Surf Clubs and Military Men: Connection or Coincidence?

From the ages of 8 to 15 I lived on Whale Beach – the second most northern beach in the formally Pittwater Council (now Northern Beaches Council I think?) – and I loved every minute of it. I was a cliché as a kid, jet blonde hair, year round tan and a love for a face full of salt water. The Surf clubs are the centre of these places. For me it was the Cabbage Tree Club down on Palm Beach along with the Packers, the Hewitt’s and Guy Sebastian for a brief period. As much as that is a name drop it brings up the point that everyone and anyone can be found in one of the 36 clubs dotted along Sydney’s coast. However, far and away the largest group among them is Military. There is an affinity between surf clubs and Military that fascinates me, why is it so tied together?
When I went for a visit down to Queenscliff SLSC on the same beach as two other thriving clubs, I was greeted by two former Australian defence force men. they walked me through the typically sandy and slightly damp bottom floor and led me up the stairs where I was greeted with tens of honour boards. The majority were for personal and club achievements and various awards won by the club or given out internally, and yet front and centre on the biggest wall was military service. By no means the longest list in the building with Queenscliff having a lot of success in national competition and yet, it took centre stage.
There is a sense of inevitability that this research will take me down a road of men rehashing their war stories to me and I would love to hear them, but I also want to go deeper as to the why. What is the appeal of a surf club to these men in particular?
I have no idea where this story will end up even as I read more and more I wonder if there is more to be found. I have been introduced to so many characters, from so many backgrounds and yet I keep coming back to military. Is it my favouritism toward military history or is it that Surf Life Saving Clubs have a natural affinity with former military men? all I know at the minute is that I keep meeting people of hero status, not is some Victorian Cross kind of way, but in a way that shows you how life should be and who you should be as a person. That has no historical impact in the grand schemes and yet I am beginning to see it as the fabric of history in community.

Changing ideas on material history

I have always enjoyed what I thought of as material culture in history, and through my history units so far have persistently been drawn to the study of objects, art, buildings – tangible things. From the decoding of erotic messages in medieval mirrors as gifts of courtly love, to the subtle political alliances that imbued 18th century court dress, the deciphering and interpreting of the stuff of a particular period, has always floated my academic boat.
This process of investigating and drawing inferences from material objects and tangible items, and using them as primary sources, has been somewhat complicated in my mind in this unit through the distinction between private and public history.
Rosenzweig and Thelen’s examination of people engaging with their private history every day through the use of family photo albums and heirlooms, but not necessarily viewing this process as “history” has intrigued me. In being told the story of my mother’s immigration to Australia, and looking at the “vintage” luggage tags from the three month journey, am I engaging in history or nostalgia? If I viewed luggage tags from the same era in the Immigration Museum of Melbourne, surely that counts as history?
On reflecting upon this question, I realised that to date, my university history studies have always have focused on periods and societies from at least two centuries ago, meaning I have never really had to consider this before. Of course a 16th century tapestry is a historical artifact, but what about the quilt that my mother was given by her aunts, and still sits on our couch at home?
One of our class speakers, Mark Dunn, inspired me with his inclusion of images and material objects (like advertisements) in a public history context, and the idea of curating the material culture of private individuals and establishments and presenting them for public consumption, is something I would love to further explore.
In her book Private Lives, Public History, Anna Clark explores the relationship between Australians and their heirlooms, family photographs and stories. In questioning whether “granny’s embroidery” is really history, and indeed, whether people feel more connected to these tangible familial memories than the history they learn in class, Clark has me wondering if my engagement in the objects themselves, is really the deciding factor. If I want to catalogue and display the luggage tags, to investigate the (somewhat horrid) 70’s style influences of the quilt, surely the question of whether it is an exercise in history, or nostalgia, doesn’t really matter.

