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 Indigenous 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 and Cassandra Rodger, and is governed by the Executive Committee and General Council.


Catherine Shirley

Executive Officer

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.

Cassandra Rodger

Programs, Media and Administration Officer

Cassandra is a museum and heritage professional who enjoys undertaking historical and cultural research & silver conservation. She is a passionate supporter of the value of history and an advocate for the preservation of cultural collections & community history. She currently works part-time as the Administration, Engagement and Education Officer at the Museum of Fire.

Her career experiences include W J Sanders (Operations Manager & Researcher), Intern at Sydney Jewish Museum (Curatorial) and Intern at Hurstville Museum & Gallery (Education).

Her qualifications include a Bachelor of Arts (Archaeology & Celtic Studies), a Master of Museum and Heritage Studies at the University of Sydney, a Diploma of Applied Business at Latrobe University and accreditations in Change Management from the University of Sydney.

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