Historians, places and the past

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This seminar explores the role of historians in place-making and heritage projects. Such projects can result in fresh interpretations of historic sites. Historians help preserve and reveal evidence of the past alongside new modes of access, adaptive re-use, and (re)development.

Historians contribute research, analysis and insights to the development of heritage sites and places of historic significance. Their knowledge can help to maintain heritage values that are already recognised. Historians are also experts in discovering new information that contributes to our understanding of a place.

While place-making can enable new forms of community engagement, it can also be controversial. There may be losses alongside the gains. The historian’s advice is not always heeded. Heritage projects usually require compromises. Many perspectives and demands may influence the final outcome.

A panel of speakers shares some of the highs and lows of their experiences in this field. Panellists will then respond to questions from each other and the audience.

This seminar is presented for the Australian Heritage Festival and for Law Week as part of the 2019 'Making Public Histories' series, offered by Monash University, History Council of Victoria and Old Treasury Building.

The seminar will be chaired by Emeritus Sir John Monash Distinguished Professor Graeme Davison AO FAHA FASSA FFAHS, of Monash University and the History Council of Victoria. The panellists and their presentation titles are:

Dr James Lesh, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning, University of Sydney
'Writing a new history of Australian urban heritage'

Kate Gray, Principal, Lovell Chen Architects and Heritage Consultants
'Reflections on the role of history and the historian in heritage practice'

Chris Johnston, founder of Context heritage consultancy and currently Research Associate at La Trobe University
'It became the place: Atherton Gardens and the making of place'

Bookings for this free event are now open.  To reserve your seat, click on the RSVP button at the foot of this page.
If the button says 'Sorry, this event is sold out', please email [email protected] to join the wait-list.


With thanks to the series sponsors, Monash University Publishing and the Monash University History Program:

Monash University Publishing - some current titles   Monash University History Program 

and to the organising partners:

Old Treasury Building     Monash University History Program      HCV

The seminar is part of an ongoing series, Making Public Histories, that is offered jointly by the Monash University History Program, the History Council of Victoria and the Old Treasury Building. Each seminar aims to explore issues and approaches in making public histories. The seminars are open, free of charge, to anyone interested in the creation and impact of history in contemporary society. Click HERE to learn about other events in the series.

May 14, 2019 at 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Old Treasury Building
20 Spring St
East Melbourne, Victoria 3002
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Margaret Birtley · · 0418 814 957
Felicity Watson Kathleen Henry Netania Lim Rod Mackenzie Ray Jelley Susanne Silver Robyn Clinch Katherine Sheedy suzette chapple Heidi Freihaut Jacqui Sanders Tania Blackwell Michael O'Brien corinne mackenzie Kristen Thornton Sarah Hayes Eugenia Pacitti Deb Lee-Talbot Kimberley Meagher Derek Reid Rosemary Noble Emily Lynch Fiona Hanlon Keith Gaff Liz Rushen Sue-Anne Williams Fiona Poulton danni truong Yana Ostapenko Jessica Antolino Marie Blyth Caitlin Mitropoulos Louise Blake

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Felicity Watson
Kathleen Henry
Netania Lim
Rod Mackenzie
Ray Jelley
Susanne Silver
Robyn Clinch
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