Cecil Hills – History Extension mentoring program

On Wednesday, December 7, the Department of History and the Department of Classics and Ancient History commenced a new partnership with Cecil Hills High School, as part of the History Extension mentoring program. Located in south-west Sydney, Cecil Hills is a large but vibrant school where over eighty percent of students have a language background other than English. In the week prior to our visit, the school had just celebrated its twentieth year.
USYD History students Stephanie Schenk, Sarah Charak, and Samantha Lawford were selected as mentors for the program, and they spent the first session with Year 12 students Alyssa Marsili, Kayla Oshana, and Christina Hanna working to refine their research topics and each develop a specific line of inquiry engaging with historiographical debates. Alyssa, Kayla, and Christina are tackling a range of topics from Native American to Russian and Assyrian history.
The students found this first session very useful. Alyssa wrote that “I was able to gain a different perspective on my chosen topic due to the the feedback I received, which helped me finally attempt to narrow down my argument and thesis.”
Christina thought that “the uni visit was a beneficial experience that raised many questions which I had not thought about concerning my extension project. I left the mentoring session with new ideas and new things to implement into my project. My mentor was extremely helpful and gave me many starting points and suggestions.”
And Kayla added, importantly, “It was an incredibly helpful and fun experience!”
The program consists of five school and university visits over a six-month period, where the mentors also provide guidance on applying to and studying at university. We are looking forward to hosting the students here at the University of Sydney in February, when they will meet up with the students and mentors from the History Extension program at Chifley College Senior Campus and get a chance to tour the campus before doing some research in the library.

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Students and mentors work together on initial ideas while teacher Felicity Wicks looks on

We are very pleased to have created this new relationship with Cecil Hills High School, and look forward to getting to know the students better. We are especially keen to encourage students with second languages (and more) to study history at Sydney because those abilities are invaluable in our increasingly globalising world, and of course new international history initiatives.
We are also grateful to teachers Stephanie Haskett and Felicity Wicks for their enthusiasm for the program. Both are creative and inspiring teachers who are already teaching us new tricks for the classroom. Felicity promises to introduce us to the world of Virtual Reality and History on our next visit. While running the mentoring program, we also hope to visit with and host Stephanie’s Year 12 Ancient History students, too.
Finally, in a nice turn, one of the student mentors who volunteered to work with the Cecil Hills group, Steph Schenk (who is in her 3rd year of Uni) told us that she first decided she wanted to go to Sydney Uni when she came here five years ago with Trinity Catholic College, Auburn, and did a campus tour with student volunteers and heard mini-lectures from Helen Dunstan and Robert McCowan. It turned out that was one of the first school visits we organised to the Uni as part of this program, and it was the first time Steph had visited a University. We are very pleased that Steph is now a valuable volunteer on the program, and pursuing a teaching career.

Granville Boys High School Presentations and Awards

Earlier in the year, we reported on the Year 7 Granville Boys High School visit to the University and Museums. We’ve pasted a copy of that report below, and we’ve also provided a link to a short video of that trip created and provided by one of their teachers, Fiona Donnelly: https://youtu.be/vaYaBBJxSXg
Last week, we were invited to GBHS to view the final projects and award prizes and certificates to the best teams and students involved in them.
We were amazed at the work the boys did. They were split in to teams of three and four and tasked with a project of building virtual museum on the topic of “How Do the Dead Speak to Us?” The boys chose who would be their primary researcher, who would undertake the website design, and who would choose artifacts, texts, and pictures to use in their virtual museums.
The boys worked hard but also enjoyed the new challenge of working in a team and building something tangible that their parents and friends could also see. Some of their reflections can be found here on this video created and provided by Ms. Donnelly: https://youtu.be/-oEKbFl8Z5M
Using the website development tool Weebly, the boys created some terrific websites on different archaeological figures including Tutankhamun, Tollund Man, Narrabeen Man, Mungo Man, Otzi the Iceman and Ramesses II.
The work they did is also testimony to the innovative and creative thinking of the HSIE team at Granville, including teachers Fiona Donnelly, Stephanie Ghassibe, Tarek El-Homsi, and Chris Mandarakas.



