The Project: History Extension Seminar Day 2018

Tips from the experts: 2018

Tips from the experts: past programs

Key Information

Cost (GST free)
$25 per person, plus Eventbrite booking fees
Friday 9 November 2018
Full day (8.30am – 3.15pm)

In 2018 we will continue our successful collaboration with the State Library of NSW to bring you The Project, our annual full-day History Extension seminar focused on the History Project.

We are proud to present a range of talks and workshops, delivered by practising historians, archaeologists and museum and library professionals, which offer students fresh insights into historiography.

Don’t miss this exciting opportunity for your students to develop their research skills and gain invaluable advice, resources and inspiration as they embark on their own History Project.

Presented in partnership with the State Library of NSW

State Library of NSW logo


Keynote address 2018

SLM Panel discussion

Historians on the writing of history

*All students participate in this session

Chair: Dr Jennifer Lawless

Historian, teacher, author, former Board of Studies History Inspector

You’ve chosen your topic. You’ve completed your research. Now you just need to turn your ideas and data into a great essay.

Dr Jennifer Lawless will chair a panel discussion driven by questions from the student audience about what it takes to produce an effective piece of writing based on historical research. During this session, practising historians and archaeologists, Dr Ruth Balint, Jane Kelso, Dr Craig Barker, and Dr Bruce Dennett, will share their insights and recommendations on getting from initial the plan to the final proofread.

Get tips on how to increase your efficiency, reduce your stress and experience the satisfaction of crafting an essay that not only gives good history, but is also a good read.

SLM workshops

Further detail

*Students will be allocated to one of these workshop sessions.

Museums and curators as producers of history | The Mint

Dr Bruce Dennett | Historian, author, former Supervisor of Marking for History Extension

Museums occupy a prominent place in public history and public memory. As major repositories

and presenters of historical evidence they are respected, trusted and even treasured. But should

we automatically accept this status and implied authority? In this workshop we will review how museums and their curators construct and represent the past by conserving, recording, displaying and interpreting aspects of past reality. Can the resultant exhibits ever be neutral? Students will interrogate specific examples by viewing them through the lens of historical thinking.

More than just an object: physical evidence and historical narrative | Hyde Park Barracks Museum

Dr Fiona Starr | Curator, Sydney Living Museums

What stories do artefacts reveal? They can connect you to major historical events, pose challenges, lead into dead ends or perhaps uncover facets of the complex and fascinating lives of people long forgotten by history. When displayed alongside supporting evidence within the context of an exhibition, artefacts offer powerful and physical links to the past. When viewed individually, they can also captivate, inspire and intrigue. During this workshop at the Hyde Park Barracks Museum, students will work in small groups with the curator to analyse primary sources and begin the process of teasing out some of the stories behind a selection of fascinating objects. They will also visit a new museum display to see the role of artefacts in explaining a little-known period of Australian history.

The ancient world through modern eyes | The Mint

Dr Craig Barker | Classical archaeologist and Manager, Education and Public Programs, Sydney University Museums

Since the 19th century, investigators have used material culture to attempt to understand the ancient world. European powers filled their museums with artefacts acquired from their expanding empires; the British even modelled their empire on that of the Romans. For colonial Australians, an understanding of the classical past was part of how they defined themselves as transplanted Britons and Europeans. Students will handle and investigate genuine Mediterranean artefacts, and learn about the development of archaeological investigation from antiquarianism through to the modern scientific inquiry practised today.

Presenter bios

Dr Ruth Balint 

Convenor of History, School of Humanities and Languages, University of New South Wales

Ruth teaches and writes on transnational histories of migration, displacement, refugees and family, with a current focus on the displaced persons of post-war Europe. Ruth is fascinated with the stories told by DPs themselves about their journeys of wartime displacement to the Allies and how this in turn contributed to the development of the modern humanitarian and legal idea of the refugee. She is currently completing a book about the 'hard core', those DPs who were not immediately acceptable to western resettlement programs. I have written previously on the history of children disabled by war or birth, whose families were broken apart by the post-war immigration policies of western nations. 

Dr. Fiona Starr

Curator, Hyde Park Barracks Museum, Sydney Living Museums

Fiona claims her love of history is hereditary – passed on by her mother and grandmother, each interested in Australian history, genealogy and world history, with a passion for visiting and learning about heritage sites around the world. Her interest took root with degrees in historical archaeology and museum studies, and through internships at the Museum of London and the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, Paris. Work on archaeological digs, with museum collections and on numerous exhibition and site interpretation projects inspired her PhD research into encouraging the private sector to help conserve cultural heritage sites. As curator of the Hyde Park Barracks Museum and The Mint (Macquarie Street Portfolio), Fiona combines her curiosity for colonial and convict history with expertise in managing and interpreting archaeology to help bring the fascinating stories of these sites to life for visitors.

Jane Kelso

Historian, Sydney Living Museums

Jane developed a love of old buildings and the past growing up in a landscape of old country homesteads and Horbury Hunt woolsheds and churches near a country town whose glory days were ‘history’. This evolved into a lifelong fascination with the connections between people and places, and a desire to burrow into archives and libraries to piece together the stories of our past. Degrees in social history and work on a diverse range of properties, collections and exhibitions have only strengthened her passion for helping people to understand and appreciate our sometimes grimy, often quirky but always illuminating and ongoing history.

Dr Craig Barker

Classical archaeologist and Manager, Education and Public Programs, Sydney University Museums

Dr Craig Barker is a classical archaeologist at the University of Sydney and Manager, Education and Public Programs for Sydney University Museums, including the Nicholson Museum. Craig co-directs the university’s excavations of the ancient theatre of Near Paphos in Cyprus, and has worked on many archaeological projects in Australia, Greece, Turkey and Cyprus.

Dr Bruce Dennett

Historian, author, former Supervisor of Marking for History Extension

Dr Bruce Dennett taught Secondary History for over 45 years and has written or co-written 12 history textbooks. He is one of the authors of the current Modern History syllabus, has marked Modern History, Ancient History and History Extension for the HSC, and for six years was Supervisor of Marking for History Extension. He won the NSW Premier’s History Award in both 2000 and 2005. Bruce has taught courses in Modern History, Indigenous Studies and Education at Macquarie University. In 2017 he received an Excellence in Education Award from the Australian College of Educators. He currently lectures at the University of Notre Dame Australia.

Dr Jennifer Lawless

Historian, teacher, author, former Board of Studies History Inspector

Dr Jennifer Lawless held the position of Board of Studies History Inspector for the past 13 years. She has taught History in secondary schools and lectured in history education at Sydney, Macquarie and Western Sydney universities. She has co-authored over a dozen History textbooks, winning the NSW Premier’s History Award and the APA Australian Education Publishing Award (twice). Jennifer’s research on the Australian prisoners of war captured at Gallipoli was supported by an Endeavour Research Fellowship and two Australian Military Scholarships. She was also awarded a Churchill Fellowship for research into best practice in Primary History teaching and a number of awards for teaching practice.

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