Welcome to the Federation of Australian Historical Societies 

The Federation of Australian Historical Societies is supported through funding from the Australian Government’s Community Heritage and Icons Grants program via the ACT Government

No. 160, 23rd February 2017
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Call for Papers - FAHS Newsletter - 'Doing History'
Australia Day 2017 Honours
State Library of NSW secures over $15 million
The FAHS History Clinic Open 
Digital Access to Collections Website and Toolkit Launched
Featured Historical Society - Coalfields Heritage Group
Adaptive Reuse of the CH Smith Site, Launceston
National Trust Australian Heritage Festival
New Historical Society Formed in WA
History Conference, Yass and District Historical Society
‘Entangled Histories’, AHA Conference 2017
State Heritage & History Conference, WA
$25,000 Award for History Book on Tasmania
Volunteer Museum Grants, NSW
Funding for Owners of Local Heritage Items and Projects, NSW
Small Grants towards History Publication, Victoria
Opening Soon: Community Heritage and Icons Grants 2016-17
Call for Papers - FAHS Newsletter - 'Doing History'

Call for Papers - FAHS Newsletter 43 on the theme of 'Doing History'.

Articles are requested from around Australia that reflect on the myriad ways that our historical societies ‘do history’ – from protecting and preserving historical records to unearthing information that help shape local identity and belonging. 

For some historical societies the focus is on running a museum, for others on research and publication output. A number are enmeshed in the community fabric and provide an undeniable service to the vitality of the local area. Many also play a role in supporting learning about Australian history through public programs, events and seminars. 

In addition to general articles around heritage and history we invite writing on the role of local knowledge sources, oral histories and family archives in the formation of Australian history and the many ways that historical societies activate the public's engagement with history.

We are seeking articles from each state and territory of up to 800 words.
The schedule for submission of full papers is March 30th 2017

The FAHS newsletter is distributed via our contact list and on ISSUU. The last newsletter No. 42 on the theme of Historical Collections can be viewed here 

Please send expressions of interest and proposals to the FAHS outreach officer Bernadette Flynn at by 5th March.

Australia Day 2017 Honours

The FAHS would like to congratulate the following recipients of the Australia Day 2017 Honours:

Officer AO in the General Division of the Order of Australia, Member AM in the General Division of the Order of Australia and Medal OAM of the Order of Australia in the General Division

Officer AO in the General Division of the Order of Australia 
Dr Carol Ann Liston, 
Beecroft NSW. For distinguished service to the preservation and documentation of Australian history and heritage, to professional societies, and to education as a teacher and mentor.

Professor Patricia Ann Grimshaw, Melbourne Vic
For distinguished service to the social sciences and to the humanities through researching, documenting and preserving Australian history, and the roles of women in society.

Member AM in the General Division of the Order of Australia 
Ms Margaret Macvey Birtley, Carlton Vic. For significant service to cultural heritage, particularly to the museums sector, to education, and to historical preservation. 

Mrs Cynthia McMORRAN OAM, Moora WA,  Moora Historical Society
For significant service to the community of Western Australia, to regional development and natural resource management, and to aged care. 

Medal OAM of the Order of Australia in the General Division
Dr Fiona Lee Bush, Parkerville WA,  Royal Western Australian Historical Society. For service to community history and heritage preservation.
The late Mr Donald Brian Chambers, (
Award wef 30 June 2015) Late of Rutherglen Vic,  Rutherglen Historical Society. For service to local government, and to the community of Victoria.
Mrs Ruth Evelyn Crofts,
Berwick, Victoria. For service to community history and heritage preservation

Mr Trevor Robert Conlon, Coromandel East SA
For service to heritage preservation, and to the community of the Coromandel Valley.
Mr Bernard Carl Dingle, Lighthorse and Field Artillery Museum, Nar Nar Goon Vic. For service to military history.
Mrs Jean Marie Evans, Upper Sturt SA,  Mount Lofty and Districts Historical Society
For service to the beef cattle industry, and to the community. 

Mr Frederick Bradley Finch, Kyogle, NSW. For services to maritime history preservation.

Ms Robyn Nancy Florance, Bomaderry, NSW, Shoalhaven Historical Society and Nowra Museum, Shoalhaven Family History Society. For services to community history and heritage preservation

Mr Wayne Darwin Gardiner RFD, Inglewood WA,  Military History Society of Australia, WA Branch. For service to military history, and to veterans and their families.
Mr Thomas John Heaney, Benalla Vic,  Benalla Historical Society. For service to the community of Benalla.

