Sunday, July 31, 2011

National Family History Week - 29 July to 8 August 2011

National Family History Week is an initiative of Australlasian Federation of Family Histrory Organisations. This popular initiative has received broad support from some of Australia’s leading government and non government organisations. During the week events will be conducted across the country that focus on genealogy, family history, heraldry and related subjects including family reunions, seminars, talks, open days, history walks, book launches, film evening and expos.  Details of New South Wales events here.

Seminar: Bricks and Mortar: Foundations for the Future

Hosted in the soon-to-be-opened Newcastle Museum, Bricks and Mortar: Foundations for the Future is a one day seminar delving into the challenges and opportunities presented when developing a regional museum or gallery in an evolving environment. Delegates will come away with an appreciation for managing council and community expectations when delivering a new museum; hear a first hand account of working with a heritage space and learn how to plan for sustainable outcomes.

When: Tuesday, 30 August 2011
Where: Newcastle Museum, 6 Workshop Way, a short walk from Civic Railway Station
RSVP: Monday, 22nd August 2011
Registration forms: online
Contact:, or fax to (02) 9358 1852, or post to 43-51 Cowper Wharf Rd, Woolloomooloo 2011
Admission: $65 full price, $45 concession(Students, pensioners, museum/gallery volunteers)
Volunteer museums deal: Register three delegates for $100

Capturing Memories – Oral History in the Digital Age

Presented by Oral History Association of Australia NSW in conjunction with the Royal Australian Historical Society NSW

A practical workshop on Oral History theory and practice with experienced oral historians Trish Levido and Carol McKirdy. Participate in a guided practical exercise of an undertaking an oral history interview. Topics covered include choosing and using a digital recorder, downloading recordings to computer, editing using Audacity free access software, saving sound files, burning to disc and transfer to other storage mediums.

When: Saturday, 27 August 2011 from 9.45 am to 4.30 pm
Where: History House, 133 Macquarie Street, Sydney
Cost: $50 please bring lunch

Bookings essential as numbers limited through Royal Australian Historical Society (02) 9247.8001 or download registration flyer at

Email for enquiries:
Contact: Trish Levido (02) 9969 5177

At Tocal, it’s time to take a peek into the past

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Tocal takes a step back each year when it celebrates its own special brand of magic.
Scones straight out of the old wood-fired oven, damper on the campfire and bush poetry will bring Tocal to life at Peek into the Past on Sunday.
Tocal Homestead co-ordinator Sandy Earle said the event gave people the opportunity to see what made Tocal so special and to experience what life was like in days gone by.

Full article by Kate Morris available at Maitland Mercury, 27 Jul, 2011

Council on right track with help for city groups

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Maitland City Council handed out more than $50,000 to community organisations last night. Among the guests were representatives of the Walka Model Engineering Society of Maitland, which received $2000 for the restoration of the mini railway at Walka Water Works that runs each Sunday.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, 26 Jul, 2011.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

History Week Programme out soon

The 2011 History Week Programme will be launched Monday 25 July. To order your copy, go to and fill out the online form. You can also email your order to
The History Week Programme will also be available online from Monday 25 July.

Ghosts at Grossmann & Beaujolais in Brough

From the Maitland Mercury report:
In the dead of night when Maitland sleeps, Evelyn walks the halls of historic Grossmann House.
No one knows who she is or where she came from, but at 7pm on July 30, Maitland residents will have the chance to find out.
“Evelyn is a ghost, and when each new generation of girls would come to the school they would learn about Evelyn and pass her story on to the next lot who came in,” Maitland Grossmann House property co-ordinator Alan Todd said.
The Ghosts at Grossmann & Beaujolais in Brough event will include tales from a psychic, music from a 150-year-old harmonium and guided tours from former students of Maitland Girls High School.
For tickets phone 4933 7758 or 4933 6452.

Full article by Davor Javanovic available at Maitland Mercury, 12 Jul, 2011.

Heritage Listing Explained - What it Means for You

A Heritage Council of New South Wales publication.
This short publication describes the effects and benefits of heritage listing in NSW in plain language to help community understanding. It has been produced especially for use by owners and local councils. Both local and state statutory listing are covered by the same publication so it applies across NSW.
Heritage listing explained goes beyond the usual heritage listing subject matter. The findings from studies on economic effects, sustainability, and practical tips for changing heritage places are all covered. The myths and facts table at the end responds to the common misunderstandings and fears about listing.

