Speaker Connect

The History Council of NSW is expanding its popular Speaker Connect program to take place throughout the year.

We aim to organise one talk each month to connect emerging and established history professionals with community and local government organisations across New South Wales.

Whether an exciting and thought provoking talk about Australian history, or a professional development workshop geared toward the practice of history, our Speaker Connect program will give both organisations and individuals the chance to further their professional skills and raise the profile of history.

Apply below or contact us at admin@historycouncilnsw.org.au.

Next talk

Plein air, place and passion: artist Greg Hansell

This History Week, Mid-Western Regional Library will host Carol Roberts as she explores history and the work of Greg Hansell: Mon 4 Sept.

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The popular culture of long distance love

This History Week, the Singleton Public Library will host Alison Wishart as she shares stories and letters of long distance love: Thurs 7 Sept.

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The audience was very engaged and interested in my research. They were genuinely happy to have me there, and gave me some great comments.

Speaker Connect 2016

It’s a great initiative that provides an easy way for historians to get their work heard outside the usual circles. Everything was really well organised.

Speaker Connect 2016

Outstanding…a fabulous program to connect venues and speakers. It allows us to host speakers we would not ordinarily be able to host.

Speaker Connect 2015

Speaker Connect was excellent. I don’t think I could have arranged such a quality speaker myself. I have been knocked back many times…

Speaker Connect 2015


Is this part of the History Week festival?

No, this Speaker Connect series is not a part of the History Week festival.

Expressions of interest for History Week Speaker Connect are now closed.

Do I have to be a History Council member to participate?

Yes. All applicants, whether host organisations or individual speakers, must be current members of the History Council of NSW. The History Council relies on the financial support of its members to deliver its annual programs. Read more and apply to become a member here.

What do speakers receive for their participation?
  • The History Council of NSW offers a $300 honorarium to all speakers for their services. Alternatively, speakers can choose to contribute their fee as a donation towards program costs.
  • Accommodation and travel costs within NSW will be arranged and paid by the History Council of NSW.
What do hosts receive for their participation?

Host organisations will receive:

  • A speaker free of charge. The History Council of NSW will also cover the speaker’s travel costs
  • Promotional material where necessary (such as flyers, posters etc)
  • Publicity support to assist in promoting the event.
How and when are applications assessed?
  • Applications will be assessed as they are received, and successful applicants will be contacted as soon as possible to begin organisation.
  • Please note that this program is competitive and not all applications will be successful.
  • Applicants must submit their application at least four weeks before the desired date/time of their speaker connect event. For example, if applicants wish to hold an event on Wednesday 8 February 2017, the application must be submitted no later than Wednesday 11 January 2017. This is to ensure ample time for organisation and promotion.
  • Applications that are unsuccessful or have missed the deadline for certain dates/months can be carried over and assessed for the next available date/month.

Speakers will be assessed on:

  • their ability to deliver exciting and thought provoking talks that illuminate aspects of Australian history; or
  • their ability deliver a professional development workshop/seminar geared toward the practice of history.

Host organisations will be assessed on:

  • Venue facilities – the capacity, audio visual equipment and access of your venue will be considered
  • Audience and purpose – how would your organisation benefit from the program? How might it fit in with your other events and programs? What audiences do you hope to engage and how would this program serve them?
  • Experience – previous experience in promoting and hosting events locally will be taken into consideration

All applicants should will be willing to communicate with History Council staff in order to ensure the efficient, appropriate and successful organisation and promotion of their speaker connect event.

What makes a good application?

Applicants should:

  • reflect their desire to contribute to the understanding and practice of history in NSW;
  • be detailed and specific about why they would like to be involved in the program and the audience they would like to engage;
  • be detailed and specific about how they would benefit from involvement in the program;
  • outline any prior experience that may contribute to the program.

To find out more or ask additional questions, please contact us at admin@historycouncilnsw.org.au.

Past talks

A range of History Council members, from Singleton to Yamba, Grafton to Moruya, and the Blue Mountains to Tamworth, have participated in the Speaker Connect program.

On the neighbour’s circuit: good and bad neighbours in the colonial Hunter Valley

At Singleton Library, Dr Mark Dunn will explore the politics of neighbourly visitation to homes of prominent settlers in the colonial Hunter Valley.

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Australia’s Southern Empire: How Antarctica was made Australian

At Yamba Museum, Rohan Howitt traces the origins of the Australian Antarctic Territory and the fascination it inspired in the Australian community.

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Finding the ‘Perfect Blend’ in an Undervalued Genre

At Margaret Martin Library, Dr Liz Giuffre and Dr Sarah Attfield will examine television soap opera Neighbours as a piece of Australian media history.

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Deathly Neighbours: the evolution of Sydney’s cemeteries

At Fairfield City Museum and Gallery, Lisa Murray will explore the design of Sydney’s cemeteries and how friends and neighbours were treated in death.

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Macarthur and Harris, and the Kings who came between

In this History Week, Jo Henwood will explore historic neighbours John Macarthur, John Harris and Governor King at Katoomba Library and Cultural Centre.

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More than just neighbours: Māori in NSW since 1793

At Addison Road Community Centre, Hohepa Ruhe will explore Māori history and heritage in NSW that spans 223 years, connecting past and present.

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Territorial Myths: The construction of legend and historical ownership in country town communities in the 20th century

At Tamworth Library, Dr Louise Prowse explores how country towns took ownership of folk myths and historical legends in order to form distinct identities.

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Deathly Neighbours: the evolution of Sydney’s cemeteries

At Ashfield Library, City Historian Lisa Murray will explore the design of Sydney’s cemeteries and how friends and neighbours were treated in death.

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From Canton to the colonies: Chinese women in 19th century New South Wales

In 1871 there were just 12 Chinese women in NSW. At Corrimal Library, Dr Kate Bagnall will explore four of these women and their lives around the colony.

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Women radio broadcasters and their listeners

At Moruya, Dr Jeannine Baker will reveal the ways women listeners actively participated in radio broadcasting and shaped programme content and style.

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