Dr David Barry Holloway, Port Melbourne Vic Victorian Branch, Military Historical Society of Australia, Military History and Heritage Victoria. For service to military history organisations.
Mrs Elizabeth June Jackson, South Toowoomba Qld, Boulia Historical Society. For service to women, and to the community of Central Queensland.
Mrs Kaye Florence Lewis, Moora WA, Moora Historical Society. For service to the community of Moora.

Mr Terence Henry Lawler, Dudley, NSW, Fort Scratchley Historical Society. For distinguished service to the community of the Hunter, particularly through advocacy for disability support organisations, to medical research and to business

Mrs Catherine Elaine Lawson Nimmitabel NSW,  Australian Garden History Society. For service to horticultural history.

Mr Michael Dudley Collins Persse MVO, Corio, Vic 3214. For service to secondary education, and to history.

Mr Norbert Joseph Schweizer, Centennial Park NSW, Swiss Historical Society. For service to the community through voluntary roles.
Mr Timothy James Smith, McKinnon Vic,  Heritage Victoria. For service to public administration, and to maritime history preservation.
Mr Jack Oswald Sullivan, Merewether, NSW. Paterson Historical Society Inc., Gresford District Historical Society, Raymond Terrace & District Historical Society Inc. For services to community history.

Mr Kristian Jules Wale, Spring Hill Qld,  Windsor District Historical Society. For service to youth, and to the community.
Mr Malcolm John Whyte, Echuca Vic,  Echuca-Moama Historical Society. For service to youth, and to the community of Echuca.

Mr Phillip John Yeo, Bowral, NSW, Berrima District Historical & Family History Society Inc
For services to local government to the community of the Wingecarribee and to education.
Source: Australia Day 2017 Honours List
State Library of NSW secures over $15 million

The State Library of NSW secures over $15 million from Benefactors and Foundation Support to create new world-class galleries.

The Library is on track to deliver on a major component of its master plan thanks to the incredible support of lead benefactors Michael Crouch AO and John B Fairfax AO, as well as the Nelson Meers Foundation, Rob Thomas AM and Kim Williams AM. Over $15 million in private philanthropy has been secured to renew and activate the historic Mitchell building. New world-class galleries and a premier learning centre will be established in the Mitchell's eastern wing, providing unprecedented public access to the much-loved Sydney landmark and its extraordinarily rich collection. This is a wonderful outcome for our state and nation and will position the Library as a major attraction for local and international visitors.

Further information:

The FAHS History Clinic Open - Tuesday afternoons by appointment 
FAHS Outreach Office History Clinic is Open
The Dr is in the house Tuesdays 1pm-4pm by appointment
Want help setting up email campaigns?

Need advice on scanning, image resolution, data management ?

Confused about how to develop an interpretation plan ?

Trying to sort out the web; Facebook; Flickr; Instagram ?
Dr Bernadette Flynn the FAHS Outreach Office is available at History Clinic to assist with practical questions about running your historical society. Dr Flynn has professional expertise in image management, video, multimedia and has a particular interest in activating collections and historical interpretation. 

Lodge a request via email and book in for a session
Sessions will be conducted online.

Further Information or phone 02 4377-1682
Digital Access to Collections Website and Toolkit Launched

GLAM Peak is pleased to launch Digital Access to Collections, an online resource for small to medium galleries, libraries, archives and museums in Australia. Any historical organisation managing a collection can benefit from the Digital Access to Collections toolkit.

The project Digital Access to Collections project is an initiative of GLAM Peak – the peak representative bodies of the galleries, libraries, archives and museums sectors in Australia – with funding from the Australian Government through Catalyst, the Australian Arts and Culture Fund.

A digitisation resource for volunteers and staff in small to medium GLAM organisations.
Principles and strategies to achieve digital access to a rich diversity of Australian content.
Case studies
How GLAM organisations are approaching digitisation and making their collections digitally accessible.
Further information
Featured Historical Society - Coalfields Heritage Group
The Coalfields Heritage Group runs a heritage centre and museum (the Sir Edgeworth David Memorial Museum) in Kurri Kurri where rich history and heritage information and material about the coalfields of the Hunter Valley, NSW can be found in its library and archives. 
The Coalfields Heritage Group was founded in 1996 and operates out of the former Pokolbin Public School in Kurri Kurri. Taking over the local historical organisation run at the Kurri Kurri high school from 1971 the group researches, records, preserves, publishes and teaches the regional history of the Cessnock and Maitland Districts.

