Oral History Victoria Innovation Awards 2017

Oral historians based in Victoria are encouraged to apply for one of two annual awards judged by Oral History Victoria (OHV):

Oral History Victoria Community Innovation Award: open to all community-based oral history practitioners, including freelance workers and professional historians, and members of voluntary organisations and public institutions (excluding educational institutions).

Oral History Victoria Education Innovation Award: open to students and staff working in an educational institution.

Eligibility: To be eligible, projects must have been active (in creation and / or production) in 2016 and / or 2017. Applicants must be based in Victoria, though the project may involve oral history work interstate or overseas. Applicants need not be members of OHV, though they will be added to the OHV mail list and encouraged to join. Members of the OHV committee may not apply.

Each award winner will receive a prize of $250, and all shortlisted projects will be posted on the OHV website. The judging panel may award joint prizes and / or Commendations for Excellence to outstanding runners-up. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to make a short presentation about their project at the OHV annual general meeting on Thursday 26 October 2017.

How to Apply: Applicants must email an application as a Word document or pdf attachment, to each of the three judges listed below, to reach them by the closing date, 1 September 2017.

 Your application must include:

  1. Applicant/s name (individual/s and organisational affiliation, if applicable)
  2. Award you are applying for (Community or Education)
  3. Project name
  4. Applicant/s contact address, phone number, email and (where available) web address
  5. In no more than 500 words, a description of the project and explanation of why it is deserving of an award for innovation in the creation, interpretation and / or presentation of oral history
  6. A list of all outputs produced by the project, including website addresses where appropriate
  7. If a significant project output is a book, journal article, essay or some other format that can be provided to the judges, then one copy should be sent to each of the three judges at the following addresses:

Alistair Thomson (Chair of judging panel) alistair.thomson@monash.edu;

postal address: History Program, Monash University, Clayton 3800.

Susan Faine susan@susanfaine.com.au;

postal address: OHV c/-Royal Historical Society of Victoria, 239 A’Beckett Street, Melbourne, 3000.

Michael Green m@michaelbgreen.com.au

postal address: 32 Macarthur Place North, Carlton VIC 3053.


Details of the 2016 award winners available at: https://oralhistoryvictoria.org.au/ohv-awards/

Rewind – July 2017

Dear Members and Friends,

In almost mid Winter with the shortest day lived through, we are pleased to inform you of a number of events both here and further away. So read about them, plan and enjoy! Starting with a far away one of which we are reminding you :  


Welcome to IOHA Finland!

The Finnish Oral History Network (FOHN), University of Jyväskylä and the Finnish Literature Society (SKS) cordially propose to host the XX International Oral History Congress at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, from 18th June to 21th June 2018.

The theme of the XX IOHA Congress is Memory and Narration. The congress focuses on the complex and multidimensional nature of oral history, and we welcome presentations from diverse perspectives. We invite papers that focus on methodological issues concerning the production and analysis of oral histories and life stories. We especially encourage contributions related to oral history sources as narratives/narration and applications of methodological theories and practices. Therefore, the panels and presentations will address the following themes:

–       Archived oral history

–       Personal and shared narratives

–       Transgenerational memory

–       Class, gender, age and memory

–       Traditions, folklore and history

–       Oral history research in different disciplines

–       New waves of oral history

–       Oral history, theory and ethics

–       Oral history and narration

–       Life narratives and oral history


The XX IOHA Congress coincides with the anniversary of two important events in Finnish history, the centennial of the 1918 Finnish Civil War as well as the end of World War I. The congress organizers would therefore like to welcome also contributions that address memories of wars and other conflicts, narratives of survival, intergenerational war memories and communities of commemoration.

A more detailed Call for Papers can be found here: https://www.jyu.fi/en/congress/ioha2018/CfP

For more information, please visit: https://www.jyu.fi/en/congress/ioha2018

If you have any questions concerning the Congress, please email: ioha2018@jyu.fi


Followed by a few at home. Some to come and some already a marvelous memory:

Hi all

The Eventbrite listings for the next two workshops are live and can be found here

Intro Workshop (2)

Advanced Workshop (2A)

Can these please be promoted on the website, facebook and among your networks?

