make available to their members and the public. K-CHS is a Trove content partner and has more than 5,600 searchable images from the 1850s onwards via the image archive and through Trove. The image archive shows life at the base of the Blue Mountains in Windsor and Richmond, up the Bells Line of Road towards Bilpin and beyond. Digital images are available for purchase. The documents library, available for loan to members includes parish maps, census, electoral rolls, books and pamphlets etc 

Another aspect of K-CHS is the Family History Group which assists society members and members of the public with their family history enquiries. The Family History Group have published a register of family history studies and books containing the records of the parish registers. Another book from the group is Honouring Yesterdays Grandmothers developed after a successful High Tea where each guest was asked to bring along a story or an item to talk about their memories of their
grandmother. The interest generated led to the collation and subsequent publication of the stories.

Early on, the society elected not to own premises so as to avoid the challenge of building maintenance and associated costs. Instead it has focused on building the archive and supporting members interest. A challenge faced by K-CHS, as for other societies is attracting members to take up committee roles. As David outlines they are always looking for new enthusiastic people. K-CHS have developed good relations with the Hawkesbury City local council and local businesses who offer varying forms of support. Through the council K-CHS rent the old school house at Blaxlands Ridge as a repository for materials.   

In 2012, the Family History Group members were presented with the Heritage Council Heritage Heroes Award. The work of the society has also been recognised through a Hawkesbury Cultural Heritage Award in 2016. The society is affiliated with the Royal Australian Historical Society and the Blue Mountains Association of Cultural Heritage organisations. 

Website: https://www.kurrajonghistory.org.au/

Sources: Kurrajong-Comleroy Historical Society website and interview with Vice-President and Public Officer, David Griffiths. 
Fire at Richmond Vale Rail Museum, NSW 
Photo: Damaged carriages at the museum site (ABC: Col Kerr).

On 13th September, the Richmond Vale Rail Museum in the Hunter Valley, NSW was in the path of a devastating fire near Cessnock. About 80 per cent of rolling stock was damaged including three stainless steel carriages and ten restored coal hoppers and almost all non-restored wagons. In addition about two and a half kms of track and a bridge on the link line to Pelaw Main have been destroyed. 

Fortunately, a number of prized refurbished carriages and restored locomotives were protected from the blaze. 

The museum site is currently off-limits and under the control of Fire and Rescue NSW, due to the presence of hazardous materials. Museum activities will resume once access issues are resolved. The Board is developing a fundraising program which will assist the museum to restore the railway to a serviceable state.

Updates are posted on the Richmond Vale Rail Museum's website: 
$804,445 Funding for Dhiiyaan Archive, Moree
The Dhiiyaan Aboriginal Centre houses thousands of files and photographs that document Kamilaroi family and local histories, primarily from Moree but also for many inter-related communities throughout north-western NSW and southern Queensland including Gamilaraay people.  
Photo: Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall looks over the plans for the refurbishment of the Dhiiyaan Centre with Director Corporate Services Mitchell Johnson, Moree Services Club Manager Graham James and centre manager Chris Binge.

Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall said Moree Plains Shire Council would contribute $306,900 to complement the $495,545 ClubGrants NSW funding for the impressive $804,445 project.  

