Irwin River UWA Geology Camp, September 1928, UWA Geology Museum

Irwin River UWA Geology Camp, September 1928, UWA Geology Museum


The History Council is governed by a Committee of Management.  Committee members are elected from the History Council membership at the Annual General Meeting. The Committee comprises up to seventeen members; fifteen are elected by the corporate and individual membership and two are chosen by the Indigenous membership of the Council.

At the 2018/19 Annual General Meeting, the following members were appointed:

Executive Members 2018-19

President: Emeritus Professor Jenny Gregory AM taught and researched in the fields of history and heritage at The University of Western Australia for many years. She was Director of UWA’s Centre for WA History, Head of the School of Humanities (2009-15) and Chair of History (2007-08). Her research spans urban history, town planning and heritage, focusing in particular on people and their response to remnants of the past. Her most recent publications are War and Emotions (2018) co-edited with Bobbie Oliver, and A Man for All Seasons: Essays for Geoffrey Bolton (2017) co-edited with  Stuart Macintyre and  Lenore Layman. Other major publications include City of Light: a history of Perth since the fifties (2003), Claremont with Geoff Bolton, and Scotch College, as well as the edited collections, Seeking Wisdom: a Centenary History of UWA (2013), and the Historical Encyclopedia of Western Australia (2009). She was inaugural President of the History Council of WA (2003–07), is a board member of Australia Day WA, former President and Chair of the National Trust of Australia (WA) (1998–2010), and a former Director of UWA Press.

Vice President: Bobbie Oliver is Honorary Research Fellow in History at The University of Western Australia.  Prior to her retirement in 2018, she was Associate Professor of History at Curtin University.  Her recent publications include Step Forward, Speak Out. A history of the Independent Schools Salaried Officers’ Association and the Independent Education Union in Western Australia, 1960-2015 (Black Swan Press, 2017) and Radical Perth, Militant Fremantle, co-edited by Charlie Fox and Lenore Layman (Black Swan Press, 2017).  She is currently researching a history of Australian war resisters and conscientious objectors during the Vietnam War.  Bobbie is an Executive Member of the Australian Society for the Study of Labour History, Perth Branch, and of the History Foundation of Western Australia.

Secretary: Helen Munt is President of the Professional Historians Association (WA). She has tertiary qualifications from UWA and WAAPA and has worked professionally in the heritage and interpretation sectors since 1994, in areas as diverse as development, conservation, heritage listings, policy development, management plans, grant assessment, interpretation and heritage-based tourism events and products. She also has strong abilities in communication and consultation, project management & delivery and has nurtured a vast network of professional and community contacts and associations from across the State, particularly through her work as regional heritage advisor. Helen has been involved in independent theatre since the 1990s and is an Artistic Director of Scooplight Theatre.

Treasurer: Nick Drew. Since leaving full time employment with Wesfarmers, Nick has served on various committees for the Royal Western Australian Historical Society being a Councilor, Tours & Events, Promotions & Marketing and the Affiliated Societies. Nick is also Treasurer of the Friends of Battye Library and the Federation of Australian Historical Societies.

Membership Secretary: Pam Harris has a degree in Social Sciences (with Distinction) majoring in Australian History and Politics and a Graduate Diploma in Information and Library Studies. Pam has worked in libraries for over twenty seven years, most recently as a librarian with the Heritage Council and the Supreme Court Law Library. For the last eleven years Pam has been History Librarian at the Fremantle City Library. Pam has also been actively involved with the Fremantle History Society during this period.

Committee Members 2018-19

Bruce Baskerville is an independent public historian, a current UWA Honorary Research Fellow in Humanities and former History Council NSW office bearer (1998-2008).  His general research interests lie in the ways old institutions are transported, re-imagined and adapted in new realms, especially settler societies.  Particular interests include history for heritage purposes, cultural cleansing at heritage sites, reading landscapes, ruins, place-name histories, common lands, vice-regal history, heraldry, symbols of identity, forced migration, convict history, and LGBTIQ histories.  He holds an Honours degree in History from UWA and a PhD from the University of Sydney.

Sally Davies graduated from UWA with an Honours Degree in Classics and Ancient History.  She is an experienced teacher of Secondary Humanities and Social Sciences drawing on 19 years in the Independent Sector. Currently she is Head of Learning Area for Humanities at Living Waters Lutheran College in Warnbro.  She has spent 16 years teaching Year 11 and 12 ATAR Ancient History and Modern History. She has also consulted to both the WA School Curriculum and Standards Authority and ACARA. In a consultancy role she has been on the Ancient History Course Advisory Committee for 5 years, has written and developed Ancient History ATAR examinations and has been an ATAR examination marker for several years. She is the HTAWA VP for Ancient History delivering professional learning for other teachers of Ancient and Modern History from year 7-12, presenting at student revision seminars for Year 12 students, and developing resources for students and teachers alike. As a community minded individual, she has served on a number of committees in a variety of community organisations, and enjoyed running for election to Local Council in 2017. She continues to be interested in change in society, and pursues these interests and relevant training in her own time.

