We believe in the value of history!
Studying our past and telling our stories is critical to our sense of belonging, to our communities and to our shared future.
History shapes our identities, engages us as citizens, creates inclusive communities, is part of our economic well-being, teaches us to think critically and creatively, inspires leaders and is the foundation of our future generations.
The History Councils of New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia have jointly adopted a statement about the Value of History.
Click HERE to endorse the statement via the History Council of Victoria's website.
(See below for other ways to endorse the statement.)
> To download the statement, click HERE for a PDF, or HERE for the Word version.
> To read the statement on a web page, click HERE.
> There's a wonderful suite of A3 poster designs for the statement, but the third-party link is temporarily out of order.
They are great for noticeboards, classrooms and Open Days! We will supply new link as soon as possible.
> To download the statement as an A4 PDF with this banner design, click HERE (or on the banner itself).
The four History Councils in Australia are independent membership associations. Each is the peak or coordinating body for history in its respective state. We work co-operatively to:
- Campaign for the recognition of history
- Share ideas about what makes the past relevant today
Click HERE to read our joint announcement about the Value of History statement at the annual meeting of the Australian Historical Association on 11 July 2019.
We call on individuals and organisations to endorse, share, and use this statement about the value of history in contemporary life. The ideas expressed in the statement can be incorporated into projects, funding applications, training materials, mission statements, websites, marketing materials, submissions and other organisational outlets.
We encourage all Australians to endorse the value of history. You can respond as an individual, or on behalf of an organisation.
Click HERE to endorse the statement via the History Council of Victoria!
Our Australian 'Value of History' statement is adapted with permission from History Relevance, a campaign that started in the USA in 2012.
Each year, the History Council of Victoria presents a public lecture that shares fresh thinking and new evidence on an historical topic.
The 17th Annual Lecture was presented on 8 October 2020 by Associate Professor Ruth Morgan of the Australian National University.
A recording of the lecture is available via the HCV's YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/uCp0gzc8YJQ.
Further listening: Michael Mackenzie interviewed Ruth Morgan for Life Matters on ABC Radio National, 6 October 2020.
Information about Ruth Morgan and the lecture is below.
Ruth Morgan is an environmental historian and historian of science at the Australian National University where she is Director of the Centre for Environmental History.
She has published widely on the climate and water histories of Australia and the British Empire, with the support of the Australian Research Council and Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. She is the author of Running Out? Water in Western Australia (UWA Publishing, 2015) and is a Lead Author for Working Group II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, contributing to the Sixth Assessment Report due in 2021.
Ruth undertook her doctoral studies at the University of Western Australia, and was until recently based at Monash University in Melbourne. You can follow her on Twitter: @ruthamorgan
Ruth will speak about:
Futures Past and Possible: Histories of and for Tomorrow
From bushfires to COVID-19, the trials of 2020 have left many wary of what tomorrow may bring. Yet ours is not the first generation to be preoccupied with tomorrow. Through historical narratives, we can reflect on futures of the past, that is, on the kinds of futures that peoples in the past expected, hoped, or feared. Although some futures past did unfold, it is not necessarily the realisation of these futures that makes them worthy of historical study. Rather, it is the particular conditions that produced those forecasts, predictions, or possibilities – as well as what they set in train and how – that is the historian’s concern. The future, after all, is always as much about the past as it is the present.
Focusing on Australian climate futures, past and possible, this lecture considers the ideas and ideals that have animated settler understandings of the continent’s climes and how their legacies may shape tomorrow.
The image of volumes of records, weather entry records, data sets and meteorological observations is courtesy of CSIRO under this Creative Commons licence.
Photographer: Bruce Miller.
DATE: Thursday 8 October 2020
PROGRAM: The lecture will be presented online from Canberra and Melbourne, commencing at 5.30 pm AEDT (daylight saving time). Following the lecture, audience members will be able to participate in a Q&A session with Ruth. The event will conclude by 6.45 pm.
Click HERE to read about the previous lectures presented since 2004 by the History Council of Victoria.