Though all the final presentations were excellent, the Department of History awarded the following certificates and prizes:
Certificate of Excellence and Prize
Hosam Al-Ubudi
Certificate of Excellence and Prize
Noah Kheir
Mohamed Saddieh
Rabih El Kheir
Certificate of Merit
Mohamed Agha
Mortatha Alhessany
Mohamed Dunia
Certificate of Merit
Ben Harfis
Ahmed Al Fararjeh
Zimraan Anjum

We look forward to working with the next group of Year 7 students early in the new year.
Original Report on Visit
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Year 7 Granville students at the University

Over the past four years, several groups of students from Granville Boys High School have visited the University of Sydney as part of the Social Inclusion program – usually Year 11 students completing individual research projects. On the 12th and 17th of August, the university hosted four classes of Year 7s in a pilot for a Project Based Learning program.
For this new project, Granville students will be investigating ancient artefacts and human remains, particularly looking at how remnants of the past are used to bring history to life in the present-day. Their case studies will include Ancient Egyptian mummies, Otzi the Iceman, and closer to home, Mungo Lady and Mungo Man. The students visited the Nicholson and Macleay museums to get a closer look and a better understanding of the importance of artefacts and remains, as well as the processes of preservation, storage, and presentation.
At the Nicholson Museum, the students handled artefacts such as canopic jars, ceramic sherds, mummy wrappings, grave-robber lamps, and Sumerian tablets. While handling these collections, they applied a series of questions to determine each object’s material, date, and place of origin. In the end it was the two swords – one Cypriot, the other Mycenaean – that drew the most attention from the students.
The staff at the Nicholson Museum were terrific guides and hosts for the boys. Craig Barker also took a group for an impromptu chat about the mummies, but quickly found out that at least one of the boys had been doing a little work on his own, and could describe the process of mummification down to the finest detail. His friends, along with us, were amazed.
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Dr Craig Barker with students in the Nicholson Museum

After learning about the material cultures of ancient civilisations at the Nicholson, the students explored Macleay Museum’s natural history collection. Upon their arrival, Jude Philp, Senior Curator at Macleay, tasked the students with locating the oldest and weirdest objects on display. Several of the students were also determined to find fake objects – but turns out the entire collection is real! Even at the end of what was quite a long day, the students were bursting with questions about the scientific instruments and animal life on display, how they were collected, and what it is like working in a museum.
We are looking forward to seeing their projects at school. And judging by their enthusiasm for learning about the history of the University and how we study history at the University and Museums, we are also looking forward to having them as students in a few years’ time.

HDR+ Student Grant Success

As the year winds down the Department is very pleased to note that Hollie Pich, Marama Whyte, and Sarah Dunstan from the Department of History were all successful in their applications for 2017 HDR+ Student Grants (https://sydney.edu.au/education-portfolio/ei/strategic-education-grants/2017/hdr-student-grants/)
Hollie and Marama were successful in their bid to organise and host a series of seminars around the theme: Working Women: A Forum for Women in Academia
Sarah was successful in her bid to organise and host a series of seminars around the theme of building key skills for higher degree research success.
Their proposals were terrific, and our Chair, Professor Chris Hilliard, has kindly agreed to match the funds given by the University to show the department’s support for such great initiatives.
Details of the seminars, which will run in 1st semester of next year, will follow in the new year.
This is terrific news and is testimony to the high quality work being done by our PG students, their innovative ideas, and their commitment to support the PG community.
Mike McDonnell

