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E-BULLETIN No. 68 – 28 June 2010


Hon Editor, Dr Ruth S. Kerr



1)  Criticism of development of national history curriculum


2)  Proclamation of Commonwealth Freedom of Information legislation


3)  New Chair of Australian Heritage Council


4)  Call for nominations – UNESCO Australian Memory of the World Register 2011


5)  Local history – Historic Houses Trust to acquire Throsby Park


6)  Local history – Marysville Historical Society, Victoria


7)  Local history – Alice Springs – Stuart exhibition


8)  United Kingdom cultural and historical issues


9)  Consider joining the online Australian Historical Societies Support Group


1)   Criticism of development of national history curriculum


Professor Stuart McIntyre, one of the lead writers of the national history curriculum has been quoted in the Australian newspaper as criticising progress on the curriculum. He has claimed that four groups involved have been making changes without consultation with each other. Consequently the curriculum has become too detailed.  McIntyre also criticised the impasse between the states and the federal government about who is going to fund the resources necessary and professional training of teachers. He also criticised the separation of Australian history from world history. Professor McIntyre also requested that the federal government address the capacity of university education faculties to train more history teachers. [The Federation has submitted these issues to the Australian government and its history curriculum committee already and re-iterated them at every opportunity. – Ed.]


(Source: Australian 25 May 2010  p.5)


2)   Proclamation of Commonwealth Freedom of Information legislation


The Governor-General has proclaimed 1 November 2010 as the day the Australian Information Commissioner Act 2010 commences. The new Office of the Australian Information Commissioner will be established from that date and the majority of measures in the Freedom of Information Amendment (Reform) Act 2010 will also commence on 1 November 2010. Different commencement times apply for:

Professor John McMillan AO, who is the Information Commissioner Designate, will start as the first Australian Information Commissioner on 1 November 2010.


(Source: – 8 June 2010)



3)   New Chair of Australian Heritage Council


On 9 June the Federal Heritage Minister, Hon Peter Garrett MP, announced the appointment of Honourable Professor Carmen Lawrence as Chair of the Australian Heritage Council. It is the Federal Government’s independent expert advisory body on heritage matters under the Environmental Protection Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. Honourable Professor Carmen Lawrence is a former Western Australia Labor Premier and was a Minister in the Keating Commonwealth Governments when she was member for Freemantle.


(Source: Press Release of Minister, Peter Garrett MP, 9 June 2010)




4)  Call for nominations – UNESCO Australian Memory of the World Register


It’s time to start thinking about submitting a nomination of significant documentary heritage to the Australian Memory of the World Register.


Nominations for the next round close on 30 September 2010, and successful inscriptions will be announced in early 2011.


Nominations are accepted from institutions and individuals for documents or collections.


Go to  to check the nomination criteria, and to download the nomination form.


If advice is required on developing the nomination, contact a member of the Assessment Sub-Committee through



(Source: – 11 June 2010)



5)   Local history – Historic Houses Trust to acquire Throsby Park


Throsby Park, Moss Vale will be transferred from the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) to the HHT to be managed and leased as a residence through the HHT’s Endangered Houses Fund (EHF) program. The nationally significant property is located 140km south of Sydney on the outskirts of Moss Vale and contains a fine c1834 colonial Georgian homestead and associated rural buildings, including stables, diary, piggery, meat house, summer house, orchards and gardens. By returning Throsby Park to its original use as a residence, HHT maintains its heritage values while ensuring regular opportunities for the public to visit and appreciate this historic property.


(Source: ICOMOS Email News 28 May 2010, No.438)



6)   Local history – Marysville Historical Society, Victoria


The Marysville & District Historical Society moved into their new premises at Marysville last week. The society was fortunate enough to receive a bequest which helped them purchase a house and property in the town. The house was not damaged in the bushfires and is in sound condition. To date, around 10,000 historically relevant items have been donated to the society (digital or hard copy originals). The new Marysville Museum is expected to open to the public towards the end of the year or early next year, following some modernisation works on the site.


All donated items will be digitised and catalogued onto a computer database (most likely using Inmagic DB/TextWorks) in due course.


Glen Turnbull, Councillor, Royal Historical Society of Victoria Inc. & President, Association of Eastern Historical Societies Inc. ( thanked all who donated items or assisted the society in any way over the past 17 months.


(Source: – 15 June 2010)



7)   Local history – Alice Springs – Stuart exhibition


An exhibition on John McDouall Stuart’s 1861 exhibition commenced on 16 June in the Araluen Gallery in Alice Springs. This exhibition outlines the story of Stuart’s fourth expedition and those that travelled with him, William Darton Kekwick and Benjamin Head. The objects on display are loaned from History SA and include many personal items owned by John McDouall Stuart.


(Source: Northern Territory News 15 June 2010 p.5)



8)   United Kingdom cultural and historical issues



Fourteen million pounds have been earmarked to assist in regenerating towns across the United Kingdom. Stockton in north east England is to receive £1.8 million to reinstate historic features of existing buildings in the town, bring unoccupied buildings back into use and provide volunteers with opportunities to learn traditional building skills and take up work placements.


(Source: The Journal (Durham) 17 May 2010 p.18)




Records relating to historic buildings and archaeological sites are now online at

Images, plans, drawings, reports, publications covering archaeology, social and local history have been made available in digital form.  Over a million records are available.  (The Australian Government’s Department of Environment, Heritage, Water and The Arts Register of the National Estate contains the heritage assessments of Australian sites but not the supporting documents.)


(Source: The Journal (Durham) 18 May 2010 p.9)



Online publisher Brightsolid is to digitise 40 million pages of the British Library’s newspaper archive spanning 300 years. It is to be a 10 year project and the pages will be fully searchable. The library holds 52,000 local, regional and international newspaper titles. Four million pages will be digitised in the first two years. Negotiations are still underway with rights holders for post 1900 newspapers.  James Murdoch, Head of Newscorp in Europe and Asia, criticised the move stating that it would ‘harm the market’. His statement came a few days ahead of his company’s introduction of charges for access to websites of The Times and The Sunday Times.


(Source: Independent (London) 19 May 2010 p.7 and 21 May 2010 p.25)



A short article in History Today, ‘Satnav’s Limited Range’ by Francis Pryor, argues that the landscape is about people, more than place. Pryor is an archaeologist and he sets out that, based on his experience as an archaeologist who has researched Bronze Age Fens and reindeer hunters in Northamptonshire in his career, landscape is about the people who inhabited the space and altered it. Any landscape retains marks of its past – eg. layouts of streets from medieval times or other ancient markers. He argues that the survival of these landscapes through time is due to the efforts of thousands of ordinary people.


(Source: History Today, Vol. 60 Issue 6, June 2010 pp.5-6)



9)  Consider joining the online Australian Historical Societies Support Group


The online Australian Historical Societies Support Group, through an arrangement between the Federation of Australian Historical Societies (FAHS) and the Royal Historical Society of Victoria, is one of the My Connected Community (mc2) groups initiated and funded by the Victorian Government’s Connecting Communities policy. 


The Australian Historical Societies Support Group offers participating historical societies, like-minded bodies and their members a variety of free, easy to use Web-based services which they can use to communicate with each other across the nation and the world on any topic that is of interest or concern to their organisations.  


The mc2 website provides easy access to online technologies now available for communicating between group members. Features of mc2 include a forum, an events list, space for sharing files, space for sharing photos, a links page and a chat room.


Details on how to join the Group are available at the FAHS website at:  Follow the “Support” and “Support Group” links from the home page.


(Source: FAHS Council)