Kind regards



The second  “Oral History Victoria Ideas and Skills Exchange” will be held on Tuesday 15 August, 5.30-6.30 at The Moat cafe bar (176 Little Lonsdale St, near the State Library). With facilitation by OHV President Al Thomson, this is an opportunity for members to come along and share your current or prospective oral history projects and get advice about any challenges you are facing. Come and join us for an informal chat and a drink. Just turn up at the Moat on the day and ask for ‘the History Group’ (at our first successful gathering in May the Moat staff got a bit confused about the difference between oral history and orthodontists!).


Best wishes, Al


OHV 2017 Symposium: Oral History in the Digital Age – Review by Carissa Goudey

The OHV Annual Symposium kicked off the Queen’s Birthday weekend with an engaging and topical series of presentations. From websites to apps to hard drives, this year’s Symposium explored the many opportunities and challenges facing oral historians in the digital age.

After an introduction from OHV President Al Thomson, we ventured into the world of online oral history with Judy Hughes (Monash University). Considering the sheer scale of material that oral historians collect – interview recordings, photographs, primary research – Judy advocated websites as a fantastic way to curate and present oral history projects. She demonstrated how websites and web-based applications allow oral historians to produce high-quality, accessible histories at little to no cost, and without the need for purchasing extra equipment. The following discussion, led by Rachel Goldlust (LaTrobe University), presented a complementary vision of the internet’s role in oral history. Drawing on her PhD research into homesteaders, Rachel argued the importance of face-to-face interviews and their associated reciprocal benefits.

The first half of the morning was rounded off with a presentation from Al Thomson, with two exciting developments from the Australian Generations Oral History Project: the recent publication of Australian Lives: An Intimate History, and the digitisation of its interview recordings on Trove. As a group, we listened to one interview while reading the edited version – an exercise which reinforced the dual qualities of readability and human connection in oral history.

After a short break, John Francis spoke on the changing face of technology in oral history work, as well as the finer points of location, sound quality and shot composition. John thrilled us with his personal collection of recording equipment, which ranged from a Tandberg portable tape recorder to his handy iPhone 7 Plus. This caused great excitement for those who recalled the older tech, as well as for those who had only seen them in museums! Following John, André Dao presented his new book, They Cannot Take the Sky, produced with Michael Green from the Behind the Wire project. André shared his experiences interviewing people formerly and currently in detention, highlighting the inherent risks in undertaking such a task. His discussion of political refugees detained on Manus Island was particularly moving, and emphasised the need for discretion when publishing interview content.

The Symposium ended with a fascinating talk from our keynote speaker, Mike Jones, on digital preservation (University of Melbourne and Museums Victoria). After hearing from so many amazing oral history projects – each incorporating different technologies – Mike reminded us of the importance of staying ahead of the technology game. Backing up work on external hard drives, and regularly replacing those hard drives, were just a couple of his suggestions for ensuring longevity of interview recordings and accompanying digital material.

It was a captivating and inspiring day for all who attended, and testimony to the generosity and passion of the oral history community.

If unable to go to Finland, perhaps you could venture to NSW which as always has wonderful things on offer:

Indigenous Oral Histories Seminar
Saturday 29 July, 2017
11am-12.45pm (with morning tea from 10.30am)
History House, 133 Macquarie Street, Sydney
From community-driven and university-based projects, to the collecting initiatives of libraries, archives and museums, the oral history work being undertaken with Indigenous communities across Australia is extensive.

In this seminar, you’ll hear from Associate Professor Heidi Norman, who has expertise in conducting research about Aboriginal land rights, Dr. Dino Hodge, an activist and academic renowned for his explorations of Indigenous Australian queer histories, and archivist Kirsten Thorpe, who leads the Indigenous Services team at the State Library of NSW. The session will be chaired by Kate Waters – an experienced professional historian with expertise in ethical approaches to conducting oral history interviews with Aboriginal communities.

Topics covered include:

  • Consulting and collaborating with Indigenous interviewees
  • Working with Indigenous communities
  • Ethical issues and ownership of the interviews
  • Sharing stories, culture, and history
  • Engaging with intimate and sensitive topics
  • Establishing relationships based on mutual respect and reciprocity

Drawing on the speakers’ diverse experiences, this seminar is for anyone interested in oral history work with members of Indigenous communities.

Click Here for More Information and to Register Online.

