Victorian Oral History Practitioners

In response to a number of enquiries, Oral History Victoria is assembling a register of members available for employment on oral history projects. Members wishing to be included on this Register of Oral Historians, to be posted on the OHV website, are reminded to fill out and return the form emailed to all members on 20 February. Completed forms can be returned either by email: or post: Secretary, OHV c/- RHSV, 239 A’Beckett Street, Melbourne 3000.

Public Lecture  –  Review by Ann Scally

Writer, visual artist and co-winner of the 2015 inaugural OHV Education Innovation Award, Sharon Huebner, spoke to a full house at the OHV’s first public event for 2016, held at the Royal Historical Society of Victoria lecture theatre on 11 February. Using documents and photographs to illustrate, Sharon spoke about her most recent publication Bessie, Minang Woman, co-authored with Ezzard Flowers and Phyllis Andy. The story begins with a studio photograph of a young Bessie, dressed in the sumptuous fashion of the Victorian 1860s, standing by her seated housemother in Western Australia. From this haunting image, Sharon unravels a remarkable journey of connection to family drawing on the tradition of Australian Indigenous storytelling to recover and reclaim histories displaced by colonialism.  Five young Noongar girls, including Bessie Flowers, are sent from their Albany homeland to visit Lake Tyers mission in 1867. They never returned. They married, became mothers, and struggled for the freedoms the colonialists took for granted. Insights into Bessie’s life are revealed through letters she wrote, primarily to government authorities and archived in various state libraries. Sharon sensitively melds together a pictorial narrative using these and contemporary life stories and photographs of Bessie’s surviving descendant family who know little of her existence. This was a fascinating talk and instigated much discussion afterwards over wine and nibbles.

Next event – Introductory Workshop

Sarah Rood, professional historian from Way Back When Consulting Historians, will present this workshop on March 19 (10am – 4pm) at the Emerald Hill Library, 195 Bank Street, South Melbourne. It will provide an introduction to oral history practice, focusing on research, ethics, equipment, interviewing techniques and transcribing. Suitable for students, volunteers, or anyone with an interest in recording oral histories, you with gain valuable insights into the work of doing oral history. Learn how to prepare questions; about the forms, the ethics and permissions involved; and the top tips to a good interview. Sarah uses real examples to illustrate some of the pitfalls and some of the gems from actual interviews. Further information and booking details can be found on the OHV website:

Call for Papers – OHV 2016 Symposium

This year’s Symposium is titled ‘Culture, Community and Oral History: Stories of Diversity, Conflict and Resilience’. It aims to explore opportunities and challenges for oral history and the use of interview across the cultural, arts, literary, and academic sectors. Oral History Victoria invites proposals for papers that will allow us to showcase approaches to the documentation and communication of culture and communities. We’re looking for presenters of all varieties – community and professional historians, students, academics – and at all stages of their careers. More information is available on the OHV website:

Please send submissions by 10 May 2016 to

Recent – new 3rd edition of The Oral History Reader

Rob Perks and Alistair Thomson have just published the new, third edition of The Oral History Reader, a comprehensive, international anthology combining major, ‘classic’ articles with cutting-edge pieces on the theory, method and use of oral history. Details at

2016 International Oral  History Conference

Accredited Oral History training will be provided at the Winter School in Broome, 14 – 16 June 2016. The winter school comprises three consecutive workshops and upon successful completion participants are awarded with a nationally recognised statement of attainment: AHCILM404A Record and Document Community History, issued by Goolarri RTO no: 51278. The training will be delivered by Dr Elaine Rabbitt who has developed the course. Course inquiries contact Elaine on mob. no. 0439985229 or email:

Call for Papers  –  2016 Oral History Australia Journal

The Editor of the Journal welcomes offers of material for possible publication in future issues. Contributors are not required to be members of Oral History Australia. Closing date for submission of papers is 1 April 2016. Enquiries: Dr Sue Anderson, General Editor, Oral History Australia Journal


This is also a call for reviews of books and other publications from Australia and elsewhere that may be of interest to the Oral History community. Reviews may include static or internet available exhibitions, or any projects presented for a public audience (limit 1,500 words). Deadline for submissions: 1 April 2016.
Forward to: Dr Jayne Persian, Reviews Editor, Oral History Australia Journal, email:

NLA Funding and cuts to Trove

Cuts in Federal Government funding to the National Library has implications for the future of Trove and all its users. Concerned OHV members may like to consider signing a petition in this regard – see link below:

Members Mailbag

Reminder also that if OHV members have specific oral history-related queries or news items that they would like to canvass or share with others, these can be sent to: for inclusion in future editions of  REWIND.

This edition of our e-newsletter, Rewind, is now available for download here.