President’s Report

A number of issues have recently emerged that are set to become hot topics over the next months and perhaps years.  Firstly, the reduction in the number of students studying History at secondary school, because of the proliferation of WACE subjects in Years 11 and 12. Secondly, the position of History in WA Government Arts Leadership Group’s Strategic Directions 2016-31. Thirdly, the continuing lack of storage space for State Archives and the challenge of born-digital archives.

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Reports on Recent Events

Radical Perth, Militant Fremantle Talk – March 19, State Library of WA

People, political movements and places of working class resistance were themes taken up by two of Perth’s most renowned labour historians, Bobbie Oliver and Charlie Fox. Bobbie and Charlie (along with Lenore Layman) are the editors of the recently published Radical Perth Militant Fremantle book. Speaking at the State Library they took stories from that book to reveal the often unknown history of Western Australia, those moments where ordinary people fought back against ‘the system’ or offered alternatives to the conventionality of the mainstream.

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Feature Article – Mead Farm, Leda

As a horse enthusiast, former Riding Develops Abilities (RDA) volunteer and as a local, Heritage listed Mead Farm in Leda, between Rockingham and Kwinana, is of interest to me. The site has recently been given a new lease of life by local Not-for-Profit organisation Peel Horsepower (Formerly Peel RDA) and the WA State Govt. Associated with the Mead family who were pioneers in this State and owned the farm for over 130 years, much of the existing fabric of the building features in the family’s history, illustrating aspects of their lives. 

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Future Conferences – Call for Papers

‘Activism, Struggle and Labour History’, 16th National Biennial Labour History Conference
‘The Antipodes and Beyond: Foregrounding Irish Women’, 24th ISAANZ Conference CFP
‘Beyond Borders: Health and Medicine in Historical Context,’ ANZSHM Biennial Conference CFP
History Teachers Association of Australia 2019 Conference
‘Embodying Romanticism’: Romantic Studies Association of Australasia 2019 Conference

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President’s Report

Happy New Year to all our members and friends. This edition of our newsletter includes a bumper crop of coming events, the chance to win free books, notice of coming conferences and reports of recent events. It also includes in-depth focus articles, including one on the study of Ancient History in WA. It has been very capably edited by Sally Davies of the History Teachers Association of WA and Committee Member of the History Council of WA.

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Recent Events

On Thursday 6 December, members of the History Council of WA and the Professional Historians Association (WA) attended a Christmas Sundowner at the former Lemnos Hospital, now part of Shenton College. By Pam Harris.

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Opportunities

Premier’s Book Award: following up from the article in the Spring newsletter, the details of the Premier’s Book award are available here. The scope of the History Award has been broadened to include other non-fiction. The emphasis seems to be on encouraging new work.

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2019 Margaret Medcalf Award: Call for Nominations

Since 2003, 18 researchers and historians, creating works on various Western Australian subjects, have won the Margaret Medcalf Award recognizing excellence in referencing and research. To submit a nominated work please complete a 2019 Margaret Medcalf Award Nomination Form and send it along with three copies of nominated works to the SRO at the address provided.

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Jenny GREGORYSummer 2019
Jill Roe Early Career Researcher AHA Conference Scholarship Scheme: Applications Open

The AHA is thrilled to announce a new conference prize, the Jill Roe Early Career Researcher AHA Conference Scholarship. Funding for this scheme is made possible by a generous bequest from Professor Emerita Jill Roe (1940–2017), an eminent and much-loved Australian historian who made a very significant contribution to the writing, teaching and public communication of history in Australia and abroad.

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A Continuing Issue: The Burrup Rock Art

You may recall that in November Robin Chapple MLC Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region called on HCWA members to submit comments to the Environmental Protection Authority calling for action in regard to the threat to Burrup Rock Art by the North West Shelf Project Extension & the Pluto North West Shelf Interconnector Pipeline. Many HCWA members replied within the tight deadlines set for response by the EPA and Woodside. The Burrup situation is ongoing.

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Feature Article 1: Ancient History in Education

The study of Ancient History has undeniable charm, it is easy to succumb to its wiles … what is there not to love? Dastardly deeds, notorious bad guys whose actions seem to have been completely unrestrained by culture or ethics, bloody battles across continents, heinous injustice, leaders who were condemned/misunderstood/reviewed by turns – exactly the stuff kids of all ages love. Articles from Dr Lara O’Sullivan of UWA and the Editor.

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Feature Article 2: On the Fringe

A short history of the world’s largest alternative performance arts event.

The origins of the Fringe festival reflect the desire of the WWII generation to reunite following the global catastrophe and division which characterised its youth. As such the Festival represents an intriguing turning point in cultural history, and has gone on to not only redefine performance festivals, but to articulate the sexual revolution, embrace equality, provide a platform for alternative culture, and tackle often otherwise unspoken confronting historical and sociopolitical issues through various forms of performance art. Its success has been truly remarkable.

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Family History WA — events throughout the year

This dynamic organisation has a huge selection of events occurring throughout the year. A variety of Special Interest Groups — Legacy, Irish SIG, WA SIG, Convict SIG, European SIG, the Writers Group are just a few — have regular committee and other meetings planned promising a wide selection of fascinating discussions and activities.

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Royal Western Australian Historical Society — events throughout the year

The programme for the RWAHS’s 2019 General Meetings and Community Talks is now out.  See https://www.histwest.org.au/activities/tours-and-events for details and dates of a fascinating line up of talks on Bishop Hale (Father Ted Doncaster), Prosecuting Crime in WA (Peter Handford), Rural Medical Practices (Geoff Clarke), Pharmaceutical Education (Bruce Sunderland), and Margaret Forrest (Lenore Layman).

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President’s Report

Best wishes for a very happy Christmas and New Year to all History Council members.  It’s been a busy year and I’m sure we’re all looking forward to a relaxing break.

Our advocacy work has continued unabated over the last few months.  With other History Councils of Australia we have lobbied the Federal Government for an Indigenous voice in the Australian Parliament, and to express concern about proposed changes to Marriage CertificatesOur continuing advocacy work at the State level is in support of the State Records, Office the Eastern Guruma people, the World Heritage nomination of Murujuga (Burrup), and against the Redaction of Birth, Death and Marriage Certificates.

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Flametree Creative