Oral History Victoria
Oral History Victoria, the State branch of Oral History Australia, exists to promote oral history practice and understanding. OHV is run by an elected committee. We are represented on the national OHA executive committee, which is responsible for biennial national conferences and the annual Oral History Australia journal. The OHV committee is a voluntary organisation. We organise a yearly calendar of events which includes training workshops, OHV Innovation Awards, Rewind newsletter for members and this website, containing current national and international oral history content.
President: Alice Garner is a teacher, historian and performer based in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education. Her love of oral history was sparked by conducting whole-of-life interviews with Fulbright scholars for the National Library of Australia. Her publications range from 19th-century French social and environmental history to 20th-century Australian and US educational history and memoir.
Vice President: Jen Rose is a consultant historian specialising in community and organisational histories and PhD candidate at Australian Catholic University where she is developing a history of migrants’ rights activism in Melbourne from the 1940s to the 1980s. She is also an experienced social policy consultant.
Secretary: Claudia Craig is a writer, journalist and radio presenter with a passion for history and storytelling. Her work is underpinned by responsible cultural representation and ethical community engagement. Claudia has a MA in Japanese Cultural Studies (University of London) and works at 3CR community radio in Melbourne. She is engaged in an oral history project interviewing the Wotjobaluk and Gunditjmara descendants of Australia’s first overseas cricket team.
Treasurer: Eve Lester is a Geelong-based lawyer and historian, working on a socio-legal account of the arrival of Cambodian ‘boat people’ in Australia from 1989 to the present which interweaves archival and oral history sources. Eve is currently an Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow at ANU College of Law.
Membership Co-ordinator: Marie Nunan has a degree in history and has been conducting oral history interviews for over 18 years. Her business Gift of a Lifetime produces substantial audio and video oral histories of individuals. Marie has also branched into business oral histories, ranging from family-owned SMEs including agricultural organisations and wineries, to large corporations. Gift of a Lifetime was a finalist in the 2016 Geelong Business Excellence Awards.
Social Media: Nicolette Snowden is a PhD candidate working on an oral history project about women in a coal community. Her historical interests are in feminist history, particularly women’s experiences in rural areas. She has worked as a finance journalist and in community development on climate change and sustainability projects. She has taught non-fiction writing, journalism and media analytics in the tertiary sector. Nicolette lives on Gunai/Kurnai land, Gippsland.
Rewind editor: Kirby Fenwick is a writer and audio producer and co-founder of Siren: A Women in Sport Collective. Her work generally exists at the intersection of feminism and history with a particular focus on the untold stories of women, wherever they exist but especially those that exist in sport. Kirby’s written work has been featured on Siren Sport, ABC Sport, and The Guardian among others. In 2022, she completed her honours thesis on women in sports journalism in Australia. Kirby’s audio documentary, The First Friday in February, which tells the story of the very first AFLW game, was awarded the 2018 Oral History Victoria Award. It was this project that sparked her love for oral history.
Events and special projects
Alistair Thomson, national award-winning teacher and now Emeritus Professor of History at Monash University, taught his first oral history workshop in 1985 at the Wangaratta Centre for Continuing Education and has been teaching oral history in both community and academic settings ever since. Al is currently President of Oral History Australia. His oral history books include: Anzac Memories: Living with the Legend (1994), The Oral History Reader (2016), Ten Pound Poms: Australia’s Invisible Migrants (2005), Moving Stories: an intimate history of four women across two countries (2011), Oral History and Photography (2011), and Australian Lives: An Intimate History (2017). Al is currently leading a research project about the history of fathering in Australia and co-editing The Bloomsbury Oral History Handbook.
Sianan Healy is a research fellow in History at La Trobe University. She is currently writing an oral history of infertility in Australia since the 1950s, a project based on life narrative interviews with more than 40 women born between the 1940s and 1980s. She is also a co-chief investigator in an ARC-funded Discovery Project on Indigenous mobilities to and within Australia, which is working with First Nations archives and communities to trace histories of movement since colonisation.
Our Aims and Objectives
The aims and objectives of our organisation are to:
- promote ethical practice and methods of oral history
- educate in the use of oral history methods
- encourage discussions on all aspects of oral history
- foster the preservation of oral history records
- pursue common objectives and maintain links with other Australian oral history associations through membership of Oral History Australia Inc.