I am regularly asked to give public talks, included lectures, addresses at openings/launches and to speak on discussion panels. Below are a few of my recent and up-coming public engagements.
If you would like me to address your group about environmental history, Aboriginal history of the North East Alpine valleys and ranges, or early gold rush history, please email me to request a schedule of fees.
Making the Invisible Visible: panel discussion for International Women’s Day
I am honoured to be sitting on this panel discussion for International Women’s Day, which is being presented in partnership between Women’s Health Goulburn North East and The Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas, for the Women at the Edge: History and Beyond series of events.
Victoria’s north-eastern regions are rich with dramatic scenery – from the majestic Alpine ranges to the storied banks of the Murray River. Indigenous people have lived in the area for tens of thousands of years. The land is home, first and foremost, to their stories and lore. Since colonisation, this region has been the backdrop, too, to many myths and legends that are imprinted on the Australian national psyche – mostly goldrush stories of bushrangers and manhunts in the high country. Where are the women in all these stories? To celebrate International Women’s Day, we’ll hear from local leaders, historians and experts as they delve into the history of the region and share often unacknowledged stories of the women who have shaped the recent and distant past. Join us at George Kerferd Hotel as we salute our foremothers in style.
Liz Conor – Host
When: Thursday, March 12, 2020 from 5.30pm to 7pm.
Where: The George Kerferd Hotel, Howard Whitaker Room, Mayday Hills, Beechworth.
Bookings are now open for this innovative event that will take us right to the edge of our understanding and lived experience – and beyond!
Pallinganmiddang — First people of the 15 Mile Creek, King Valley and Beyond
Today, the Pallanganmiddang are virtually unheard of, but at the time of European settlement they were well-known as the inhabitants of country from Glenrowan to the King Valley, and the central Ovens River Valley from Whorouly to ‘the Ovens Crossing’ (Wangaratta). In this talk, I will be presenting research about the ‘Pallinganmiddang’ people based on early primary-documentary evidence (1830s and 1840s). I will provide a historical context for Aboriginal life in and around the Ovens, King and Greta Valleys at the time of European-Aboriginal contact (mid-1830s onwards), including an account of these valley landscapes and their ecological management by the Pallinganmiddang people. I will also offer a short account of local attacks and massacres committed on both sides of the ‘frontier war’ between the European invaders and Pallinganmiddang belligerents.
Where: Moyhu Hall
Date: 7pm, Sunday 1 December, 2019
Further details: This event was hosted by Greta Valley Landcare.
Fire on the Plateau — In Conversation | Beechworth Spring Arts Festival
To launch of the Beechworth Library’s ‘Culture Club’, I will be ‘in conversation’ about my new book, Fire on the Plateau — A History of Fire and Its Management in Stanley, with environmental consultant and former fire fighter, Graham Parton.
Where: Beechworth Library, 101 Ford Street
Date: 10-11am, Saturday 16 November, 2019
Further details: Free
Mysterious Mogullumbidj — the first nations people of Mount Buffalo, a historian’s perspective
Today, the Mogullumbidj are virtually unheard of, but at the time of European settlement they were well-known as the inhabitants of Mount Buffalo and the Buffalo River Valley. In this talk, I will be presenting unpublished research about the ‘Mogullumbidj’ people, as well as providing historical context for Aboriginal life in and around Mount Buffalo at the time of European-Aboriginal contact (mid-1830s onwards). I will also discuss the cultural and spiritual significance of the Alps to the Aboriginal peoples of North East Victoria.
Where: Myrtleford Landcare AGM, Gapsted Hall
Date: 6.30pm, 10 October, 2019
2019 Geoff Craig Memorial Lecture, 15 September 2019
‘Revisiting the forgotten world of Victoria’s alpine valleys and ranges — the case for restoring our ancient open woodlands’
While researching local history using journals and diaries dating from the 1830s and 1840s, historian Jacqui Durrant felt she had stumbled upon a forgotten world — a world of spectacular ecological richness, filled with unexpected sights, sounds and sensations. In this lecture she will explore the dramatic environmental changes that have happened since European settlement, and how a knowledge of the past can radically change the way we think about nature conservation today.
Date: Sunday 15th September 2019
Venue: Stanley Soldiers Memorial Hall, Main Street, Stanley, Victoria
Time: 11am, 15 September.
‘Co-ordinator of the Stanley Athenaeum and Public Room, Chris Dormer, thanked Dr. Durrant for what she described as an, ‘important, inspiring and innovative lecture exploring the past to inform the future’. “We are still dazzled by the way you can bring together your findings to tell yet another ‘ripping yarn’ which will be talked about and remembered for years to come”.’
— The Nine Mile News, Issue 115 OCTOBER 2019.
Address at the launch of Just Biodiesel’s Barnawatha biodiesel plant
Just Biodiesel has a vested interest in creating new sustainable fuels for a low-carbon future. I was asked to address their audience regarding philosophies of environmental sustainability and circular economies embedded in local Aboriginal culture, and how we might look to Aboriginal economies and philosophy regarding the management of resources and the environment to guide us into a more sustainable future.
I was pleased to be able to talk alongside Jida Gulpilil (welcome to country), John Hewson (keynote speaker), Dr Helen Haines (federal member for Indi), and Dr Rowena Cantley-Smith.
17 July 2019, Star Hotel, Barnawatha
‘Beechworth’s First Nations: A Historian’s Perspective’
This was billed as: ‘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 Festival
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.