Making Aboriginal histories

Tuesday, July 10, 2018 at 06:00 PM


Old Treasury Building
20 Spring St
East Melbourne, Victoria 3002
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Event contact

Margaret Birtley


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This seminar is part of NAIDOC Week 2018. It focusses on new approaches to investigating, writing and understanding Aboriginal history, with short presentations by three historians who are working in this field.

Alexandra Roginski is a PhD candidate with the Australian National University and author of The Hanged Man and the Body Thief: Finding Lives in a Museum Mystery (2015)Her presentation, 'Strategy on Stage: Indigenous Performers in Nineteenth-Century Popular Science', explores how the ethnographic history method, which reads through European accounts to interpret the actions that take place in moments of intercultural contact, can help us to populate sites of domination with glimmers of reclaimed power.

Dr Billy Griffiths is the author of Deep Time Dreaming: Uncovering Ancient Australia. He is a research fellow at the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation. His paper, 'Haunted Country’, reflects on the work of archaeologist Isabel McBryde and the rise of a new historical consciousness in Australia.

Dr Shannon Faulkhead is currently the Acting Manager of the First Peoples' Department at Museums Victoria. She is also a Senior Research Fellow (the Finkel Fellow) with the Monash Indigenous Studies Centre. She serves on of the Boards of the Koorie Heritage Trust and the Worawa Aboriginal College. Her presentation, 'Animation to continue inter-generational Indigenous language knowledge', demonstrates how the 3D animation is serving as a tool for Indigenous communities to re-engage with and revitalise Indigenous languages and thus to preserve and share intergenerational knowledge of their history.

The seminar will be facilitated by Professor Lynette Russell FRHistS FASSA who is the Director of the Monash Indigenous Studies Centre in the Faculty of Arts at Monash University. Lynette is the immediate past President of the Australian Historical Association. She is Monash's node Director and a Chief Investigator with the Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage. In 2015, she delivered the Annual Lecture for the History Council of Victoria.

The audience at this seminar will have the opportunity to present their own insights and to ask questions of the panellists.

Please book your seat at this free event by clicking the RSVP button at the foot of this page. (If there is a Sold Out sign instead of the RSVP button, you can join a waiting-list by sending an email to: [email protected])

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

Monash University Publishing   Monash University History Program 

and 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.

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The History Council of Victoria Incorporated (HCV) is the peak body for history in the Australian state of Victoria. Its vision is to connect Victorians with history and to inspire engagement with the past, their identity and the world today. The HCV champions the work of historians and the value of history. It recognises that history can be written about any place, any person, any period. The HCV advocates why history matters.

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The HCV was formed as an advisory body in 2001 and incorporated in 2003. It comprises representatives from cultural and educational institutions and heritage bodies; history teachers and curriculum advisors; academic and professional historians; and local, Indigenous, community and specialist history organisations.

As the peak body for history, the HCV has both ‘outward-looking’ roles (including advocacy and representation to government and the wider community, consultation, community education, and networking with allied interest groups) and ‘inward-looking’ roles (including member support, information dissemination, and networking between members).



The History Council of Victoria acknowledges the State Library of Victoria and the Public Record Office Victoria for supply of the archival images that appear on this website.

We acknowledge the National Film and Sound Archive for the right to use of the video footage on the home page, titled "Melbourne: Life in Australia (1966)".

Image credits

  • Italian sailors on ship at Port Melbourne 1938, Argus Newspaper Collection of Photographs, State Library of Victoria
  • Chinese procession in Collins near Elizabeth Street 1901, Harvie & Sutcliffe, photographers, State Library of Victoria
  • People’s homes, Aboriginal station Coranderrk 1878, Fred Kruger Photographer, State Library of Victoria
  • Chinese nurses at Children’s Hospital under scholarship 1947, Argus Newspaper Collection of Photographs, State Library of Victoria
  • Ladies physical culture class VRI Melbourne c1931, Public Record Office Victoria VPRS 12903/P0001, 011/02
  • Melbourne Cup, Derby and Oaks Day, Flemington Racecourse 1936, Public Record Office Victoria VPRS 12903/P0001/4802, 372/30
  • Flinders Street viaduct at foot of Market Street with advertisement for McRobertson’s Chocolate on bridge, Public Record Office Victoria VPRS 12800/P0003, ADV 1342