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About us

The History Council of New South Wales (HCNSW) was established in 1995.  It is a not-for-profit membership association, and a registered charity.  It is supported by Create NSW through an annual grant under the Arts & Cultural Development Program, and through partnerships with large cultural organisations.

The HCNSW is guided by the rules of its Constitution, a copy of which is available for download on this page.  Its work is guided by a General Council that is elected from and by the membership.


Our Vision

The HCNSW believes that History shapes the present and the future.  The HCNSW fosters the practice of history in all its forms.

We provide programs and services, which aim to build capacity within the history sector and showcase the importance of history.

We focus on five key areas:

  • Members – Dialogue & Development
  • Sector – Data & Research
  • Forms of Practice
  • Advocacy
  • Alliances & Goodwill

Our objectives are to:

  • provide a forum for identifying and responding to issues of relevance to the practice of history
  • support history’s role in informing and shaping public debate, policy and future planning
  • recognise the diversity of historical perspectives, including those of First Nations peoples, and encourage excellence in historical practice
  • facilitate communication within the history community and provide opportunities for collaboration
  • provide professional development activities and opportunities for our members and audiences across NSW.

Image Credit above: Photo by Museums Victoria on Unsplash

Four young children, 1932, by Sam Hood, courtesy State Library of NSW

Want to support our work? Become a member today

Our Staff

The History Council of NSW is staffed part-time by Catherine Shirley, Amanda Wells, and Laura Sayle, and is governed by the Executive Committee and General Council.

Catherine Shirley

Executive & Strategic Development Officer (0.6 FTE)

Catherine is an adult educator and historian who enjoys researching and creating and distributing stories of the past to illuminate the present, as well as managing cultural organisations to reach their potential.

Her career experiences include the ABC (TV Producer & Series Producer of Factual Programs and then Senior Executive), AFTRS (Hd Television), National Film & Sound Archive (Senior Executive) and various Adult Education management roles including the City of Sydney.

Her qualifications include a Bachelor of Philosophy (Modern History), Graduate Diploma in eLearning, Graduated Diploma in Human Resource Management and Master of Education in Adult Education.

Amanda Wells

Programs & Administration Officer (0.4 FTE)

Amanda is an environmental historian, and artist with a background in corporate administration, and travel coordination. Currently a PhD candidate with the University of Newcastle, Amanda is studying the environmental history of citrus growing in Australia. She currently lives and works on Ngadjuri Country.

Amanda’s qualifications include a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) majoring in Anthropology (University of Adelaide), and a Graduate Diploma of Humanities majoring in History (University of New England). She is the current HDR representative for the Australian and Aotearoa New Zealand Environmental History Network (AANZEHN).

Laura Sayle

Media & Communications Officer (0.2 FTE)

Laura is currently studying a Bachelors of Arts majoring in History and Criminology while also completing a minor in Indigenous Studies (University of Wollongong). 

While she started her career in retail and administration, she is an aspiring researcher and academic who brings her extensive passion for history to the role after completing an internship with the Council at the end of 2022. 

Katrina Dubé

Project Officer - First Nations Histories (0.4 FTE)

Katrina is a creative producer in the museum and heritage sector. Her focus on audience engagement and education began as a primary school teacher. After completing a Masters of Museum and Heritage Studies (USYD) she worked with the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust (Harbour Trust) where she was the Education and Public Programs Officer and the project lead on the Harbour Trust’s contribution to the Gai-Mariagal Festival. She has produced education programs for Strathfield Council and Hurstville Museum & Gallery.

Her major project in 2023 was the development of new school education programs for National Trust’s Old Government House in Parramatta (Burramatta). Working with Dharug Knowledgeholders and artists, the Dharug Room was created as a place of Knowledge Sharing – a place for all students to learn about Country and their role in Caring for Country.

Katrina is passionate about authentic connections, empathetic reasoning, and the telling of stories, histories, and truths through word, creative arts and the performing arts.


The History Council of NSW is a charity registered with the Australian Charities & Not-for-Profits Commission.  Click on the logo to read more about us.

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