Further Information: PDF available (10 pages)

Paterson Valley historical fruit

From the Maitland Mercury report:
A fruit tree synonymous with the history of the Paterson Valley and an integral part of the area’s economy in the late 1800s and early 1900s is about to enjoy a resurgence.
Under the direction of citrus farmer John Priestley and Paterson businessman Kevin Hawtin, the Paterson orange is once again set to flourish in backyards across the village.

Full article by Emma Swain available at Maitland Mercury, 14 Jul, 2011.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Australian Museum of Clothing and Textiles

Putting on the Ritz:
Vintage Fashion Parade and Cocktail Evening

Step into the past and enjoy acocktail evening reminiscing the fashions on show from AMCATMuseum and members private collections.
Contact: Letitia 0427 732 912
Date: 23 July 2011
Time: 5.30pm to 7.30pm
Admission: $15, Members: $12
Venue: Maitland Repertory Theatre, High Street , Maitland. 2320

Morpeth residents invited to have their say

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Growing pains associated with the expansion of Morpeth, particularly the redevelopment of the former St John’s site, has emerged as an issue for residents. The historic St John’s site fronting Morpeth Road is under going a transformation into a centrepiece for seniors living, with a residential development and the use of Morpeth House for aged care.

Full article by Briony Snedden available at: Maitland Mercury, 05 Jul, 2011.

An Afternoon with Dolls at Brough House

Historic Brough House in Church Street, Maitland, will provide the venue for bringing your dolls for an afternoon with Lin Fitzgibbons. From 1pm - 4pm doll valuations and individual discussions with owners will be available, along with advice on repairs, a general talk about dolls, and an afternoon tea provided by the Friends of Grossmann House.

Saturday 23 July, 1pm - 4pm, Brough House
Cost: $12 NT members / $15Adults

Contact: Helen Scott on (02) 4931 9046

Newcastle KFC Destruction of Historic Relics

An archaeological report on the site of a Kentucky Fried Chicken store development in Newcastle has now been released, well after the site was destroyed. The report confirmed the presence of 5,000 year old relics including Aboriginal tools. This fiasco raises serious questions about the issue of archaeological permits and the apparent bias towards development at all cost. In an earlier E-news the National Trust had reported on the demolition of the historic Palais Royal which stood on the site of one of Australia’s most significant Aboriginal Heritage sites.
More on this issue at Heritage Space.

Memorial trees removed to make way for development in Morpeth

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Angry Diggers in Morpeth have joined other townsfolk to condemn a “sneaky” move by Maitland City Council to cut down 43 bottlebrush trees that had been planted to honour war veterans.
The old Diggers said they were upset and surprised by the recent secret felling of the trees along Morpeth Road.

Full article by Alan Hardie available at Maitland Mercury, 04 Jul, 2011.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Company's history in safe hands

From the Maitland Mercury report:
When the Hunter Valley Training Company locked away a time capsule on its 20th anniversary, then general manager Kay Sharp was thinking about retirement.
But 10 years on, as the Maitland-based company celebrated 30 years yesterday since it began operations on June 22, 1981, Mrs Sharp was still on the scene to add another decade of memorabilia to the capsule cleverly buried beneath a working model of the legendary 3801 locomotive.

Full article by Briony Snedden available at Maitland Mercury, 23 Jun, 2011.

State Records turns 50!

State Records turned 50 in June 2011. During the early part of the 20th century, the State's archives were cared for by the Mitchell Library and the Archives Section of the Public Library. By the 1950s moves were underway to establish an independent body to regulate the disposal of public records and to manage the State archives collection. After passage through Parliament during 1960, the Archives Act (No. 46 of 1960) commenced on 1 June 1961, and on that day the first Archives Authority (Chair, Deputy Chair and seven members) as well as the Principal Archivist were appointed.

Discover Newington Armory

Royal Australian Historical Society, 22 July 2011.
Come on board the Heritage Train with us and enjoy an explosive 55 minute trip around the historic Armory Buildings and then a 45 minute walking tour through part of the 52 hectares of urban parkland. Experience how the armaments were stored, transported and protected at what was formerly the Royal Australian Naval Armament Depot (RANAD) for over 100 years and see heritage buildings including the original 1897 gatehouse.

National Archives of Australia

National Archives of Australia has been awarded the UNESCO/Jikji Memory of the World Prize for innovation in preserving digital records and heritage documents.

It recognises the Archives’ innovation, willingness to share research results and professional archival leadership. The prize is also for the Archives' worldwide investigation into conservation issues of parchment documents written in iron gall ink, which are vulnerable to iron gall corrosion.
The US$30,000 prize is awarded biennially. The prize money will fund a conservation student placement at the Archives as an investment in the future of documentary heritage preservation.