This is a fantastic outcome for Moree and the Kamilaroi and Gamilaraay people as this centre is the repository for over 100,000 genealogical records of local families, including data bases, significant objects, photographs and burial record,' Mr Marshall said.
'The project will see a total refurbishment of the centre including purpose built archival rooms, new common entrance foyer, new offices and galleries, new carpets, painting, furniture and fittings.
The existing amenities will be upgraded to include disabled facilities and an access ramp will be built.
'The upgrading will increase the centres capacity for storage and also improve management efficiency and public access,' he said.
Mr Marshall said the Centre was in a good position with a newly appointed Aboriginal Manager Chris Binge and Council commitment to first stage capital improvements and ongoing management costs.
'The Centre is also a founding member of the newly established Aboriginal Culture, Heritage and Arts Association (ACHAA) a developing network of Aboriginal keeping places, knowledge centres and arts centres hosted by Museums and Galleries NSW (M&GNSW).
'Arts NSW provided the State Library with $200,000 towards collection evaluation and preservation, and assistance with transition to an independent organisation.
'This upgrade represents a significant milestone which will greatly assist the work of the Council and State Library and will allow the Centre to re-establish public opening hours.
'Currently people wanting to access family records have to make an appointment,' he said.
Moree Plains Shire Council Director Corporate Services Mitchell Johnson said from a council perspective they were 'over the moon' that they could now move on with the total refit of the building.
'This is not only a great outcome for Moree but the whole region as the Dhiiyaan Centre is a cultural keeping place for a huge number of culturally significant aboriginal artefacts,' Mr Johnson said.
'With the purpose built archival rooms we will also have the capacity to repatriate quite a lot of material that is sitting in storage in a Sydney museum that has great relevance to this area.
'The building that houses the Dhiiyaan Centre will also incorporate a local and military history section so it will become quite a draw card for locals and tourists alike,' he said.
Source: http://www.adammarshall.com.au/upgrade-of-dhiiyaan-aboriginal-centre-gets-the-go-ahead/
Celebrating Our National Heritage

On 31 August the Minister For Environment & Energy (including Heritage), Hon Josh Frydenberg, made two important contributions to the recognition of Australia’s national heritage at a ceremony at the Abbotsford Convent and Collingwood Children’s Farm complex in Melbourne.

The first was to announce that the Abbotsford site had been added to the National Heritage List, in recognition of the role that it demonstrated in the provision of social welfare by religious and charitable institutions in earlier times. The Sisters of the Good Shepherd established the Convent in 1863 and from then until 1974 provided shelter, food, education and work for tens of thousands of women and children who were poor, neglected and suffering other social disadvantage.

The Convent was also known for the harsh conditions and the long working hours that were characteristic of welfare provision in those times, notably in the Convent’s asylum laundry which is a rare surviving example of its type within Australia.
Abbotsford is also renowned in Melbourne for the community campaign that saved it from redevelopment following the Convent’s closure, thereby endowing Melbourne with a dynamic community arts centre and a beautiful heritage complex of buildings and grounds.
Second, the Minister launched Australia’s National Heritage List – The Story So Far, a downloadable book that outlines and explains the places, now more than 100, that have achieved National Heritage status. It links them together in a series of themes that tell the unique story of our continent through its natural, Indigenous and historic heritage.

Anyone interested in Australian history and heritage will gain a better understanding of Australian national heritage by delving into a free downloadable copy of Australia’s National Heritage List – The Story So Far, which can be accessed at:

Associate Professor, Don Garden, FAHS President
Australia’s bid to host 2020 ICOMOS Triennial General Assembly
The International Council and Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) in Australia has bid to host the 2020 ICOMOS Triennial General Assembly in Sydney.

The General Assembly is expected to attract more than 1,200 of the world’s best heritage experts, to public lectures, an exhibition at Darling Harbour and a three-day symposium.  

Read More
Historic kerb stones unearthed, Brisbane
Historic kerb stones have been unearthed during excavation works for the Queen's Wharf precinct. 

A RoadTek crew uncovered the artefacts, believed to be part of Brisbane's original kerb, while doing works to improve pedestrian safety around William Street.


State Development historian Harold Thornton said William Street closely followed the original penal settlement's layout along the crest of the river, and early photographs showed William Street was bounded by roughly-hewn kerb stones.

The stones could date back to the 1830s and were likely to be the original convict-hewn kerb stones that bounded William Street.

State Development Minister Anthony Lynham said the convict-hewn stones from Brisbane's horse and cart days would be preserved.

Source (extract) https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/queensland/convict-era-artefacts-unearthed-by-workers-on-queen-s-wharf-20170907-p4yvse.html

Northern Territory History books launched at the NT Library
Kathy De La Rue’s new book A Stubborn City: Darwin 1911-1978 was officially launched on 13th September. The book is a history of the capital city of the Northern Territory during the time it was ruled by remote control from Canberra.