New PhD – William Matthew Kennedy

On behalf of the Department of History, a hearty congratulations to William Matthew Kennedy for the award of his PhD.
Matt’s thesis, entitled “Recolonizing Citizenship: Australia and the Ideal of Empire, 1867-1911,” was supervised by Mark McKenna, and deals with the relationship between an emerging Australian national identity and a more global, racialized, imperial political identity in establishing a settler-colonial ‘republic’ based on a contested notion of British rights. In developing his argument, Matt looked at the impact of communication technology, colonial philanthropy, and colonial imperialism and was particularly commended for situating this developing political identity relative to other constituent parts of the empire, most notably British India and the Pacific region within which Australia acted as a sub-imperial power. Examiners praised it as an “important contribution to the literature; one with relevance to historians of Australia, of other settler colonies and of the empire as a whole.” “Packed full of suggestive insights…adding up to a vibrant new appreciation of the relationship between Australian and imperial identities.” “Highly original, timely and compelling.”
Well done to Matt on this fine achievement. Congratulations.

Presenting the Past – Week 12 in History Beyond the Classroom

Photo by Tracey Trompf from http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/lifematters/catherine-freyne/3976124
This past week we were again very fortunate to have Catherine Freyne (pictured) as our guest speaker to talk about ways of presenting the past. We couldn’t have got a better speaker on this topic. Catherine is an award-winning historian and media producer who specialises in 20th century urban, social and oral history. She has developed multimedia history content for the City of Sydney, ABC Radio National, ABC Innovation, Think+DO Tank and the Dictionary of Sydney.
Catherine is particularly well known for her work on the ground-breaking Hindsight documentaries at ABC Radio National (http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/hindsight/). But she has also worked on 80 Days that Changed Our Lives (http://www.abc.net.au/archives/80days/) and Against The Tide: A Highway West (http://www.againstthetide.net.au/). For her work in radio, Catherine has received two NSW Premier’s History Awards – a remarkable achievement by any standard.
Since we spoke with her last year, Catherine has started a creative practice PhD in history and journalism at UTS, where she also holds a prestigious Chancellor’s Research Scholarship. Like the poet Muriel Rukeyser, Catherine believes “the universe is made of stories, not atoms” and has a particular penchant for the true ones.
Catherine’s work exemplifies the power of stories. She talked to us about the many projects she has been involved with, and why she is so passionate about public history. She particularly engaged students with her explanation of how her team at the ABC recreated history on Pitt Street and in Hyde Park when making the Hindsight program, Good Sex: The Confessions and Campaigns of W.J. Chidley (http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/hindsight/good-sex—the-confessions-and-campaigns-of-w.j.-chidley/4605590), and also raised the bar on thinking of good public history apps when talking about the Against the Tide project which is still in development and which Catherine contributed to in 2014. The app allows users travelling along the Parramatta River on the Rivercat to make choices about what kinds of histories they are interested in, and hear of the experiences of different groups of people in different voices.
Catherine responded engagingly to students’ questions about how to get the balance right between “important” history and “interesting” history, and told us of her sense of history as political both in giving voice to the marginal and marginalized, but also as giving us a richer sense of the present, emphasising history as a process of sharing. She also talked about the need to think about different formats for showcasing different kinds of sources, and how the digital age allows us to add yet another layer to the landscape of places like the City, noting the importance of thinking about the depth of history in any one place. Catherine talked about the archives of the ABC, and the City of Sydney and great examples of public history.
Though she lamented the end of Hindsight, she also noted that students should tune in to Earshot, Radio National’s new general documentary slot which still broadcasts history features each week (http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/earshot/). Catherine also told students that if they had a good ideas that might fit the program, to contact her and she might be able to help develop and pitch the idea to Radio National.
Following on from Catherine’s talk, we had a workshop on the problems and challenges that students were facing in getting their project designs off the ground. These ranged from the need for some technical advice, to dealing with creative differences and emphases between themselves and the organisations with whom they were working. While we couldn’t always come up with clear and easy answers, students learned to appreciate that there might be ways to work around some of these problems.
We also returned project proposals. Students were asked to outline their work with their chosen organisations and sketch out their ideas for their major project that has grown from that work. These proposals were a treat to read and mark. Like last year, the work students have been doing with their community-partners has been diverse, and in most cases been extremely important, fascinating, and often heart-warming (you can glean some of this through the blogposts by students on this site).
Their reflections on this work and how they plan to approach the major project were also thoughtful, creative, and provoking, and reflected a real engagement with the work they were doing, and the groups with whom they were working.