Stillness at ‘Eryldene’

‘Eryldene’: A Place for Stillness
The concept of a house museum, of freezing in time the domestic life enjoyed within a specific property, is one which gained traction in Australia in the late twentieth century. Significant homes in New South Wales were preserved and given protection by institutions such as the National Trust and the Historic Houses Trust, now Sydney Living Museums, to enable visitors to gain an enhanced understanding of different modes of domestic living over time. ‘Eryldene’, an historic house and garden at Gordon on Sydney’s North Shore, is an example of this impulse to interrogate history. The property is today owned and managed by the Eryldene Trust and is open to the public throughout the year.
‘Eryldene’ was the home of Professor E.G. Waterhouse and his family from its construction in 1914 until the death of Professor Waterhouse in 1977. The house, designed by William Hardy Wilson, is a fine example of colonial revival architectural style and is little altered from its original design. It retains much of its original furniture and art works and as such allows visitors an insight into the life of a privileged Sydney family in the first part of the twentieth century. The Professor of German and Comparative Literature at the University of Sydney, Waterhouse was part of an educated elite which was central to the intellectual life of Sydney in the mid-twentieth century; as a Trustee of the Art Gallery of New South Wales for over twenty years he was friendly with many artists, critics and patrons.
Beyond its cultural and architectural importance, it is the manner in which the house is integrated into its garden setting which imbues ‘Eryldene’ with its unique character. The design of the garden was a joint project between Waterhouse, Hardy Wilson and later members of that architect’s practice over a number of years and represents a fusion between the Arts and Craft movement and the Asian aesthetic that was at the heart of much of Hardy Wilson’s work. As a world authority on the propagation and cultivation of camellias, Professor Waterhouse developed the garden as a showcase for this species and today there are over 500 varieties throughout the ‘Eryldene’ garden. This very personal response to site evokes a sense of stillness, of timelessness, that is at the heart of ‘Eryldene’.
The significance of this property was recognized in 1979 through its purchase by the Eryldene Trust, an independent body formed by the local community which has as its aim the protection and preservation of this unique property. The work of the Trust to open ‘Eryldene’ to the public and provide modes of interpretation for visitors represents a cogent example of a community response to its connection with history.

The Sexy Side of Disability

When I found Touching Base, I knew immediately that this was an organisation I wanted to work with. Touching Base recognises physical and sexual needs as human rights. They provide support to both those with disabilities and sex workers, creating a space where the two parties can intersect. The meetings are not necessarily penetrative, the experiences are just as much about touch and affection than they are about sex. Touching Base provide education, support and connection between the two groups and emboldens disabled individuals to take ownership of their sexuality. This to me, is such valuable work.
I grew up with two intellectually disabled aunts: Sharon and Sandra. Growing up I was never uncomfortable with their ‘disabilities’. Their immaturity, spasticity, and epilepsy – in my eyes this was all a part of their identity. On my tenth birthday, Sandra had a seizure in front of me; it was intense but it was understandable, acceptable behaviour. Afterwards, I remember asking my mum the actual diagnosis of their disability but she couldn’t tell me. It turns out no one had thought to ask. In a town of 2000 people, the details weren’t that necessary: it was just who they were and that was ok.
But there was another side to the girls, they were more than just their disabilities. Sharon, the more rambunctious of the two, would attack you with her love, while Sandra stood by shyly, waiting for her turn. They loved Slim Dusty, a cheeky VB and water fights. Those water fights were the terror of my childhood. Sharon would always take it too far, laughing manically as she cornered the children of the family, throwing eggs, flour and anything she could find.
What did make pre-pubescent Donna uncomfortable was the outright desire they expressed when talking about men. In particular, men who played sport. Tony Modra (or Godra as he was known in South Australia) was their idol. Looking back now, I get it. I mean, he was basically an Adonis.
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Modra lined their walls and on every visit they would pull me into their room to admire his chiselled features and short shorts. This overt expression of their sexuality did not fit with my understanding of who they were. I was so challenged by their sexuality and their free expression of it.
Recently when I introduced them to my partner, a tall dark handsome type, I was delighted to see that nothing has changed. I was immediately relegated to the background: Sandra stared and stared while Sharon bombarded him with trivia, holding him close with a possessive hand on his arm. Now in their forties, you can still see their desire to be touched by someone other than a carer, to be touched with love and affection.
I never imagined I could use history to aid a cause so near to my heart. I’m so excited to be working with an organisation that enables those sidelined by mainstream society and acknowledges their basic need for affection. An organisation who can help those like my aunts find an outlet for the needs their carers can’t fill. My work as a historian will help them access grants and hopefully permanent funding which will allow them to help women and men experience what the rest of us take for granted.