Registration: Members: $20   Non-members: $30

For all enquiries please contact Cheryl Ware at  events@oralhistorynsw.org.au


From a Seminar you might attend to a book you can have now:

Australian Lives: an intimate history – a new type of oral history book

Oral History Victoria President Al Thomson and Oral History NSW President Anisa Puri have had a lot of fun in recent weeks launching and promoting the book they have created using the Australian Generations interviews. Australian Lives is a paperback and an ebook. The ebook is a new type of oral history book: you can listen to each interview extract through an online link that takes you directly to that interview in the National Library online audio archive. OHV kicked off a series of capital city book launches in Melbourne on 22 May. At the Melbourne launch interviewee Veronica Schwarz shared some of her extraordinary contributions to the book in a conversation with interviewer Katie Holmes, and David Astle from SBS Letters and Numbers described the life stories in the book as ‘plain and pure, unabashed, confronting and confessional’. Al and Anisa, together with Veronica, have spoken about the book on several ABC radio programs, including Life Matters – click here to listen. The Age published a feature using extracts from the book:  click here to read the Age article. Further details about the book available on the Monash University Publishing website, or check out the Australian Lives Facebook site.




We began with Dear Members and Friends and thanks to our brilliant NSW colleagues end

the same way.



Oral History Network News number 71

Dear Members and Friends,

Click HERE for Oral History Network News No. 71, June 2017. This issue, the conference lists have been moved to the final pages, but there are still plenty to consider. Good news is that registrations are now open for the September national conference in Sydney – a link to online registration is included here. As ever, there are plenty of interesting events in Sydney and elsewhere to consider, and news of a wide range of funding and learning opportunities. My highlight for last month was attending the launch of the Talking Machines project in Wagga Wagga – check out some of the 43 online videos on the Riverina’s rural industry. Below is a list of contents.
Francis Good


  • Membership renewals due 1 July 2017
  • Oral History Australia Biennial Conference, Sydney, September 2017
  • Indigenous Oral Histories Seminar, Sydney, July 2017
  • Hazel de Berg Award for Excellence in Oral History
  • Oral History Australia Journal 2017 deadline extended to 30 June 2017
  • Oral History NSW blog & Facebook


  • Broome Annual Oral History Winter School, June 2017
  • Sydney Mechanics School of Arts:
    – Paul Irish, Hidden in Plain View
    – Craig Ritchie: 25 Years of Mabo
  • Anisa Puri & Alistair Thomson: Australian lives: an intimate history Sydney launch June 2017
  • ‘Research to Publication’ April 2017 masterclass, Newcastle – resource sheet
  • ‘Voices from the Past’ workshop, Orange Readers & Writers Festival, July 2017
  • Feminism & Film: Sydney Women Filmmakers, 1970s & 1980s: 10 June 2017
  • Understanding Copyright seminars, Sydney, July 2017


  • Launch of Talking Machines video project, Wagga Wagga, May 2017
  • IOHA Words & Silences 2017 call for papers
  • History Week 2017 event registrations
  • History Council NSW Internship Program
  • NSW Government Heritage Grants
  • National Library fellowships & scholarships
  • Aust. & NZ History of Education Society Oral History Fellowship
  • Create NSW arts, screen & culture funding
  • RAHS Research Grants
  • State Library of NSW fellowships


  • Learning to read emotions in oral history, OUP blog
  • Teaching resource booklet: Walking With the Dead cemetery tour, Townsville
  • Shack Life. The Story of Three Royal National Park Communities, Ingeborg Van Teeseling et. al.
  • Mabo: Life of an Island Man, film directed by Trevor Graham

CONFERENCES etc. – Australia

  • Oral History Australia, Sydney, September 2017
  • Australian Historical Association, Newcastle, July 2017
  • ANZ Society of the History of Medicine, Fitzroy, Melbourne, July 2017
  • National Editors Conference, Brisbane, September 2017
  • National Labour History Conference, Brisbane, September 2017
  • Australian Society of Archivists, Melbourne, September 2017

CONFERENCES etc. – Overseas

  • International Oral History Association, Finland, June 2018
  • International Federation for Public History, Italy, June 2017
  • Oral History Society, UK, July 2017
  • Oral History Association, USA, October 2017
  • Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism, UK, January 2018


This month’s electronic version of Rewind can be downloaded here.