Kyra Edwards is a Nyikina woman from the Kimberley region. She moved to Perth in 2012, when she was 18. In 2015 she began working as the Local History Officer for the City of Stirling. At the City of Stirling she works closely with the museum curator in the operation of the Mount Flora Regional Museum and the Local History collection. In 2017 she became the Vice President of the Oral History Association (WA branch). In the same year she became the WA representative for the Oral History Australia committee and joined the Programs committee for the 2019 Oral History Australia’s National Conference. In 2016 she began studying a Bachelor of Arts with Griffith University online, but has deferred her studies so she can apply for the online Graduate Certificate of Museum Studies at Deakin University. In September 2018 a teacher from Derby and she will be taking three indigenous year 12 students to Japan. They are hoping the girls will become inspired by the trip to embraces their culture and look at ways they may be able to share their culture with others.  

Neil Foley is Managing Director of Planning Consultants Australia Pty Ltd, an urban and regional planning consultancy he established upon leaving the Department of Planning in 2009 after almost 30 years’ service in the State’s planning agencies. Neil also holds qualifications in property, real estate, archives administration and librarianship. He served on the Board of the Swan River Trust between 2003 and 2007. He has been a member of the Waste Authority of Western Australia since 2011, and between 2011 and 2013 he was the Presiding Member of the Metro South-West and the South West Joint Development Assessment Panels established under the Planning and Development Act 2005. Since 2016 he has been a member of the State Records Commission’s State Records Advisory Committee. He currently teaches planning students on a part-time basis at the University of Western Australia.

Andrea Gaynor is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Western Australia, where she researches and teaches environmental history. She has published on historical topics as diverse as landscape art and feral cats, and her current environmental history research interests encompass Australia’s southern mallee country, comparative conservation, urban water, urban agriculture, and nature in urban modernity.

Vanessa Kirkham is Senior School teacher of Modern History, years 8-12. She currently works at All Saints College and has been there since graduating from Murdoch University in 2014. Her previous career was in Retail management and training for over 25 years. She has always had a love for History with Russian History and American History being her particular focus. She has also studied the learning curve of the British Expeditionary Forces in World War 1. She has served on the HTAWA committee for two years and enjoys interacting with her fellow teachers.

Jan McCahon Marshall has been a member of the History Council of Western Australia from the establishment of the Council.  She was Local Studies Librarian at the Town of Victoria Park and at the City of Perth, and most recently held the position of Cultural Heritage Team Leader, City of Perth History Centre, part of the Arts, Culture and Heritage Unit in the  Economic Development and Activation Directorate. The function of the History Centre is to collect, preserve and make available historical records relating to the City of Perth municipal boundaries from yesterday through to today.

Bri McKenzie is a practising historian with interests in WA history. Bri is currently a lecturer and major coordinator in History at Curtin University. Her research interests include WA midwifery history, gay and lesbian activist movements and radical feminist movements.  She holds a doctorate in history.

Geoff Moor is the part-time Heritage officer at the City of Canning (previously Manager Recreation Services until part retirement). He is a Councillor of National Trust of Australia (WA); past secretary of the local historical society and chair of the metropolitan chapter of MAWA. Has an avid interest in classic motoring and is President of the Council of Motoring Clubs of WA; and is actively involved with the Veteran Car Club (past president at local and federal levels).  Life member VCCWA; past secretary Motor Museum of WA Trust; hon. life member several organisations; Paul Harris Fellow etc. He has a keen interest in Western Australian commercial/retail history.

Samantha Owen is a Lecturer in Humanities and Social Sciences in the School of Education at Curtin University. Previously she was a Lecturer in History at Curtin University. She is a historian who studies the (re)building of civil society post-1945, with a particular focus on Europe. Her research considers the relationship between nationalism and education. Samantha has a PhD in History (Reading U., UK), MA (History) (U. Pitt.) and BA Hons. (First Class, UWA) (History and Anthropology).

Cindy Solonec is a Nigena (Nyikina) from the West Kimberley. She is currently preparing her PhD thesis for publication, for a general readership. Her research in social history illuminates the ways in which her father a Spanish migrant, in the absence of his heritage in the Kimberley, forged new networks among diverse groups especially Aboriginal peoples. Since 2000 Cindy has worked in the higher education sector as both a general and academic staff at ECU, Curtin, Notre Dame (Broome) and UWA. As a sessional staff, she tutors and presents guest lectures at UWA   addressing Aboriginal themes.

Pamela Statham Drew lectured in economic history at the University of Western Australia for 42 years retiring as Associate Professor in 2006. She graduated with an honours degree in Economics from Monash University in Victoria and was awarded her doctorate by the University of Western Australia. She has written and edited a number of books on Australian History, including The Origins of Australia’s Capital Cities (1989), James Stirling: admiral and founding governor of Western Australia (2003), Court and Camera: the life and times of AH Stone, a pioneer lawyer and photographer in Perth(2012). She is President of the Friends of Battye Library and a Councillor of the Royal Western Australian Historical Society.