Dear All,

Much has been going on in the Oral History world all over the country and in some cases time is short to take advantage of the possibilities in Victoria and elsewhere so good luck and apologies if you indeed find the time shorter than you would have liked.

Halina Nowicka,


Events and training:

Call for symposium submissions – Oral History and Emotions

Happy laughs, quiet sobs, difficult silences and traumatic memories have always been the matter of Oral History. Emotions have played a key role in the theory and practice of Oral History. In recent years, the emotional and ‘affective’ turn in social sciences and humanities has also seen the emergence of the history of emotions as a burgeoning field of studies: how has our understanding of love, hatred, fear and many other emotions changed over time; and how have emotions influenced political events and impacted profound social and cultural changes in our society?

Oral History Victoria invites proposals for presentations that will allow us to showcase approaches to emotions in Oral History. Please send submissions to by 11 May 2018. Be sure to include your name, organization (if applicable), contact phone number and email, plus a 100-word abstract and a one sentence bio. Please also describe the type of presentation you propose, which might be a 20 minute talk, a 5 minute ‘lightning presentation’, a workshop activity, a poster presentation or a thematic panel.

Do you have an exciting oral history project you’re working on that you’d like to share with us? We’re looking for presenters of all varieties – community and professional historians, students, academics – and at all stages of their careers. We welcome proposals for different types of presentations – see list below.

Themes explored may include:

  • Managing emotions in the practice and theory of Oral History;
  • Emotional histories and histories of emotions – the role of Oral History;
  • Issues of gender, class, race, ethnicity and disability in collecting and analyzing emotional oral histories;
  • The importance of emotions in family and community history;
  • Decolonising the oral history of emotions: Indigenous approaches.

Submission deadline: 11 May 2018

The symposium will be held at CO.AS.IT – Museo Italiano, 199 Faraday Street, Carlton on the 29th July 2018

Ideas and skills exchange: OHV support group

May 29 @ 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm

OHV members meet on Tuesdays (every eight weeks or so) to discuss their oral history project challenges and successes with other oral historians. The exact dates are posted once confirmed.

The next “Oral History Victoria Ideas and Skills Exchange” will be held on Tuesday 29th of May, 5.30-6.30 at The Moat cafe bar (176 Little Lonsdale St, near the State Library). With facilitation by Oral History Australia President, Al Thomson, this is an opportunity for members to come along and share current or prospective oral history projects and get advice about on challenges being faced.

Come and join us for an informal chat and a drink. Just turn up at the Moat on the day and ask for ‘the History Group’ (at our first successful gathering in May 2017 the Moat staff got a bit confused about the difference between oral history and orthodontists!).

The Baylor Institute for Oral History has a workshop that may be of interest to OHV members:

Digital Tools for Oral History Workshop

We are excited to announce our 2018 offering in our advanced online oral history workshop series, Sharpen Your Skills: Advanced E-Workshops. “Digital Tools for Oral History” will focus on a selection of innovative options and applications available to the twenty-first century oral historian. BUIOH Director Stephen Sloan and Senior Editor/Collection Manager Steven Sielaff will discuss software and web platforms (most of which are free/open source!) that will enable you to accomplish and enhance your project goals of preservation, access, curation, and dissemination. This workshop is be a single three-hour session on May 23 from 10:00am to 1:00pm CDT and costs $75.

To register for this workshop, follow this link:

Here’s the latest addition to our Members’ Work Section:

Oral history film projection on NGV for White Night

Apr 20, 2018 |

In February 2018, four  Behind the Wire’s films—featuring Behrouz Boochani, Hani Abdile, Munjed Al Muderis and Jamila Jafari—were projected on the facade of the National Gallery of Victoria International in Melbourne. The films were shown on a loop from dusk until dawn.

The work was a co-production of Behind the Wire and DAE White Night. View the video by following this link:

Behind the Wire is an oral history project about Australian immigration detention, comprising a book, podcast and exhibition. On 31st May 2018, the exhibition – Stories From Detention – will open at Gee Lee Wik Doleen Gallery, in Craigieburn. Then in Dandenong in October.

For more information, see

Awards and funding:

Entries are now open for the 2018 Victorian Community History Awards.

Download your entry form

We are also pleased to announce that the $5000 award has been renamed the Victorian Premier’s History Award.

The Victorian Community History Awards recognise excellence in historical method: the award categories acknowledge that history can be told in a variety of formats with the aim of reaching and enriching all Victorians. The Victorian Community History Awards have been held since 1999, and are organised by Royal Historical Society of Victoria in cooperation with the Public Record Office Victoria.

Thank you to all who submitted works for the 2017 Victorian Community History Awards. Please access the award booklet:

2017 Victorian Community History Award Winners

2017 Victorian Community History Awards – List of Entrants

To find out about previous winners of the VCHA visit the Past VCHA Winners page.

Keep an eye on this page or contact the Royal Historical Society of Victoria for details of our 2018 Victorian Community History Awards.

Stories of the 2017 Victorian Community History Award Winners

The RHSV is currently publishing, in our eBulletin, a series of articles by Paul Sandringham profiling the 2017 winners of the VCHA. They are great stories and well-worth reading. As the stories are published we will also upload them to this website with a link from this page.

A Crowd Funding Campaign to Save Women’s Stories:

Save women’s stories

A little bit of context

The activism of women has shaped our civil society, building trade unions and arguing for the wages and conditions we enjoy today (like maternity leave). We live in a time where women are playing an increasingly influential role. But the recorded history of the Australian union movement has been disproportionately dominated by the stories and personal histories of union men.

But there’s a problem

Countless women in the union movement have been instrumental in leading campaigns and pushing (often unpopular) issues, and their stories aren’t being told—their contributions have been lost in history. We aim to correct this imbalance!

Here’s what we’re doing about it

We plan to seek out 50 Australian union women’s stories (from a wide range of backgrounds and locations), record them in their own words via face-to-face interviews and add them to our website, where the online archive will be free and accessible to all.

By turning individual, personal memories into a shared collection, we will ensure these women’s stories are remembered and indelibly recorded in history.

We have all the equipment we need, and our experienced interviewers/historians are primed and ready to go. We even have our list of interviewees all teed up. Our next step is to raise the funds needed for travel costs to get us around Australia to meet these inspiring women and capture their voices.

You can join us

We need your help to get us on the road by raising $12,000. Let’s come together to save these stories and make sure women’s voices are heard.

Whether you can afford $25 or $100 or even just the amount you save from skipping a cup of coffee or two this week, every little bit will help us on our way!

Your donations will go to directly covering the practical costs required to preserve these stories.

How will your $$$ help?

The average cost to travel to, stay nearby, interview and audio record one woman trade unionist’s story, to transcribe the interview—making it accessible for people with disabilites—edit the audio recording, and add it to our web archive = $900!


2017 Oral History Australia journal available online

Jan 28, 2018 |

The 2017 Oral History Australia journal is now available on the national website from a secure, member-only access page.

If you are an OHV member you should have by now received the login instructions  in an email from branch secretary Ken Berryman. The 2016 journal was the last to be published in printed form. From 2017 onwards the journal is being published in a digital format only.

For further information: