In recent years, I have been asked to give public talks, to open exhibitions and speak on discussion panels. Here are some of my recent public engagements:
‘Beechworth’s First Nations: A Historian’s Perspective’
‘Dr Jacqui Durrant will present a discussion of her most recent unpublished research, providing historical context for Aboriginal life at the time of European-Aboriginal contact (mid-1830s onwards), as well as addressing the question of ‘What happened to Beechworth’s Aboriginal population?’ There will be time for a Q&A afterwards.’
Date: 6th March 2019
Venue: The Old Railway Station, Beechworth
Cost: Contact Beechworth U3A
Art chat — landscape then and now | Beechworth Spring Arts
Arts Council vice president and PhD student Daren John Pope leads a lively discussion with art historian and Eugene von Guérard biographer Ruth Pullin, Beechworth historian Jacqui Durrant and painter Alan Phillips about the 19th century Romantic landscape tradition, Indigenous histories and contemporary landscape interpretation.
Nov 24 | 10am morning tea, 10.30am start | $15 entry, Arts Council members $10. Pre-paid bookings essential
Beechworth Town Hall, 103 Ford Street, Beechworth
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.
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.