Telling a Story

There comes a point in one’s academic studies when you begin to wonder why on earth you are doing what you are doing. What are you supposed to do with all this knowledge about theories and concepts, other than become an academic and teach another generation about all the concepts and theories you have learned? What if you don’t want to spend the rest of your life tied to the University? What can you possibly do with all of this study that will impact the world in any way? Where on earth is the practical side to all of this learning? I cannot begin to express the relief I felt after attending a class that showed this very “practical side” of history. I still remember the growing excitement within me as I sat in my very first class for the semester and listened to Michael talk about how historians have taken their university learning out into the “real” world. I remember thinking over and over again, with a mounting passion, that this, this was the answer to the oppressing question of ‘what on earth am I going to do with my life?’.
As the course unfolded, my passion only grew as, week by week, guest speakers spoke of the numerous ways in which they interacted with the world of public history. They talked about the ups and downs of working in both the “professional” academic sphere and the “amateur” local sphere. They described their various works and how they had taken their university learning out into various areas of Australian society and created so many projects of all shapes and sizes. The opportunity to travel to places one would not normally go and to dig in to histories that aren’t widely heard, and then use your own creativity to express and communicate the history you find to a wider, public audience is everything I could hope for in a career. Unfortunately, finding these opportunities with the addition of getting paid is not always easy. But the encouragement I felt in listening, week after week, to how these various historians had done it inspires me to reach forward regardless.
Our semester-long project is one of the most exciting things I’ve done at university and I have thoroughly enjoyed the prospect of going out and “doing history”. As I scrolled through the numerous organisations listed on the History Beyond the Classroom website in my first week of semester (the earliest I have ever started any project in my entire life), Saint John’s Cemetery immediately caught my eye. I have always loved cemeteries. That sounds a bit morbid, I know, but cemeteries hold so many glimpses of stories that we will never fully know. Not just in the words carved into a gravestone, but in the pictures on the stone, the font of the text and the shape and placement of the gravestone itself. Even just the dates given on each stone, the simple statement of one’s age, has always drawn me into the stories of cemeteries.
And so, on the Monday of week 5 (the eagerness I had to start this project only took me so far) I finally pushed through my anxiety of talking to strangers and composed an email to the secretary of the Friends of Saint John’s Cemetery, enquiring as to whether they might be interested in working with me for my project. Only a few hours later, I arrived at class to realise that our guest speaker was none other than Michaela Cameron, a member of the Friends of Saint John’s Cemetery and the driving force behind the Saint John’s Cemetery Project! I listened eagerly as Michaela spoke of her work with the cemetery and with getting biographies of the first fleeters written and made available through the cemetery’s website ( Michaela also talked about building a strong presence in social media, and so inspired me to begin my own history blog (which can be viewed at I very much enjoyed setting up the website and have found great pleasure in researching and writing about small parts of history I find in my day-to-day life.
I have begun work with Michaela and am currently working my way through the burial records of Saint John’s Cemetery to find Female Factory workers who are buried in the cemetery. Though I have not worked out what my final project will be, simply going through these records is as enjoyable and intriguing as walking through a cemetery. Seeing patterns in names or noticing when there is an above average number of deaths suggests so many stories left untold. And there is a great deal of satisfaction in finally deciphering a word written in such cryptic handwriting! The chance to tell the stories of those buried in the cemetery, even if it only through a list made available to any curious web surfer, is a chance I take on with a passion and with much anticipation of what I might find.

Just meters apart but years away.

