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e-BULLETIN No. 75 – 17 November 2010


Hon Editor, Dr Ruth S. Kerr




1) Exhibition - 'With the best of Intentions. Stories from Dr. Barnardo’s Farm School at Mowbray Park 1929-1959'


2) Use of taxonomies in information presentations


3) Dutch maritime collection housed permanently in Australia


4) Local history - the role of volunteers in local historical societies in Australia


5) Leyburn Stock Pound Yard, south of Warwick, Queensland - heritage significance


6) Consider joining the online Australian Historical Societies Support Group




1) Exhibition - 'With the best of Intentions. Stories from Dr. Barnardo’s Farm School at Mowbray Park 1929-1959'


The Oaks Historical Society has launched a new exhibition on Sunday, November 7th at 2.00pm at the Wollondilly Heritage Centre, 43 Edward Street, The Oaks, NSW 2472.


 ‘With the best of Intentions. Stories from Dr. Barnardo’s Farm School at Mowbray Park 1929-1959’ launched by Mary Louise Williams, Director of the National Maritime Museum and Hon. Phil Costa MLA, Member for Wollondilly, features an exhibition, DVD of 11 digital stories and book. The exhibition will run from 2010 until 2012 and is open every weekend and public holiday from 10am – 4.00pm.


Phone/fax (02) 4657 1796



Curator: Doreen Lyon (02) 4681 0472; Email:


(Source: The Oaks Historical Society)



2) Use of taxonomies in information presentations


Australian organizations of all types need to take advantage of the semantic web and master data management. A recent survey shows that everyone is on the right track, and that greater promotion could be done of the fact.

Consistent metadata standards and vocabularies need to be used as taxonomies form a critical part of this information governance process. Innotecture and Straits Knowledge will be providing a workshop in Sydney in March 2011 that will enable attendees to run their own taxonomy projects and provide the business justifications for them.


The Australian Taxonomy Use & Skills Survey was conducted online by Innotecture Pty Ltd and Straits Knowledge in late 2010. 125 Australian information professionals responded. These included IT managers, information architects, knowledge managers, records officers and librarians. Survey respondents worked in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. Innotecture is an Australia-based information management consultancy. Straits Knowledge is a Singapore-based consulting and research firm focused on knowledge, learning and innovation. Straits Knowledge founder Patrick Lambe is the author of Organising Knowledge, a pioneering book on the strategic importance and business value of taxonomy development for organizations.


(Source: Alia ListServ – 10 November 2010)



3) Dutch maritime collection housed permanently in Australia


On 9 November 2010 the Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, Senator Don Farrell MP accepted an extensive consignment of artifacts recovered from four Dutch shipwrecks found off the West Australian coast.


Until now the collections from the Batavia (sunk in 1629), the Vergulde Draeck (1656), the Zuytdorp (1712) and the Zeewijk (1727) had been located in Australia and the Netherlands under the Agreement between the Netherlands and Australia Concerning Old Dutch Shipwrecks (ANCODS).


The Press Release by the Parliamentary Secretary sets out significant details about the agreements and the proposed travelling exhibition.


Artifacts recovered from these ships include silver coins, bricks, lead ingots, canon balls, amber and pitch, as well as rare objects owned by crew and passengers such as navigational instruments and ornaments. Dutch ships undertook significant exploration off Australia's coasts.


The decision to transfer the objects was formalized on 15 September 2010, when Australia's Ambassador to the Netherlands, Lydia Morton, and the Netherlands Secretary for Culture, Judith van Kranendonk, signed an agreement aboard a replica of the Batavia in Lelystad in the Netherlands.


On 9th November HE Mr Willem Andreae, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands presented the artifacts to Senator Farrell at a ceremony held at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney.


The ANCODS Agreement was signed on 6 November 1972.


Ambassador Willem Andreae stated that the repatriation of the objects to Australia expresses the close cooperation between the Australian and Netherlands' governments.


The artifacts will be housed in the Western Australian Museum and will be available for study and appreciation of the entire collection. An online database has been developed.


A travelling exhibition of the ANCODS collection throughout Australia is foreseen for 2011-2012.


More information about ANCODS including images can be found at:


(Source: ICOMOS Email News No. 462, 12 November 2010)



4) Local history - the role of volunteers in local historical societies in Australia


Following FAHS President, Associate Professor Don Garden's Press Release on behalf of FAHS regarding Community History before the federal election a regional historical society responded to FAHS outlining the role of volunteers in historical societies. It is very supportive of the role of historical societies and explains the role of volunteers and their contribution to the Australia nation. As it is so vivid and real the outline may be helpful to other societies in their advocacy with government agencies on any level.


The response set out below has been edited to preserve the anonymity of the historical society and the volunteer.

‘I have to whole heartedly agree with Don Garden's sentiments and concerns.  We are a small historical society in a rural town, crammed into a room 4.5m by 4.5m in a council-owned building paying $10 a week rental regardless of whether we earn any income. There is no phone line and no internet access. We have about eight active members, three of whom spend some time doing filing, cataloguing and research for individuals, councils and other organisations.

Personally my involvement in our Society is equivalent to a full-time job. I am indexing records, cataloguing our collection, serving and doing research for our customers, applying for grants, attending our own meetings as well as representing our society at state society regional meetings, Shire Heritage Council meetings, our local Business and Tourism association and committees planning local events, as well as writing articles for our local community newsletter and taking phone calls anytime between 8am and 9pm.


I even managed to get a book written this year but as a result we are very behind in customer requested research. I would be delighted if volunteers were paid $20 per hour for this. As we all know it actually costs us large amounts of money to volunteer in terms of petrol, phone bills, internet usage, stationery as well as time. In small country towns, having a large-enough population from which to draw upon people who are available to help, but also interested enough to do so, is a key problem, but more and more we are finding that those who in the past might have helped are staying at work longer to try to top up their superannuation for retirement. If we want to register for a work for the dole scheme to attract volunteers we have to deal with yet more paperwork and then the volunteers have to be supervisors on a regular basis which means less time is spent on vital work on cataloguing and research. If family commitments interrupt it’s hard to arrange for others to do this supervision work. Grant money cannot be utilised to provide some financial assistance to volunteers who might be able to help if their expenses were paid. Our private expenses cannot be claimed on our tax returns.

Funding is part of the issue. However government policies must also take into account that increasing the eligible pension age, having an economy that forces both parents in a family to work to survive and relying on superannuation in retirement with no tax concessions for those who volunteer, will slowly be the death knell for volunteering of all kinds in Australia. We sorely need support from policy makers in Canberra and State and Local Governments.’


(Source: A member of a regional historical society in Australia)



5) Leyburn Stock Pound Yard, south of Warwick, Queensland - heritage significance


Southern Downs Regional Council staff demolished the 149 years old Leyburn Stock Pound Yard in early October 2010. They apparently did it as a staff exercise on a wet day when they couldn’t do normal work. The Council did not know of its history and heritage interest and stated that they only listed heritage places ‘which could be affected by the planning approval process.’ When the Leyburn Historical Society raised their concerns about the demolition underway the Council decided to leave one side of the fence up and they donated the name board to the Historical Society. A Council officer stated that the Council may revisit the heritage register issue in order to inform staff of where potential heritage sites exist. The Council apologized to Leyburn townspeople that the work was undertaken without prior consultation. This experience illustrates the value of Shire Councils throughout Australia working with Historical Societies in identifying heritage sites throughout shire areas.


(Source: Warwick Daily News 16 October 2010)



6) 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)