President’s Report

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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.

Generally, summer is a quieter time for the History Council before our first committee meetings for the year begin. As well as several continuing issues we must attend to. This includes the draft City of Perth Cultural Development Plan with comments due by 6 March. As you may be aware we have been very concerned by the apparent down-grading of the City’s local history collection. The City has called for feedback via the survey on the City’s Engage Perth website https://engage.perth.wa.gov.au/cultural-development-plan. This is your chance to have a say.

Ideas Forum 4 May 2019

In the lead up to the development our new Strategic Plan 2020-25, we will be seeking members’ views on our role at an Ideas Forum to be held on Saturday afternoon 4 May at Stirling House, headquarters of the Royal WA Historical Society. An invitation will follow with full details closer to the date. Please put the date in your diary!

The key strategy that has guided the History Council since 2015 is to provide a Voice for History through Advocacy and Engagement. Is this still appropriate?

How far should advocacy go? Should the History Council take a public stance on the controversial historical issues that arise in the media (eg statues, Australia Day etc)? Also, on the more distant horizon is the state’s bicentenary in 2029 (or 2026 if you live in Albany). What ideas do you believe the History Council should put forward as suitable ways to commemorate the bicentenary?

What else should we doing to promote History? Come along to the Ideas Forum to let us know!

Jenny Gregory