New PhD – Keith Stael

Congratulations go out to Keith Stael, who received his PhD in September, 2016.
Keith worked with Professor Chris Hilliard. His thesis was on the early intellectual development of Kingsley Martin, editor of the New Statesman from 1930-1960. Looking at Martin’s education and work in the 1920s especially, the thesis sets out to understand the political and social context in which Martin began his career, and the experiences and circumstances that undergirded his later influential role. The examiners praised the thesis for its analysis and “deep contextualization of an important intellectual during a mostly overlooked period in his life.” “The scholarship is careful, the writing is clear, and Mr. Stael writes authoritatively and convincingly.”
Congratulations to Dr. Stael for this great achievement!

Recent Postgraduate Completions

The Department of History is pleased to announce some recent news from our postgraduate community. These are a few completions from the past months. Most theses can now be found at the University of Sydney e-scholarship repository:
PhD Completions:
Elizabeth Miller’s doctoral thesis, “Planting of the Lord: Contemporary Pentecostal and Charismatic Christianity in Australia,” analyses one of the most striking but understudied aspect of modern Australian history: the rise of evangelical religion in the last decades of the twentieth century. Utilising archival research and participant observation, her study demonstrates that megachurches emerged in Australia by allowing members to embrace certain aspects of modernity while shunning others. Examining both the lure and internal tensions that mark Pentecostal approaches to modern life, Miller provides the first scholarly treatment of evangelicalism’s rapid expansion in the recent past. Pointing to her “substantial and original contribution to scholarly knowledge” on this topic, examiners praised Miller’s lucid writing, impressive scope, wide grasp of the secondary literature, and imaginative reconstruction of the texture of evangelical services.
Danielle Thyer was awarded her PhD in May. Her thesis, “Reporting the ‘Unvarnished Truth’: The Origins and Transformation of Undercover Investigation in Nineteenth-Century New York,” traces the beginnings of a novel idea of the press as a vehicle for exposing objective ‘truth.’ Delving into a series of undercover investigations into the marriage market, political corruption, abortion providers, insane asylums and more, Danielle considers the evolution of mass media and journalistic practices, depictions of urban life, and changing gender relations. Examiners praised her thesis as “carefully and thoughtfully composed”; “outstanding” in its organisation of new knowledge of Victorian cultural practices; and written with “uncommon grace and verve.” As one examiner noted in congratulating Danielle, “completing a dissertation of this quality is a significant lifetime accomplishment.”
James Dunk was awarded his PhD in June. The examiners noted that his thesis, ‘The politics of Madness in a Penal Colony: New South Wales, 1788-1856’, was ‘an extremely well written and interesting loose cannon of a thesis’ aiming to ‘question, disrupt and blur established narratives’ of the colonial enterprise. ‘A highly original piece of scholarship’ and ‘a mature piece of historical writing’, it ‘uses madness as a leitmotif to explore the complex overlaps between freedom and coercion, individual rights and governmental and institutional power.’ ‘Dunk has worked across a now large and substantial body of historiography in both the international histories of madness, and also the histories of convict society in Australia (and internationally), and the additional historical strands of law, society and politics run through the body of this work …the historiographical mapping of the topic in this regard is exceptional’.
Justine Greenwood was awarded her PhD in August. Justine’s thesis, Welcome to Australia: Intersections between immigration and tourism in Australia 1945-2015, was described by examiners as “conceptually sophisticated, rich in the variety of secondary sources on which it depends, and admirably disciplined in its intellectual focus and sense of relevance.” Her writing was also commended, with one examiner concluding, “Academic writing is not always a joy to read, but this was a real pleasure” and another examiner, “I consider this one of the best theses that I have read in recent years.” All three examiners enthusiastically recommend its publication as a book for its insight into modern Australia.
Felicity Berry was also awarded her PhD in August. Her thesis, entitled, “Keeping the Home Fires Burning?: British Female Settlers’ Ideas of Home and Belonging in Empire, 1826-1860,” was commended by the examiners as an “original and valuable contribution to Australian colonial history and more broadly, to the field of gender and settler colonial history.” “Beautifully written and a real pleasure to readŠit is outstanding.” “An excellent example of the historian’s capacity to return to well-worked material and bring fresh readings and new insights.” “The sensitivity of the reading, and the sophistication of the interpretation, left me feeling satiated. It was a joy to read.” “Keeping the Home Fires Burning makes an original and substantial contribution to historical scholarship on settler patterns of belonging in nineteenth century Australia.”
Garritt Van Dyk was awarded his PhD in September. Garritt’s thesis was entitled “Commerce, Food, and Identity in Seventeenth-Century England and France.” The examiners declared it ‘a fascinating, myth-busting thesis that offers a rich series of insights and analyses into a suite of familiar associations between cuisine and national identity in the case of modern France and Britain’; ‘a compelling narrative account of the history of English and French understandings of food in the seventeenth and eighteenth century’, highlighting his ‘provocative revisionist analysis of the role food played in the making of national narratives in the same period,’ his ‘wonderful observations … about the differences between English and French political …cultures,’ and ‘the transnational origins of national cultures’. They each stressed its originality and the fact that it is ‘beautifully written, demonstrating an impressive ability to produce fluent, compelling historical writing’, ‘very deserving of publication and will be read with great interest by historians and the wider reading public.’ One of them even commented that it was the “most readable thesis in 20 years of marking.”
MA (Research) Completions:
Catherine Perkins received news of her award of the MA by Research in mid-September. Cathy’s outstanding Masters thesis on the life and work of Australian writer Zora Cross was awarded a high distinction. Both examiners praised the high quality of Cathy’s research and writing: ‘As it stands, this study is an accomplished piece of writing in its own right: often witty, highly intelligent, beautifully crafted, and all delivered with a light touch’. ‘The elegance of the prose, together with the candidate’s obvious enthusiasm for her subject matter and her willingness to inject personal experiences into the narrative, made the thesis a pleasure rather than an obligation to read’.