Starting with a collection of roughly 3,000 heritage items, but no library and no funds, the group began researching the local history of all the Hunter valley's towns and settlements. The number of towns, suburbs, and settlements now total more than 900, as do the number of Northern collieries. 

Today it has a local history library, with over 2,000 published history and local history books and a museum with over 5,000 items on display. The documents collections includes material on towns, schools, churches, collieries, cemeteries, entertainment, councils, biographies, war conflicts, hotels, halls, sport, hospitals, health, bridges and other historically relevant topics of the area. 

Much of the Coalfield's heritage group material is freely available. During the 1970s and 1980s, eminent local historian John W. (Jack) Delaney recorded over 800 interviews of people from the Hunter Valley, especially from the coalfields area. These interviews were recorded on audio cassette tapes and copies held by the Coalfields Heritage Group. Working with the University of Newcastle’s Cultural Collections team the tapes have now been digitised and are available on SoundCloud as 'Voices of the Hunter'

The CHG has also been prolific in undertaking research, producing an enormous library and writing more than 60 books on various aspects of the Hunter Valley's history ranging from an in-depth catalogue of the coal mines of NSW to stories of a coal miner's daughter within the Cessnock mining community. The society has hundreds of maps and over 11,000 historic photographs in its collections. A number of the photographs can be viewed on The society runs open days, school visits and produces a quarterly newsletter called 'Tumblebee'. 

The valuable work of the Cessnock Heritage Group in preserving local history was recently recognised in the 2017 Cessnock Australia Day Heritage Awards. Visitors are invited to explore these local historical resources and are welcome at the museum and library.

The Museum and Resource Centre are open on Sundays, Wednesdays and Public holidays from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. Entry is free (donations accepted)
Location:  Sir Edgeworth David Memorial Museum, cnr. Deakin and Greta Streets, Kurri Kurri, 2327. (in the High School grounds).
Telephone: 02 49374418

Sources: Coalfields Heritage Group web site and interview with Secretary/Treasurer Brian Andrews OAM

Adaptive Reuse of the CH Smith Site, Launceston

The adaptive reuse of the CH Smith Site in Launceston, which contains one of Launceston's earliest buildings has been approved by the Tasmanian Heritage Council.

The Tasmania Heritage Council has approved a development proposal by Errol Stewart and Scott Curran for the historic CH Smith site in Launceston. The site reflects Launceston’s role as an early port city and contains an 1830s warehouse. The buildings facing Charles Street represent a number of architectural eras.

The Heritage Council chair, Brett Torossi stated that the development is an example of how adaptive reuse of heritage buildings enhances a project and was a standout example of how the adaptive reuse of heritage could enhance a project and help achieve a contemporary design solution. The CH Smith site has been derelict for 20 years. The Property Council of Australia supports the project which they state will form a gateway to the CBD. The Tasmanian state government supports the project and and will use a $9 million interest-free government loan towards a portion of the development.

Source: Launceston Examiner 24 January 2017 

National Trust Australian Heritage Festival
Australian Heritage Festival 2017: 18th April – 21st May.
Celebrating Australia’s historic, natural and Aboriginal heritage during the months of April and May.

The 2017 Australian Heritage Festival theme is Having a Voice and communities across Australia are invited to tell their stories through different voices, recognising the many narratives that have shaped Australia.
  • When has your community joined together to be heard?
  • What voices deserve to be commemorated in your town?
  • What stories are shared across cultural groups in your community?
  • How do you celebrate the voices that have shaped your area?
  • What sounds are unique to your region?
  • Does your community celebrate its heritage via song?

Our shared heritage is rich with voices from many cultures – Having a Voice is about taking time to stop and listen to stories from every corner of our society.

Register your event for Australia's biggest heritage festival here 
New Historical Society Formed in WA
A new historical society has formed to conserve the unique history of Midland and 6056 Suburbs - The Midland & Districts Historical Society.

Hosting their inaugural AGM in early 2017, the Midland & Districts Historical Society will take in the major centre of Midland, the surrounding districts of Baskerville, Bellevue, Boya, Greenmount, Helena Valley, Herne Hill, Jane Brook, Koongamia, Middle Swan, Midvale, Millendon, Red Hill, Stratton, Swan View, Viveash and Woodbridge and former districts within 6056 of Upper Swan and Wexcombe.


