Public Appearances

In recent years, I have been asked to give public presentations, open exhibitions and speak on discussion panels.

Recent/forthcoming public speaking engagements include:

The Curse of Hindsight: Rethinking Beechworth History

In presenting this lecture, I will be joined by the new Director of the Robert O’Hara Burke Memorial Museum, Cameron Auty. Further details to come.

Date: 27th June 2018
Venue: The Old Courthouse, Beechworth
Time: 19.00 prompt commencement at the COURTHOUSE
Cost: $5.00 to members – Friends of Burke Museum and U3A  $10.00: to non members

International Women’s Day at the Stanley Athenaeum

To celebrate International Women’s Day 2018, the Stanley Athenaeum launched an exhibition, titled ‘Stanley Women of the 19th Century: Hearts of Gold and Minds of Mettle — Mary Rawes to Mariette Craig.’

The Friends of Stanley Athenaeum asked me to give the key note address to open the exhibition, which I did in the Stanley Hall before an audience of about 100 people — a great turn out for this small but lively country town.


The Monster Petition for women’s suffrage presented to the Victorian Parliament in 1891, contains the signatures of women from Stanley — now held in the Public Records Office of Victoria. (Image from The Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka).

As I’ve had a long-standing interest in the nature of history and the ‘gaps’ that exist within mainstream history, I spoke about the people and themes that mainstream history has until recent times chosen to ignore, and speculated on the structural reasons for its continued failure to fully integrate the histories of a range of groups, including those of the working and lower classes, of different ethnic, indigenous and migrant groups, LGBTQI people, and of course, of women — who despite comprising 50% of the population, still get treated by mainstream history as a specialty area of study.

Regarding the exhibition, historically, the women of Stanley ran local businesses, worked in the health professions, held mining claims, and were involved in political reform. However, learning about their lives has been incredibly difficult because their efforts were barely noted in public records. For this reason, the historical women of Stanley would be totally invisible to us today, if it weren’t for the hard-won research that has been conducted in recent years by the women of the Stanley Athenaeum — in this case, chiefly by local historians Valerie Privett and Helen McIntyre. This exhibition was truly a case of women upholding women.

2.30pm, 10th March 2018, at the Stanley Athenaeum and Hall.