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences – 2017 Teaching Fellowships

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
2017 Teaching Fellowships

The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences is pleased to announce that it will fund 10 Teaching Fellowships (TFs) in 2017. The Teaching Fellowship scheme is designed to provide a number of the Faculty’s outstanding postgraduate research students, in the final year of their candidacy, the opportunity to pursue enhanced teaching experiences.
General Conditions
TFs will be held for a period of one year. Students can only hold one TF during their candidature.
The 2017 TFs are available on a competitive basis to full-time or part-time postgraduate research students enrolled through the Faculty who will submit their theses between 1 January 2017 and 31 December 2017. Students who have already submitted their theses, or who plan to submit them in 2016 or in 2018 are not eligible to apply in this TF round.
The period for which a TF is held may include some time in 2017 after a student has submitted his or her thesis and is waiting on examiners’ reports, making final corrections etc. For example, a student who plans to submit his or her thesis in June 2017 is eligible to apply and, if successful, to hold a TF throughout 2017.
The Fellowships are level A step 3 appointments on a part time basis with a 0.2 full-time equivalent (FTE). The term of employment is from 1 February until 15 December 2017. TFs will undertake up to four hours face-to-face teaching per week during the teaching weeks of semesters. The duties included in their teaching should not be limited to tutoring, but should include other teaching and teaching-related activities deemed appropriate (e.g., occasional lectures, curriculum development). These activities may occur outside the standard teaching weeks in semester.
TFs are expected to experience academic benefits, such as mentoring and inclusion in Department and/or School activities, beyond those provided by casual tutoring.
The expected teaching duties and other activities to be undertaken by TFs must be indicated on the application form.
Applicants must use the form provided, and include any relevant supporting material.
To be eligible for consideration for a TF, applicants must submit an application that demonstrates both their own competitiveness and the ability of their Department or School to provide them with enhanced teaching opportunities and appropriate supervision and mentoring.
Applications for 2017 are due by close of business, Tuesday 4 October 2016. No late applications will be considered.
Applications will be ranked within each School at a meeting convened by the School’s representative(s) on the Faculty Postgraduate Research Committee. A sub-committee of the Faculty Postgraduate Research Committee, with one member from each of the five Schools, will meet to determine the overall ranking of the candidates and nominate the 10 recipients for 2017.
Please note, results of the selection process, including the names, Departments and Schools of successful applicants, will be published on Faculty web pages.

