After cancelling our first two workshops for the year due to COVID-19 restrictions, Oral History Victoria has staged five online events and has a further two scheduled. The response has been overwhelming.

Online training

Trainer conducting online course

Al Thomson conducting the online introductory course ‘Oral history interviewing for beginners’.

Our first online training event, ‘Oral history interviewing for beginners’ sold out and went to a waitlist more than a week before it was due to begin on 30 May 2020. A second round of this training, scheduled for 15 and 22 August 2020, recently sold out within four days (priority was given to those waitlisted for the first event).

Consulting historian Sarah Rood and Alistair Thomson, Professor of History at Monash University, conducted the training, which was run on two consecutive Saturdays to provide the opportunity for participants to conduct an interview in the week in-between.

In consideration of the online platform, the training format was slightly modified to ensure sufficient breaks and opportunities for interaction in small groups. The course was restricted to 16 places to ensure maximum participation.

We are hoping to offer some further online training in coming months.

Annual symposium

Screen shot of OHV video on You Tube.

Screen shot of OHV video on You Tube.

On 14 June 2020 we staged our first online symposium, ‘Oral history and the environment’, which received almost 100 registrations – a near sell-out, with attendees from throughout Australia and overseas.

Alistair Thomson chaired the three-hour symposium  and Peg Fraser, former Museum Victoria curator and author of the award-winning book, Black Saturday: Not the End of the Story (Monash University Publishing, 2018), delivered the keynote address.

The other presenters were:

  • Deb Anderson, Monash University
  • Lorina Barker, University of New England
  • Katie Holmes, La Trobe University
  • Scott McKinnon, University of Wollongong
  • Karen Twigg, La Trobe University.

The presentations and questions and answer sessions are now available on a new OHV You Tube channel. Go to: https://youtu.be/_nTLmxwy24s. Open the description under the video to access linked timecodes.

Informal catch-ups

In recognition of of the current difficult circumstances with COVID-19 restrictions we have also increased the frequency of our informal ‘Ideas and skills exchange’ gatherings and moved these events online via Zoom.

Alistair Thomson has been hosting these free meetings which to date have been held on 28 April 2020, 26 May 2020 and 30 June 2020. A fourth session is planned for Tuesday 28 July at 5:30 pm. Go to our events section for further information and the meeting link.