The ‘History Beyond The Classroom’ unit allows for individuals to bring awareness to the stories of a community that are often untold, sometimes forgotten or simply are unknown. In undertaking this unit, I want to highlight that history is not just confined to a museum or to the archives of a library, but rather it can be just a few streets away, within our own local communities, where through time and change in industries, houses and the physical landscape, bring about stories and experiences of how it was once was.
For my initial investigations of the suburb of Glenwood, I sort collaboration with the Glenwood Community Association. From me they were seeking some form of ‘history of Glenwood’, which I think would be fantastic, but with additional consultation, we are still yet to clarify on how this would look. However with this occurring in due time, I decided to undertake my own small investigation of Glenwood through walking. In geography, walking is seen as a geographical research method, which aims to make observations of the real world. When working upon the history of Glenwood, I really wanted to capture real examples that existed. And so there was a place that I knew had some form of heritage attached to it, I had often driven past it, but never had the actual opportunity to go there and examine for what it was worth. This area was Glenwood Park Drive which was connected to the streets Thompson Crescent and Diamond Avenue. Within this location it hosts Glenwood Park House and Parklea Public School.
Glenwood Park House was built in 1853. Classified as a Victorian-style home, it was initially utilised as a property for farming where orchards, wheat and hay and a dairy herd had been present (Powell, 2005). Since then the property has served different purposes whether it be for the grazing of cattle, as a medical centre and to what it is now a private property (Powell, 2005). A heritage listed building, it is surrounded by parkland and vegetation which somewhat obscures its full view upon a hill, whilst housing from the early 2000’s surrounds the property.
Just down a few meters is Parklea Public School. Upon face value it looks like a modern school built in the early 2000’s. However on the school sign, it proclaims to be a school established in 1919. What is interesting is that the school retained its name although it was relocated to its current site in 1999 (Sharpe 2000, p.38). I guess no matter how well you know the suburb that you live, there will always be new things to learn and notice, whether it be the minuscule change to the natural landscape or in discovering new facts about a place. Walking can provide further contextual insights into a suburb. Although utilised in geography, walking is a method that makes history that much more tangible, which can give a broader perspective as to how life could have possibly been like in the past. I feel that there is a greater sense of appreciation, when one is able to visibly see with their own eyes, at history being presented in front of them. History was just a few meters away from my own home. I sure that there are plenty of stories to be shared about a place just a few meters away, of the years that have gone by.
Powell, D. (2005). Glenwood Park (Sorrento). Retrieved from
Sharpe, A. (2000). Pictorial History Blacktown and District. Kingsclear Books Pty Ltd.

Australian History

Throughout my education, from high school to university, I have always discarded Australian history. For me it had always been dull, only punctuated by a few daring expeditions into the outback and two world wars. What I wanted in history was what I wanted in a narrative. I wanted a start and an end date, a protagonist, an enemy, ideological clashes and a sensational turning point that separated nations and brought together its people. I focussed on the macro, and ignored the micro. This course in particular has made me question why this is so. Perhaps it was a simple unawareness of what Australian History has to offer, or a misinterpretation of what history is meant to be. In either case I have learnt to appreciate Australian history, while my understanding of the history discipline has been shaped.
For me now history is not something of the past studied in books, rather it is something lived and carried out through the day to day. I have reached this rational through this course. I have learnt that historians, and the public in particular, still have the ability to shape what history is projected, or even forgotten. The public has a massive role in deciding what type of history is propagated, mainly for its ability or inability to preserve the history. It should be then important for historians and the public to conserve and study anything to do with Australia’s past. What was mundane in the past is now a historical artifact, and so too might be any irrelevant object in my living room.
It is dangerous to punctuate history with end dates and turning points. For example, the civil rights movement is over, but the fight for racial equality is not. A lot of academic historical framework runs this danger of pigeon holing issues into to separate boxes, casting history into black and white. History runs the risk of describing a resolution when it was not achieved. Understanding the continuity of history, helps understand the continuity of society. This is an important point because as Australians we must remember our past, good, bad or mundane. What happened in the past may well continue to happen but we must recognize how society has changed or has not changed. So now when I look at Australia’s history I don’t only see the ANZACs in the trenches, but also throngs of swimmers at Bondi Beach in summer, Italian shopkeepers closing up, An Aboriginal hundreds of years ago eating a salty oyster, a woman reading in a park, and even my life is part of the greater Australian history.

Importance of Working with the Community

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One of the Oxford Dictionary definitions of ‘community’ is “the condition of sharing or having certain attitudes and interests in common”. In the early weeks of History Beyond the Classroom, we had a discussion about communities. Which communities we thought we were apart of, and what communities we would like to work with for our major project. When I heard the word ‘community’ I immediately thought of the ice rink. I’ve chosen Canterbury Olympic Ice Rink as the community group I’ll be working with over the semester.
Canterbury Olympic Ice Rink has been the home to and fostered a community for 45 years. I’ve been a part of this community of six years now. Canterbury Olympic Ice Rink is the home to many sporting clubs from figure, syncro, hockey and speed. In my community work with the ice rink, I will be assisting in archiving the history of the creation of the ice rink and the co-op. The rink has had a dynamic history over the past 45 years, and has only been able to survive due to the community supporting it, and donating their time and efforts to ensuring the rink lives on for the next generation of skaters.
Canterbury Olympic Ice Rink is a not-for-profit organisation that offers a space for training and recreational skating. The idea for the ice rink in Canterbury began at the Malvern Hall Methodist Church Hall in Croydon. John R.E. Brown, who became the first chairman and was one of the three founding members of the co-op, spoke to the ice skating community and proposed a new rink in Canterbury. The Burwood Glaciarium Rink had just closed down, and this was why a co-op had to be formed to ensure the new rink wouldn’t close down privately. Fifty people agreed to join to co-op at $20 per person for the first year.
The challenge then began to find $73,000 to ensure a continued training place for the western Sydney ice skating community. A year later, after many struggles with councils, and funds, the ice rink opened its doors on Friday March 5, 1971. This wouldn’t have been able to happen without the help of countless volunteers who spent so much of their time and energy into building a rink that would serve the community, and be a community for many years to come.
The rink has grown and changed so much over the past 45 years. The original entry price for a public skating session was 80 cents for children and $1.20 for adults. The image shown is an article from the Australian Women’s Weekly in 1971, which documents the opening of the ice rink and the impact volunteers and community members had.
More information:
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AYC – a history through documents

