Oral History Victoria’s renewable energy strategy

We run on person power and it’s time to call for nominations to the OHV committee for 2018-2019.

A likeable group of a dozen or so, the committee meets every 8 weeks for a couple of hours in the Melbourne CBD. At meetings we discuss and plan how to further oral history in Victoria – training, programs, support sessions etc. in Melbourne and regional Victoria.

The committee works mostly as teams – Membership, Events, Communications – plus the usual organisational offices of President, Secretary and Treasurer.

Being part of the committee there’s scope to reshape existing programs and propose new ones, or to learn new skills as part of the teams. Our new committee year begins in October, with the AGM scheduled 25 October.

If you’d like to have a hand in ensuring oral history thrives in Victoria please be in touch with me susan@susanfaine.com.au, and I’ll be delighted to talk about it with you.

We look forward to welcoming you!

Susan Faine
President, OHV


Courtesy of State Library of Victoria, Yallourn Power Station, Main Office at knock-off time, circa 1920-29

Our annual symposium – special journal issue

Presentation during the OHV symposium

Our annual Oral History Victoria Symposium, held on 29 July 2018, has inspired a special edition of the Oral History Australia (OHA) journal.

OHA Journal editor Dr Sue Anderson recently announced that the 2019 issue of the journal would be dedicated to the same theme as that explored at our symposium – ‘Oral History and the Emotions’.

A call for papers was issued with submission for peer-reviewed articles required by 31 March 2019. Find out more about the the call for papers on the Oral History Australia website.

The 2018 OHV symposium was well attended after attracting a strong field of speakers including:

  1. Keynote speaker Katie Holmes, ‘Recording emotions in the Australian Generations Oral History Project’
  2. Annabelle Baldwin, ‘And What happened next?’ Revelations of sexual violence in Holocaust testimonies
  3. Portia Dilena, Listening against the grain
  4. Geraldine Fela, ‘I felt like nurse death’: Australian nurses and the AIDS crisis
  5. Miranda Francis, What emotion do mothers leave out when they tell their stories?
  6. Francesco Ricatti, Embodying phantasmatic memories of migration: a case study
  7. Jordana Silverstein, ‘He died on my watch’: Oral histories of Australian policy-making for child refugees
  8. Al Thomson, Indexing Emotion: Joy and shame in oral history
  9. 5-minute lightning presentation: Matthew Davis, Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West. 

Read more about the symposium.

Speakers at the OHV 2018 symposium

Speakers at the OHV 2018 symposium


Oral history appointment at National Library

Portrait of Dr Shirleene Robinson

Dr Shirleene Robinson

Prominent oral historian, academic, author and public commentator Dr Shirleene Robinson is to take up one of Australia’s most senior oral history posts as the Senior Curator Oral History and Indigenous Programs at the National Library of Australia (NLA).

Dr Robinson starts at the Library on 13 September 2018, though she will need to take some time in November for the launch of her latest book, ‘Yes Yes Yes! The Inside Story of the Campaign for Marriage Equality in Australia’ co-authored with Alex Greenwich (using oral history), and to also install an exhibition which she has been curating.

An Associate Professor, she comes to the Library from Macquarie University where she has been the Vice Chancellor’s Innovation Fellow in the Discipline of Modern History since 2011. She was a Rydon Fellow at King’s College, London in 2013 and has also spent time in Hohhot, China as a Visiting Professor of Australian Studies.

Dr Robinson has managed or participated in a long list of significant oral history projects, including some in partnership with the National Library, such as the very successful, The Past in the Present: Australian Lesbian and Gay Life Stories.

Her work has extended across a range of areas in social history, public policy and contemporary Australia. Her PhD was in the field of Indigenous history after which she worked in the Queensland Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Policy.

Dr Robinson is currently President of the Oral History Association of Australia, NSW and ACT branch.

She lists her research interests as:

  • the history of sexuality (including the construction of homosexual identities and homophobia)
  • histories of HIV/AIDS (including volunteering)
  • the history of LGBTIQ people in the military
  • the history of childhood in national and transnational context (including the experiences of Aboriginal children)
  • oral history as a method and practice.