Aborginal Heritage Office – Week 9 in History Beyond the Classoom

This week, David Watts joined us again from the Aboriginal Heritage Office, a unique joint initiative by a group of councils across northern Sydney, including North Sydney, Manly, Warringah, Ku-ring-gai, and Pittwater to protect Aboriginal Heritage in these areas (http://www.aboriginalheritage.org/).
David, one of the students’ favourite speakers from last year’s class, is the Aboriginal Heritage Manager, and really developed, planned, and founded the Office back in 2000. He continues to play a key role in the preservation of Aboriginal heritage sites, education, and a prize-winning volunteer site monitoring program that empowers community members to take responsibility for our shared heritage and past.
David talked to students about his role in the organisation, the many challenges they faced and continue to face, and his extensive experience in Aboriginal heritage management. He has worked on site surveys and archaeological excavations, conservation management plans and protection works. He has given talks all over the world about Aboriginal site care and managements, as well as cultural tourism advice, and he has developed several Aboriginal Heritage Walks within the northern Sydney region (including some of the walks and resources you can find here: http://www.aboriginalheritage.org/downloads1/).
Like last year, David engaged us all with his honest and realistic approach to public history, and also talked about his own past and the way that shaped his approach to the present, and his responses to continued racism as well. He also shared with us a new publication the AHO has released called “Filling the Void: A History of the Word ‘Guringai’.” http://www.aboriginalheritage.org/history/filling-a-void-history-of-word-guringai/
David’s talk helped set the tone for an ensuing discussion on “Decolonizing Methodologies” and especially the struggle over “research” in indigenous communities where there has been a long history of imperial and post-colonial intrusion by researchers. David’s talk, and the readings, helped draw attention to the sensitivities involved in indigenous history and the need to think carefully about our intentions and purposes in doing it (something we need to be mindful with any project, it seems).
But David’s efforts in getting the AHO up and running and maintaining and sustaining it for over sixteen years now, along with his dedicated team of colleagues (who put on almost 200 schools events a year and who monitor thousands of aboriginal heritage sites across northern Sydney), reminded the class that it is not enough to sit around and wait for the “right” thing to happen in heritage management. David, along with other speakers like Judith Dunn, are teaching us the importance of stepping up to make something happen. It is not always easy, but it won’t get done otherwise.

