A group of enthusiastic oral historians met at the The Moat cafe bar on 15 August for OHV’s second Ideas and Skills Exchange. It was a great chance for newcomers to talk about the issues we are facing in our oral history work, and to share ideas and advice. By happy coincidence it was ‘happy hour’ at the Moat so drinks were half price!

State Library Fellow Deborah McKay talked about her new project creating audio documentaries from State Library interviews with WW1 veterans recorded by Patsy Adam-Smith in the 1970s – several of us could share our own experiences of working with Patsy’s extraordinary interviews (including an interview in which the old digger proposed marriage to the feisty Patsy!). Ron Lambert from the La Trobe Valley explained his oral history PhD about the introduction of new technology in the Gippsland timber industry in the 1970s. Judy Hughes was very pleased to relax in good company after successfully completing her Masters dissertation using oral history to track the experience of Melbourne journalists from 1975. OHV Treasurer Jodie Boyd was seeking advice about a paper she is writing about her experience of being an interviewee – and how to write a reflective and critical account of an interview in a way that is both sensitive and analytical. Facilitator Al Thomson chipped in with advice while realising how he learns more about oral history every time a colleague shares their experience of creating and working with oral history interviews.

The next OHV Ideas and Skills Exchange will be on Tuesday 14 November, 5:30 – 6:30 at The Moat cafe bar (176 Little Lonsdale St, near the State Library). Facilitated by OHV President Al Thomson, this is a great opportunity for members to meet up and share current or upcoming oral history projects, and to get advice about any challenges you are facing. Please visit the event page for more information.