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Annual Lecture

Announcing the History Council of Victoria's



Worlds Apart: A Comparative History of Responses to AIDS in Australia and the United States

Dr Paul Sendziuk, University of Adelaide 

In contrast to many countries, Australia quickly developed a range of pragmatic and innovative measures to prevent the spread of HIV. The United States largely failed to heed Australia’s example. This illustrated lecture outlines how two countries, facing similar epidemics, came to adopt such different approaches to AIDS control, and suggests the consequences.

This lecture is held in conjunction with AIDS 2014: 20th International AIDS Conference and is part of the Making Public Histories seminar series, organised in collaboration with the State Library of Victoria and the Institute of Public History (Monash University).  







The presenter, Dr Paul Sendziuk, is the author of
Learning to Trust: Australian Responses to AIDS
and is an Associate Professor in the School of
History and Politics at the University of Adelaide.



Date:  Thursday 24 July 2014

Time:  6.00 -7.00 p.m.

Location:   State Library of Victoria - Village Roadshow Theatre
328 Swanston Street, Melbourne (Entry via La Trobe Street)

Tickets:     $9.00 (plus booking fee)

Bookings:   http://www.trybooking.com/ESYN or by phone: (03) 9651 2233


Previous annual lectures


From architecture to ornament: the Melbourne Public Library in the nineteenth century


In celebration of the centenary of the domed La Trobe Reading Room, Professor Harriet Edquist will reflect on the intersections of design and architectural history with the history of Melbourne and its public library, now the State Library of Victoria. Professor Edquist will also look at one of the featured items in the 'Enchanted Dome' exhibition, Owen Jones's book, The Grammar of Ornament, its influence on colonial liberals such as judge Sir Redmond Barry and architect Joseph Reed, and the design of Melbourne's historic public buildings.

Harriet Edquist is Professor of Architectural History at RMIT, Director of the RMIT Design Archives, and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects. She has published extensively on Australian architecture and she has contributed significantly to the Library's Dome Centenary Celebrations, including curating the exhibition 'Free, Secular and Democratic'.  


1977 and all that: cricket's revolution as event, history and drama

GIDEON HAIGH, journalist and author

In this talk about history and the drama of the 1977 World Series Cricket Revolution, well known cricket writer Gideon Haigh will discuss the Packer cricket circus as he remembers it, as he wrote about it at the time, and as it is about to be dramatized in the upcoming Channel 9 television mini series.  Gideon Haigh is one of the world's preeminent cricket writers. He has been a journalist for almost thirty years , and contributed to more than 100 newspapers and magazines; including the acclaimed The Cricket War: The Inside Story of Kerry Packer's World Series Cricket.


Mothers of the Revolution: Sex, Suffrage and the Birth of a Nation

Dr CLARE WRIGHT, historian, author and public commentator

At the turn of the twentieth century, one country audaciously broke global ranks by setting the gold standard for women’s citizenship rights.  For the first time in modern history, women could both vote and stand for election in a federal parliament, a high water mark in the international struggle for democratic equality.  That country was not at the heart of Empire.  It was not the Land of the Free.  That country was the world’s newest nation—Australia—admired and closely observed for its progressive pluck. Drawing on research from her upcoming ABC TV documentary, Utopia Girls, Dr Clare Wright will discuss the women and men who put Australia on the political map.  At a time when the global community is calling for leadership on climate change and humanitarian policy, Clare will reflect on how history is made—and all too easily forgotten.  Dr Clare Wright is an award-winning historian, author and public commentator who has worked in politics, academia and the media.


The Making of Modern Australia:  A People's History

WILLIAM McINNES, actor and author

The Making of Modern Australia is a landmark social history series that tell the big stories of post-war Australia through the eyes and the personal archives of those that live it - the people of Australia themselves.

William McInnes is one of Australia's most popular stage and screen actors and the author of A Man's Got to Have a Hobby (2005), Cricket Kings (2006) and That'd Be Right (2008).  His fourth book, The Making of Modern Australia, combines McInnes's laconic skills wih anecdotes and Australians.  It accompanies the television documentary series of the same name, narrated by McInnes and screened early in 2010 on the ABC. 


A Tasmanian in Victoria 


Tasmania and Victoria: two different states; two different histories; two very different psyches. Martin Flanagan was born in Tasmania in 1955 and graduated in law from the University of Tasmania in 1975. In 1985, he settled in Melbourne to work at the Age (where he has been ever since). Growing up in Tasmania, Flanagan was acutely aware of the great absences that define so much of the island state’s history—of histories buried, denied and hidden. On the mainland, by contrast, Victoria’s history seemed populated by great, grand narratives. Learn how, ultimately, Flanagan’s origins and his time in Melbourne came to influence and inform his view of contemporary Australia—and even his sports writing.


Ranking Australia's Prime Ministers: an exercise in interpretation


Our public discourse, such as it is, and our democratic ethos, rests on the assumption of a common memory, a common context, shared understanding and experience. Sometimes confidence in this can be shaken. Australian history has become a battleground in which political partisans claim ownership of our past. Most history debates have been crude and superficial, compounded by a shallow grasp of historical detail. Geoffrey Bolton observed that, to a seventeen year old, Paul Keating was medieval history, Bob Hawke was ancient history and Bob Menzies was pre-history. Of Australia's 26 Prime Ministers, only a handful are remembered.

Download a transcript of this lecture.


Fractional Identities: The Political Arithmetic of Aboriginal Victorians


The story of how a team that included an Aboriginal genealogist, a demographer and a medico, as well as historians and computer specialists, recreated the history of Aboriginal Victoria, and uncovered the hidden political arithmetic of colonisation.


Australia and Turkey: Uncomfortable Thoughts on Gallipoli and the Armenian Genocide



Creating a National Heritage List



The Cars That Ate Melbourne: Triumph and Tragedy in the History of the Postwar City 


Nothing changed Melbourne in the late twentieth century as much as the car. Yet the car is now so taken for granted that we do not recognise that it has a cultural and political history.