For my community engagement I have been working with Auburn Youth Centre (AYC), an organisation which brings together people of all cultural, linguistic, religious and ethnic backgrounds to provide support, entertainment and programs for local youth. The centre has been around since 1983, and has, through various initiatives, touched the lives of many and played a dynamic role in fostering community spirit.
This year is their 30th anniversary, and as such the centre is keen to look into its history – in particular the achievements that have been made over 30 years of existence. The centre is certainly interested in exploring its history, but having changed locations several times over the past three decades, most original documents have been lost.
Having heard this, I’d reconciled myself with the fact that I’d be trawling through a range of different sources to find anything I could about the organisation – local libraries, local papers, you name it.
“Actually, we do have a few boxes of stuff somewhere – just some photos, documents – probably useless”, I was told.
The historian in me rejoiced when I was shown two giant boxes, filled with files, filled with promise. I could almost detect a faint halo emanating from the plastic bins.
There, in a little storage room at the back of Auburn Youth centre, with nothing but the glow from the files to guide me (I was so excited it took me an hour to realise there was a light switch), is where I spent the last four hours.
I looked through the first few files with the care and precision of a total amateur. One of the first files I open is about a BBQ purchased in 2009. It contains a tax invoice, warranty, a user manual, correspondence between the supplier in Melbourne and AYC detailing quotes… For someone writing a history on barbecue culture in Australian community organisations, this may have been like striking gold. The hoarder in me thinks: “better preserve this just in case, you never know when barbecue history may become the next big thing”. But my common sense (and timing restriction) says otherwise. Three files and twenty minutes in, all I have to show is my newfound expertise on barbecue installation, which may come in handy someday, but certainly not for this project. Now an expert on how to best maintain and service my Tucker ‘Friar Tuck’ BBQ, I close the file.
I start scanning through the documents more methodically. There are insurance forms, car registration papers, maintenance checklists, OHS procedures, takeout menus for local Chinese and caterers they presumably used. Riveting stuff. But none of which is telling of the many achievements, the wonderful people and the noble character of the organisation. I find myself skimming over the files from the past couple of years, searching for something older.
This gets me thinking. At what point do everyday documents become history? We are told that history is anything in the past, but few of us would consider last week’s phone bill to be of historical importance. In my study of history, I have been exposed to files which may be equally trivial, and did not once question their historic significance, because they were old and rare. If I can depend on an official’s list on a scrap of paper to tell me about censorship in the GDR, then surely these files here are of significance.
I come across a Vodafone phone bill from 2011, glance at it for a few seconds, and move on. Why? Is it not old enough? If this file was from 1986 would I have looked at it differently? Is it because I have a deep-rooted underlying resentment for the Telco? Is it because it’s just plain boring?
I realise, that it is because what I am looking for cannot be found in business transactions and insurance forms. I am looking for something which will tell me about the character, the people, the community story of AYC, and no amount of phone bills will tell me this. The history we look for so deeply influences the history we see. An historian sets upon an investigation with a purpose, albeit a noble one, which will ultimately influence the information they do and don’t see.
As I am looking through the documents, a group of boys play basketball in an adjacent room. They soon call it quits and begin to strum some chords on the guitar. One of them begins to wail something, which I soon recognise to be Justin Bieber’s newest song, and the others join in.
This is the story of AYC that I want to tell. Of the people whose lives have been touched by the organisation. Their stories.
Beside the two plastic boxes are a handful of photo albums. There are pictures of AYC members at discos, at parties, at talent quests and at, would you believe it, backyard barbecues. Photos of smiling faces, of people having fun together, of what would certainly be unforgettable memories, thanks to the work of Auburn Youth Centre. There’s one boy who features in so many photos I begin to think he is the unofficial leader of the group. He may be the life of the party, but I bet he didn’t anticipate some stranger would be looking at his photos decades later wondering how AYC featured in his life. Wondering who were the people he met here? The relationships he made? Did they last?
The answers to these questions cannot be found in reports and statistics. The achievements of an organisation like AYC aren’t quantifiable through numbers and dates. They are measured by stories, by histories, and as I finish trawling through these documents, and look to the other sources I can gather, this is what I hope to find. From a brief look at portrayal of the organisation in local papers, it is so evident that Auburn Youth Centre has had a profound impact on local youth, has featured prominently in the lives of many, and has fostered community engagement and community spirit, which is what I hope to show as I continue my project.

