Membership renewals and committee positions

This is a friendly reminder that History Council WA memberships are now well and truly due. Members get access to our email roundup and newsletter, and have the right to vote at our upcoming AGM. Member institutions can put forward a representative for the Committee, or you can become a Committee member in your own right.

Nomination forms for the Committee and for the roles of President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasury will be coming your way in the next few weeks.  Please consider standing for the Committee – we have 3 main meetings a year, plus two General Meetings, one of which is the AGM. As Committee members you get to have your voice heard on matters relating to history and heritage at a range of levels.

Culture and Arts in the State Budget

Thanks to the Chamber of Arts and Culture, the President was able to attend a fascinating briefing from Duncan Ord, Director General of the Department of Culture and Arts, on the State Budget. The overall picture for arts and culture, including LotteryWest and other funding, puts the Arts and Culture sector in WA ahead of many other states. Unfortunately, the specifics mean that the various cultural institutions have suffered from either flat line funding, or a loss of income. The New Museum project, includes refurbishment of the heritage buildings and Welshpool storage facility, and DCA have recognised that additional work will need to be spent on other facilities in the Cultural Centre to maintain it as an attractive space and active public area after Yagan Square and Elizabeth Quay are completed.
The Strategic Directions Framework, which is looking to 2030 0r 2031, will go out to the community for consultation, with the intention that it be a document of intent for the arts and cultural sectors. It is important that history and heritage interests are represented in the framework, so please respond to the survey, if you have not done so already. (You might also want to point out the significant anniversary in 2029). Closing dates for the survey and formal responses is by the end of the week.
DCA is looking at a new way of managing and supporting community organisations, and has developed a new Organisations Investment Program.  Expressions of Interest have been sought for new bodies to be supported by the Department, and further rounds of applications will be made available. The funding is set at around $19 mill, with a 1.5% increase over previous years.  The only difficulty with the program at the moment is that it was originally designed to work in conjunction with Australia Council funding.
The Creative Regions program will support additional performance tours in regional WA, as well as providing infrastructure funding.  It is not clear whether touring exhibitions, artist in residence or writers in residence programs will fit with this initiative.  However, there will also be funding for creation of new works and additional content, which may provide an avenue for members’ interests. The role of local and regional government in supporting cultural endeavours was also mentioned. Members should keep an eye on the DCA website for opportunities for funding and to provide feedback on these initiatives.

National Volunteers Week

As this week draws to a close, I’d like to thank and commend my Committee for their time and dedication. They’ve worked on advocacy statements, considered strategic plans and developed events programs (you are all coming to our quiz night, right?). It’s sometimes onerous, and not often rewarded, but I know how much I owe to them.

This week, one of our councillors had to withdraw from the Committee due to other pressures. We now have a number of vacant positions, for which we are looking for incumbents. If you’d like to try being on the History Council committee, please contact There are no rewards but the pleasure of working with a dedicated group, passionate about history, and keen to represent all history in Western Australia. It will look good on your CV, provide opportunities to work with historians, allied professions and history lovers from a range of disciplines, and the opportunity to represent the History Council on a broader stage.

History in the pub – with a twist

This year, we’re trying something a little different. Rather than getting the historians and antiquarians to share their passion and expertise, we’ve decided to test you. Yes, that’s right, we’re having a quiz night :-)

The venue is Carnegie’s Bar and Restaurant in Perth, on the 2nd of June. We’ve set up an eventbrite ticket link, so you can book your table, and we can let the nice staff at Carnegie’s know how many to expect.

Questions include general knowledge, world history, music (trying to control the President from only asking early modern and renaissance questions – what is a trouvere? – or something from the age of Motown has been a problem) and of course, history  – of all sorts and all places.

Get your friends together!



Charitable status

I am very please to be able to advise that the History Council of WA is now a registered charity with Australian Charities and Not for Profit Commission (ACNC). While this change means that we will be required to meet the ACNC’s governance requirements, it is also a guarantee to our members that we will remain focused on the job at hand – “To be a strong voice for history” – and that our corporate structure and administration are sound.