Kathy and the members of the Historical Society of the Northern Territory joined with others  to celebrate the product of over nine years of original research and writing from the much-loved local historian.
Ted Egan's new book, Gilruth was launched on 6th September. Ted Egan is a legendary Territorian, music icon and former Administrator

Gilruth explores a fascinating but controversial chapter in Territory history - the appointment of John Anderson Gilruth, the first Commonwealth Administrator of the Northern Territory (1912 to 1919).
Available from http://www.historicalsocietynt.org.au/index.htm
A History of Public Trustees
The Creation of Trust is the intriguing story of Australia's Public Trustees, revealing their rich heritage and casting a rarely-seen light on their often misunderstood purpose, services and contribution to society. The office of the Public Trustee has a long and curious past stretching back to medieval times.

This book explores its history and is an account of scandal, honour, sustainability, resilience and of how Public Trustees today continue to be of service to Australians in an environment of social change and increasing community expectations.
All profits from the sale of The Creation of Trust will benefit State Trustees Australia Foundation (STAF), which was established in 1994 as a public charitable trust administered by State Trustees. Since 2013, the funding from STAF has helped those disadvantaged by ageing, disability and mental health through grants to create new opportunities.

Available from www.statetrustees.com.au/the-creation-of-trust/
SA State History Conference, Public Lecture, Adelaide
Hearts and Minds: Revaluing the Past – Public Lecture with Dr Stuart Candy - Friday 6 October 2017

This year the State History Conference will be exploring questions around the uses and value of history. Friday’s program will conclude with a special public lecture by futurist Dr Stuart Candy as part of Open State.
In our fast paced, forward facing world, why does the past matter? What value does history have for us? How does a study of the past and the application of historical skills bring value to our community? How can we do it better? What challenges do we face and how can we innovate?

Free event requires registration
Venue: Napier Theatre 102, The University of Adelaide, North Terrace
History Week 2017, Melbourne and Victoria
Is your organisation holding a history event during the week of the 15 – 22 October 2017? If you answered yes, then you can register your event and become a part of the official History Week.

When: 15th - 22nd October
Where: Melbourne and Victoria

e: info@historyweek.org.au
Tel: (03) 9326 9288
Bicentennial Australian History Lecture, Sydney 
60,000 years of Australian History: A Plea for Interdisciplinarity

Professor Lynette Russell will deliver the 2nd Bicentennial Australian History Lecture at the University of Sydney on Thursday 19 October 2017, 5-7:30pm.
Read More
Lunchtime Lecture, RHSV, Melbourne
Secrets, Codes and the 'Cable Girls' of West Block. Speaker: Peter Dowling

Date: Thursday, 23rd November
Time: 12.30/ Lecture 1.00pm
Cost: RHSV members free, non-members $10.00

Photo: 'The Cable Girls' outside West Block c. 1942.  

A small, innocuous and often ignored building in Canberra’s Parliamentary Triangle has quite a remarkable story to tell. The building is located in the rear of the West Block curtilage and today is used as an electricity substation and a place for the staff of the main offices to park their bicycles. But, during the Second World War this small building, tucked away behind the main building which housed the Prime Minister’s Department, was occupied by a group of young women working on the top secret encryption and decryption of government cables.

They called themselves the 'Cable Girls' and the building, 'The Bunker'. Dr Peter Dowling will tell the story of this building and its young staff who played a vital but highly secretive part in Australia’s war effort. Dr Dowling is a historical archaeologist and a Council member of the Canberra and District Historical Society. In a former life Peter was involved in defence intelligence and communications which later drew his interest towards the history of this place and the young people who worked in isolation there.

Source: http://www.historyvictoria.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/2017-09-Whats-On.pdf  
NFSA's Digital Directions symposium, ACT

NFSA's Digital Directions symposium, which will be held on 19 October 2017 at the NFSA's headquarters in Acton.  This is the third year of the event and this time around we focus on the users of digital collections - looking at what users want in the form of access, and what challenges there are for institutions in providing this.  

Further information about the event is also available on the website https://www.nfsa.gov.au/about/our-mission/digital-directions-2017
The FAHS e-Bulletin, No. 169,
27th Sept 2017
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