What the Little Bird didn't tell me

Lynette Russell AM

On 15 March 2020, the Royal Historical Society of Victoria announced the cancellation of this lecture:

Although our events do not come close to the 500 limit we have decided, in the interests of stopping this virus in its tracks, to postpone our major events. We hope to reschedule later in the year. All ticket buyers will get a full refund.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Here is the information about the event as it had been planned:

Professor Lynette Russell AM will deliver this lecture for the RHSV's celebration of Women's History Month.

'Twenty years ago I wrote a book that documented a journey I had been on for over a decade. The book was A Little Bird Told Me: Family Secrets, Necessary Lives. This book represented a journey of discovery where I located my Aboriginal ancestors and answered a number of questions that had dogged my family for generations. Along the way, I discovered a story of secrets and lies, of madness, and refuge.  In this talk, I will reflect on this book nearly 20 years later with a focus on the importance of women as the keepers and tellers of family stories. In so doing I will consider the reasons why I wrote the book, what impact it had at the time and its ongoing influence. I hope that these reflections might have something to say to other family historians. I want to question whether there are there some family secrets and necessary lies that should never be told?'

Professor Russell is an award-winning historian and Indigenous studies scholar at Monash University. In 2020 she is taking up an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellowship to examine 'Global Encounters and First Nations People: 1000 Years of Australian History'.

Bookings are essential for this lecture ($10 for RHSV members; $20 for non-members).
To make your booking, please visit the RHSV website:

March 17, 2020 at 5:15pm - 7pm
Royal Historical Society of Victoria
239 A’Beckett St
Melbourne, VIC 3000
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