History Does Matter – especially when it’s in our backyard

We have all been a little apprehensive, scared even, about what the hell we are meant to be doing here! But we have been assured, by amazing public historians and former students that it will somehow come together, someone will get back to us, somehow we will know what to do and some great history will be produced….. After getting no other responses from other organisations and getting nowhere on this blind journey in the previous weeks. I have been convinced after my visit to the Blue Mountains Historical Society that local history is in everyone’s reach.
What an absolute blast! I must have seemed like an excited little puppy, repetitive in my oo’s and ahh’s, blown away by the resources, photos, volunteers, the ‘technologies’, the artefacts, and the guns! I won’t deny I was nervous, I drove in to find a few people tending to the grounds, heading inside there were about 10 other people working on their various projects. I felt a little intimated by their age and therefore wisdom, wondering what I could offer, wondering where to start. Many had been in the society for years, and a few members I met had published books, but didn’t seem eager to wave them around which was an interesting observation. Everyone was so welcoming, I really learnt so much even if this time around I probably couldn’t offer much back.
You don’t realise how amazing history can be when it’s close to home, when it’s close to your heart. Growing up in the Blue Mountains I was keen to get back and learn about the history as well as the Historical Society. It’s extraordinary to see parts of your life, your community reflected many decades ago in sepia photos showing the pub you drink at standing alone with horse and carts out front or the swimming hole you still go to the site of a men’s swimming carnival in the 1940’s.
I was given a tour, shown how and where to find everything, was passed onto various members to show me what they do. Of particular interest was the Tarrella Cottage Museum which was a holiday house of the McLaughlin family of Sydney, built in 1890, situated on a hill overlooking the Western plains, it holds an extensive range of 19th and 20th century household items. The donated gun collection made a great display and the quirky objects like one of the daughter’s winning fancy dress outfit which was a newspaper printed gown made for a fascinating visit.
Of particular interest was the ‘house histories’ they do for a donation which tracks the history of a property and its owners from the earliest council and state records to the present day. This is literally like a historical treasure hunt! Using microfiches of council records, the NSW historic land records ), maps ( ), and cross referencing with Office of Births, Deaths and Marriages ( ) and potentially newspapers for further information ( ). I was shown parts of how they do this and a finished product. This kind of task can take days because sometimes document trails lead you astray or simply disappear. Bruce, who predominately does these, explained to me that there is so much to take into consideration when on this history hunt such as owners who may rent and property merging. I look forward to getting my hands on some more microfiches and seeing what I can or cannot find.
I felt proud of the Historical Society having only been there an hour or so, you could see the years of preservation on the walls and in the files. Decades of hard work and painful documentation have built an extensive collection for all to utilise and enjoy. The society also puts out a bi-monthly newsletter ‘Hobby’s Outreach’, with the last issue covering the hunt for the Cox’s River Aboriginal name, a book review on The Girl Who Stole Stockings by Elsbeth Hardie a ‘well researched and well written story of early life in the colony’, particularly revolving around female convicts. Further, the issue has a Presidents report, news of upcoming meetings, lectures and excursions and a letter of appeal for anything relating to the society’s 70 year history.
I was inspired by the work everyone does there and all that has been done before them. I think it’s sad many of us are so disconnected from out local history and disregard public history as amateur or unimportant. The preoccupation with national and international history misses the point that local stories and experiences make up the national narrative and are just as important as dramatic events on a macro scale. I implore all who read this to get out there, see what your community has to offer, get involved and learn from the people restoring, preserving and documenting the past and present for the sake of the future.