Week 8 – Community Work and Organisations

This week we took a bit of time out to talk to previous students of History Beyond the Classroom and to find out more about the community work that students have already started this year. It reminded me of just why I enjoy teaching this course so much.
We were fortunate to have Sarah Simic and Ryan Cropp join us from last year to talk about their experiences last year, the highs and lows, the challenges and rewards, to give us practical tips on working with organisations, and to reveal some important updates about the work they did.
Ryan Cropp, who is now doing his Honours degree in history, was one of the first students last year to make contact with a group – the Hurlstone Park Wanderers Football Club. And he was one of the first students who posted a blog about his experiences. See http://blogs.usyd.edu.au/historymatters/2015/10/local_sports_history_the_scram.html Ryan helped inspire many students from last year to get started and see where they landed up.
Ryan spoke about his realisation that history was incredibly fragile, and relied on the often unpaid work of so many dedicated enthusiasts who care about their communities and their clubs. While at first frustrated with how few records there seemed to be about the club, that frustration and search for new records became the most interesting part of the project.
Ryan also spoke of his need to manage expectations – his own and others – about what he could realistically achieve in the course of one semester, but also the (on-going) friendships he made while doing his major project. He helped re-write part of their website http://hurlstoneparkwanderers.com.au/about-us/club-history/, and interviewed one of the older club members and made a great video about the Canterbury Cup played at the Blick Oval in Hurlstone Park from 1949-1963 (see http://historybeyondtheclassroom.jimdo.com/student-projects/the-documentarians/ryan-cropp/). Ryan hopes his work has and will continue to stir up more memories and archives relating to the club.
Sarah Simic also joined us, and talked about her false starts with a community group, followed by her major task – finding the origin dates 27 suburbs for the city of Fairfield. She thought this was going to be easy, but it turned in to a labour of love. She wrote one of the best blogposts of the year. I urge everyone to read the full blog at http://blogs.usyd.edu.au/historymatters/2015/11/the_shady_origins_of_our_subur_1.html, but here is an excerpt:
Historians love dates. They are our little comfort pillows; they slip complex situations into simple time frames. Ah, how lovely! How sweet! How romantic!
But I never imagined it would be so hard to find a single date.
I have spent hours wading through newspaper clippings, council records, advertisements, maps. You name it, I’ve looked. And yet, it has taken me hours to find one little piece of information.
I feel like the gods of history have been toying with me. I feel like a mouse being cruelly chucked around by a cat: lulled into a false sense of security, only to be once again snapped up in its deceiving paws.

Sarah urged students this year to be creative and roll with the unconventional nature of the unit, to trust their historical instincts, and to enjoy themselves. Sarah also reminded us of the practical outcome of the work many students did. Though Sarah’s report wasn’t made “public,” Fairfield has used her work to make new banners dating the various suburbs. The fruits of her work can now be seen all over the city of Fairfield. You can view her work at: http://historybeyondtheclassroom.jimdo.com/student-projects/the-writers/sarah-simic/
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The fruits of Sarah’s labour
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Plan of town made by founder John Brenan in 1838. Present day Smithfield still follows this plan.
Sarah was also able to stay and talk to students informally about their community work and the projects that might emerge. We divided up the students into groups based around the kind of work their organisations did, which included historical societies and historic sites, community and sports groups, libraries and schools, and health and welfare and government groups.
This year, we have twenty-seven students in total, working with twenty-seven different organisations, listed below. Once again, they range in scope and size and purpose, but so far all the students seem keen to get on with their work with them and open-minded about what might emerge. Students also talked about how enthusiastic many of their contacts were in their organisations, and why they got interested and involved with them in the first place.
I have been cheered again by how willing students are to think beyond the classroom and to engage with such a wonderfully diverse group of organisations. And I am very grateful for the support of our community partners in taking on the students. I’m very much looking forward to hearing more about the work students are doing, and the projects that evolve from this.
Community Groups and Centres

Addison Road Community Centre
Auburn Youth Centre
Newtown Neighbourhood Centre
Balmain Association
Friends of Callan Park
Glenwood Community Association
Historical Societies and Historic Sites

Blacktown and District Historical Society
La Perouse Museum
Manly, Warringah and Pittwater Historical Society
Blue Mountains Historical Society
Wyong Family History Group
Eryldene Historic House and Garden
St John’s Cemetery Project
Schools, Colleges, and Education
University of the Third Age – U3A (Liverpool)
Wesley College
Kambala Old Girls Union
Libraries, Health and Government
Touching Base
Woollahra Municipal Council (Double Bay Library)
Waverly Library
The David Berry Hospital
Sports and Leisure
Queenscliff Life Saving Club
Canterbury Olympic Ice Rink/Ice Skating Club of NSW
Western Suburbs Rugby League Club Archives
Club VeeDub
Music & Booze Co.
Cooma Little Theatre