History Conference, Yass and District Historical Society 
Whole Histories' 
Keeping the stories alive

Friday 7 to Sunday 9 April 2017

St Clement's Retreat and Conference Centre, Galong

Yass and District Historical Society is hosting a conference to address ideas and strategies for keeping history alive and within the public gaze.

Keynote speaker, Dr Mathew Trinca, Director of the National Museum of Australia will join Dr Carol Liston, President of the Royal Australian Historical Society, together with fourteen speakers from diverse backgrounds and disciplines, to give thought provoking presentations sure to fire the imaginations of anyone interested in ‘keeping the stories alive’.

In an ever changing world the pursuit and recording of history is also changing but will museums, archives, historical and family history groups of today survive the pressures of such rapid change and ageing/declining memberships? We might live in a digital age but we must not lose sight of the past and the value history contributes to our communities. During the weekend, speakers will address this and other aspects of keeping history alive and within the public gaze.

Further information:

‘Entangled Histories’, AHA Conference 2017

The Australian Historical Association Conference is to be held at the University of Newcastle between 3 and 7 July 2017, hosted by UON’s School of Humanities and Social Science. 

Invitation to submit abstracts for panel sessions and individual papers is now open. Proposals must be submitted by 31 March 2017.

The theme of the conference is 'Entangled Histories'. It reflects the increasing move away from narrowly defined ‘national’ histories towards an understanding of History as an interlinked whole where identities and places are the products of mobilities and connections. We welcome submissions that consider the value of entangled frameworks for analysis from all historical periods, themes and research areas, but as is customary with Australian Historical Association conferences, the theme will be interpreted broadly. Keynote speakers and plenary panels will concentrate closely on the theme but other papers and panel proposals loosely addressing the theme are also welcomed.

Planning for the conference is well under way, and prominent national and international keynote speakers and panelists have been secured, including Professor Dane Kennedy from George Washington University, and Professor Christina Twomey from Monash University. 
The conference will also include streams from affiliated associations such as the Australian Women’s History Network; the Australian and New Zealand Environmental History Network; the Religious History Association; and Oral History Australia and the National Oral History Association of New Zealand. 

For further information

Image details: ‘Afghan people with an early make gramophone, c. 1910’. This photograph was probably taken at Marree. Courtesy of photographer, Alice Mary Hopewell. Image courtesy of the State Library of South Australia. Every effort has been made by the State Library of South Australia to contact the Indigenous descendants in the photograph.

State Heritage & History Conference, WA
What are the threads that connect places with their past?

How does an understanding of history enhance our response to heritage? 

What common knowledge and skills support a successful local museum and an Indigenous cultural tourism business? 

The WA State Heritage & History Conference aims to explore these and many more connections, intersections and common causes over two days on 11 and 12 May 2017, at the iconic Perth Concert Hall.

The conference will bring together a broad range of presentations, creating partnerships and links within and across groups in the heritage sector. 

Parallel streams will focus on different subject areas including heritage conservation and development, historical research, cultural and heritage tourism, collections management, interpretation and related disciplines and interests. 

Identifying and forging connections will strengthen and build the capacity of organisations, enabling them to better meet future challenges and demands.

When: Thursday, May 11, 2017 - Friday, May 12, 2017; 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Where: Perth Concert Hall, 5 St Georges Terrace, Perth, Western Australia 6000

Further Information
or Contact the conference organiser mobile 0419 194 916 or  or
$25,000 Award for History Book on Tasmania
A Prestigious New Award of $25,000 for a history book on Tasmania is to be launched soon.

The award is open to all authors who publish books of original research on Tasmanian history, including cultural heritage, and no institutional affiliation is required. 
The Dick and Joan Green Family Award for Tasmanian History is to be a biennial book award (Image of Dick and Joan Green above). Authors are eligible for the first round if they have published a book between 1 July 2015 and 30 June 2017. The second award eligibility period will be from 1 July 2017 - 30 June 2019.

The award recognises high quality published work that makes a significant contribution to an understanding of Tasmania’s past and seeks to celebrate and promote books on Tasmanian history and cultural heritage, including biographies.

The award will honour the achievement of authors researching Tasmanian history and cultural heritage, contribute to the knowledge of and interest in Tasmanian history and cultural heritage and draw national attention to the achievements of authors on Tasmanian history and cultural heritage.

Entries open on 4 July 2017 and close on 8 September 2017 for the first award eligibility period of books published between 1 July 2015 – 30 June 2017.