In addition, we are now eligible for GST exemptions in some area, which will help with the administration of grant funding. Unfortunately, we were not deemed eligible for Deductible Gift Recipient status, so this will have to be looked at again in future years.

Lise Summers


Premier’s Book Awards will not happen in 2015

On Thursday, the History Council and other stakeholders were advised by the State Library of WA that:

A decision has been made that the Western Australian Premier’s Book Awards will now take place every two years, commencing in 2016. Therefore there will be no 2015 Awards.


No rationale has been provided for the decision, and we are unaware of any consultation or discussion that may have occurred prior to the decision.  The decision does not appear to be in line with the SLWA’s strategic directions of encouraging literacy and creativity. WritingWA has advised that they will be seeking a meeting with SLWA to discuss the situation, and the Chamber of Arts and Culture WA has released a statement, which the History Council endorses.

The History Council has a long and proud tradition of supporting the Premier’s Book Awards, including the review of the History award by then council members, Malcolm Allbrook and Mary Anne Jebb.  We ask that members write to the Council and to SLWA expressing their concern and support for the awards.

A petition is now being circulated.

Job vacancy: Executive Officer: History Council of Western Australia



Executive Officer: History Council of Western Australia

The History Council is the peak body for history in Western Australia. Its key role is to advocate for history, and to promote an awareness of history across the State.

Applications are currently sought for the position of Executive Officer. The challenging and varied duties of this position call for an applicant with excellent communication skills and the ability to work independently, a sound knowledge of office administration, meeting procedure and familiarity with the historical and cultural organisations of the state of WA. Experience with grant applications and media liaison would be an advantage.  Familiarity with WordPress web applications and social media would also be considered favourably.

The duties of the position include providing administrative support to the Executive and Management Committees of the History Council, managing the day to day affairs of the History Council, managing the Council’s public programs, and maintaining the web site, and liaison with other organisations in accordance with the Council’s Strategic Plan.

The Council will discuss salary options with the successful applicant, and will consider either developing a PAYG or contractual arrangement, averaging a .2 FTE. Hours are flexible, but may include some evenings and weekends.

Applications should be addressed to

When applying for this position please pay particular note to the Duty Statement and Selection Criteria.

14.11.27 History Council of Western Australia Executive Officer Duty Statement


2015 Heritage Festival – event registrations open


Heritage Festival – Event registrations now open

Join us in celebrating Australia’s diverse historic, natural and Aboriginal heritage, through talks, tours, exhibitions and events across Western Australia by registering an event in the National Trust Heritage Festival 2015 which runs 18 April – 18 May.  Registrations for the programme will close on 12 December.

What do you receive? A free listing in the printed programme, a dedicated page for your entry on the national website, the opportunity to raise the profile of your organisation and offer the community a chance to appreciate our heritage.

About the Festival – Previously the Western Australian Heritage Festival, this is WA’s biggest heritage festival and in 2014 attracted over 90,000 people with 169 registered events registered in cities and towns across the state. With a corresponding festival in each state and territory there were over 1,500 events nationwide. The event is promoted via a range of promotional campaigns involving traditional and electronic media.

This year’s optional theme, Conflict + Compassion, evokes stories of kindness and creativity, civil tension and struggle, animal rescue, ANZAC memories and Aboriginal history. Or interpret the theme to suit your event.

Visit the Festival website at to register your event today.

For queries contact the Julie Hutchens, WA Coordinator, via or phone 08 9321 6088.

Voices of World War II Perth


The Voices of WWII Perth project is now live!


Visit the City of Perth History Centre blog to hear the wartime recollections of business owners, servicemen and servicewomen, children, city workers and every day men and women:

And don’t forget to follow our SoundCloud account (username: Perth HistoryCentre) so you can be informed of future uploads from the oral historycollection:

More information about this project is available via the blog.


Kind regards
Perth History Centre team
City of Perth History Centre


New Faculty Honours Research Fellowships for 2015

The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences is pleased to announce the introduction of nine Honours Research Fellowships to be awarded to outstanding undergraduates intending to undertake an Honours year in 2015.

The deadline for Fellowship applications is 15 November 2014.

All Fellowship applications should be sent as a single pdf or Word document to Martin King (