Launch of the Value of History Statement in NSW

On 3 September 2019, Dr Stephen Gapps, President of the History Council of NSW, launched the Value of History Statement in New South Wales and called for its endorsement.  This follows the national announcement by the four History Councils of NSW, South Australia, Western Australia and Victoria at the annual meeting of the Australian Historical Association held in Toowoomba on July 11.

The statement emphasises the value of studying the past and telling its stories.

The Value of History statement focuses on seven ways in which history is essential, through:

  • shaping our identities,
  • engaging us as citizens,
  • creating inclusive communities,
  • contributing to our economic well-being,
  • teaching us to think critically and creatively,
  • inspiring our leaders, and
  • providing a foundation for future generations.

The History Councils call on individuals and organisations in Australia to endorse, share, and use this statement about the value of history in contemporary life. The ideas expressed in the statement can be incorporated into projects, funding applications, training materials, mission statements, websites, marketing materials, submissions and other organisational outlets.

Dr Stephen Gapps said: ‘With common agreement, commitment, and open conversation about why history is important, we believe the historical community can change perceptions of the value of history and articulate its important role in the public sphere.’

Each History Council is the peak body for organisations focused on history and heritage in their respective states. The four Australian History Councils have worked cooperatively to create the Value of History Statement for all Australians to use.

The Value of History Statement can be endorsed in NSW on the HCNSW site via the button to the right or in other states via links to their sites below.

About the four History Councils of Australia

The four History Councils in Australia are independent membership associations. Each is the peak or coordinating body for history in its respective state. We work cooperatively to:

  • Campaign for the recognition of history
  • Share ideas about what makes the past relevant today

Click the button to the right to read the History Councils’ joint announcement about the Value of History Statement at the annual meeting of the Australian Historical Association on 11 July 2019.

We encourage all Australians to endorse the value of history. You can respond as an individual, or on behalf of an organisation.
Click the button to the right to endorse the Statement via the History Council of NSW.  If you live outside NSW, endorsements can also be made via the other History Councils:  Victoria,  South Australia, & Western Australia.

Our Australian Value of History Statement is adapted with permission from History Relevance, a campaign that started in the USA in 2012.

Teaching resources

Thanks to Ilja van Weringh from Wesley College, Melbourne, a series of free teaching resources about the Value of History have been created.  You can view and edit the set via this link.

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