Please contact Prizes Office for further information - or phone (03) 6226 1743. 
Volunteer Museum Grants, NSW
M&G NSW is now accepting applications for three grants from the Volunteer Museum Grant Program. These grants provide assistance to volunteer community museums and Aboriginal Keeping Places in NSW.

Funded by the NSW Government through Arts NSW and administrated by Museums & Galleries of NSW, the program is designed to provide access to funding, in addition to providing experience in the grant application process. A number of historical societies running museums have been successful in the past, so if you live in NSW and run a museum here's your chance.

Up to $2,000 for short-term, collection-based projects. There are no set categories for funding and applications for a broad range of projects will be considered. Find out more
Up to $4000 for the development and delivery of skill development training and networking events. The events are expected to involve more than one museum and usually bring in a professional consultant to run one or a series of workshops. Find out more
Matched funding of $50 - $500 for volunteers to attend or host development activities in NSW. The grants can cover the cost of attending a workshop, conference or course, bringing a presenter to your museum or the travel costs of a group of volunteers visiting another museum. Find out more

For further information contact Museum and Galleries  NSW 
Margot Stuart-Smith

Image: Volunteers participate in a Care and Handling of Photographs workshop at Port Macquarie Museum, funded by a Skills Development Grant.

Funding for Owners of Local Heritage Items and Projects, NSW
Funding opportunities for local heritage items and projects in NSW:
The Heritage Activation Grants
Local Heritage Grants
The Heritage Green Energy Grants

More than $4 million of this funding is for local conservation projects designed to help communities rejuvenate and conserve their local heritage. Owners and managers of heritage items, City and Shire Councils, businesses, not-for-profit organisations and industry associations should consider applying for funding. 

There are two heritage funding programs open for application:
         $2.67 million in funding is available under the second round of Heritage Activation Grants program - this program is open to owners and managers of local heritage items listed on their council's Local Environmental Plan;
         $2 million is available under the first round of the Local Heritage Strategic Projects Program - proposed projects can include conservation and repair work, the development of heritage management, strategy and policy plans and projects developed to specifically raise community awareness, knowledge and understanding of local heritage

Heritage Minister Gabrielle Upton said these programs were designed to build on the knowledge and connection communities have with their heritage.

'Communities know their heritage better than anyone - these NSW Government grants will help bring local heritage back to life,' Ms Upton said. Applications under the Local Heritage Strategic Projects Program are open all year round subject to available funding. Applications under the
Heritage Activation program are now open and close on Monday 21 April. For more information visit:

Sources: Office of Environment and Heritage and Hawkesbury Gazette


Small Grants towards History Publication, Victoria

The Holsworth Local Heritage Trust, a charitable fund within the Victorian Community Foundation provides grants from not-for-profit organisations such as historical societies, clubs, schools and museums in regional and rural Victoria. The Trust is interested in supporting enthusiastic community groups and organisations with a true interest in heritage preservation and appreciation, and the enhancement of community life.

Grants of up to $2,000 are available for the publication of any specific or general local history or natural history in rural and regional Victoria. The Grant is intended for small organisations with an interest in publishing works of historical value, even where the organisation has little or no experience of self publishing work. Joint projects encompassing several groups or annual/special edited journals incorporating submitted historical articles from a wide community are encouraged.

'The Corner Shops of Ballarat: A History and Directory', produced by the Ballarat Branch of the National Trust is an example of a publication funded by the Holsworth Local Heritage Trust in 2008.

Applications open on 1st March and close on 31st July
Further information here from the Royal Historical Society of Victoria
Opening Soon: Community Heritage and Icons Grants 2016-17
The Department of the Environment and Energy will shortly call for applications for Community Heritage and Icons Grants 2016-17 (the ‘Program’). The applications period will conclude in March/April 2017.
In 2016-17, the Program is providing funding for community groups, individuals and local governments to support community engagement with, and raise awareness of, places on Australia's National Heritage List. Individual grants of between $2,500 (GST exclusive) and $10,000 (GST exclusive) will be made available.
Further information about the Program:
The application guidelines can  be downloaded with this link: 2016-17_Application%20Guidelines.pdf (Note: At the time of writing, this page is not yet ready)
Information about the program in previous years is available here:
Chris Simkus, Director, Grants Support and Assessment Section, Biodiversity Conservation Division, Department of the Environment and Energy, Ph: 1800 653 004
Source: Chris Simkus, Department of the Environment and Energy
The FAHS e-Bulletin, No. 160,
23rd Feb 2017
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