News from the OHV President

Happy new year everyone! Our new OHV Committee has hit the ground running and is setting up an exciting round of activities and opportunities for Victorian oral historians in 2017. Here’s an overview of what to look forward to, and what to book in for (using live links in this news report).

Oral history training workshops start in March, with full details and online booking (for the March and April workshops) via these OHV website links:

All the workshops are on Saturdays at Emerald Hill Library, 10-4, as follows:

OHV Conference Grants for presenters at the Oral History Australia Conference in Sydney, 13-16 September. The deadline for submissions to present a paper is 28 February. The deadline for OHV conference grant applications is 1 May (two grants of up to $500 for OHV members).

New support group for Victorian oral historians: taking up a suggestion at last year’s OHV Symposium, we are instigating an Oral History Victoria Ideas and Skills Exchange (OHVISE = advice), every second Tuesday every second month at the Moat café (176 Lonsdale St, Melbourne, by the State Library). A skilled facilitator and other OHV members will be available to discuss your oral history concerns and excitements. Starting Tuesday, 9 May, 5.30-6.30pm (with Al Thomson facilitating). Further details shortly via OHV website.

Oral History in a Digital Age – OHV Annual Symposium, Saturday 10 June, Museo Italiano, Carlton. A Call for Presenters will be issued shortly – but pencil in that date.

Australian Generations, Oral History and Australian Lives, Monday 22 May 6-7.30pm at RHSV, 239 A’Beckett St, Melbourne – celebrate the launch of this oral history book which is a culmination of the Australian Generations Project, Australian Lives: an Intimate History, and join authors, interviewers and interviewees as they discuss this major national project.

The Making Public Histories seminar series restarts on Tuesday March 7 at Old Treasury Building with an event about refugee testimony, ‘Performing Refugee History: Voices from Contemporary Australia’. The seminars, two of which are oral history related, are free but you need to book online at:

Australian Historical Association Conference – Australasian Oral History strand – Newcastle, 3-7 July. Presentation proposals must be submitted by 1 March 2017.

Call for OHV Volunteers – we’d like OHV members to help out with several activities this year, including running the Symposium, judging the OHV conference grant applications (in May) and judging the OHV Innovation Awards (in August). If you’d like to help please email me at

Finally, on our website we’ll soon be introducing an area for members to describe and   discuss current work. Shortly, you’ll also be invited to participate in an online survey to get your views about what you’d like to do for and with OHV. Join us in enjoying a great 2017.

Al Thomson, February 2017


Oral History Network News (NSW)

Most generously Francis Good, the editor and Andrew Host, the membership officer from Oral History NSW, have agreed to allow OHV to copy some of the contents of their very detailed and full monthly Network News. As the publication is several pages long, although it is extremely interesting, we are merely going to provide a ‘taster’ by reprinting the notices of events and conferences.


Oral History Australia 2017 Biennial Conference, Sydney, September 2017;

Workshop – Capturing memories: Oral history in the digital age, Sydney, March 2017;

Seminar – Introduction to oral history: Key principles, Sydney, April, 2017.

Blog & Facebook


Oral History Australia Biennial Conference, Sydney, September 2017;

Australian Historical Association Conference, Newcastle NSW, July 2017;

National Labour History Conference, Brisbane, September 2017;

Aust’n & N.Z. Society of the History of Medicine, Fitzroy Vic, July 2017;

Museums & Galleries Australia National Conference, Brisbane, May 2017;

National Editors Conference, Brisbane, September 2017.


Oral History Society, Leeds UK, July 2017;

International Oral History Association, Finland, June 2018;

International Federation for Public History, Italy, June 2017;

Advanced Oral History Summer Institute, Berkeley, California USA, August 2017;

Oral History Association, USA, October 2017.


History Week, September 2017;

History Council NSW AGM, February 2017.


Request for help

Quite often OHV receives similar letters which we would like to respond to positively so: If you would like to be involved, please contact Annette directly.

Dear Oral History team,

I understand that you might be inundated with offers to record a personal history or life story but would like to make you aware of Charlotte Meissner, 91 years of age, who has experienced an incredible life, that might be worthwhile your attention.

Why I feel her story is remarkable and worthy of recording for posterity is that she has experienced a life that is strongly intertwined with German and Australian / Victorian history/events and some prominent people.

Her life shows the incredible strength of the human spirit rising above some personal horrific experiences during and post war Germany, working as a nurse and tram conductor in Melbourne and suffering near blindness in later years.

If you would like to learn more about Charlotte’s life to decide if her life story might be of interest to record for posterity please call me on 0415 060 114.

Kind regards,

Annette Zerrenthin
St Kilda

This edition of Rewind is now available for download here.