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Dr Lisa Murray, Chair, Professional Historians Association

"The Professional Historians Association (NSW & ACT) represents over 110 professionally accredited historians. The PHA (NSW & ACT) is committed to inculcating an ethos of high standards of professional and ethical practices among professional historians, promoting professional practice across the many fields of historical inquiry, advocating historical perspectives in public debates concerning interpretations of history and the keeping of documentary, environmental and other historical records."

"The Professional Historians Association (NSW & ACT) represents over 110 professionally accredited historians. The PHA (NSW & ACT) is committed to inculcating an ethos of high standards of professional and ethical practices among professional historians, promoting professional practice across the many fields of historical inquiry, advocating historical perspectives in public debates concerning interpretations of history and the keeping of documentary, environmental and other historical records."

"The Professional Historians Association (NSW & ACT) represents over 110 professionally accredited historians. The PHA (NSW & ACT) is committed to inculcating an ethos of high standards of professional and ethical practices among professional historians, promoting professional practice across the many fields of historical inquiry, advocating historical perspectives in public debates concerning interpretations of history and the keeping of documentary, environmental and other historical records."

Dr Paul Irish, Director, Coast History

"Australia is a country which a unique and important history and our identity as individuals and as a nation is bound to our history. But our awareness of that history is so low that we often grasp at past events to try to glimpse a national identity. We need all Australians to have access to honest, truthful histories of all aspects of the country's ancient and more recent past to truly understand what it means to be Australian."

"Australia is a country which a unique and important history and our identity as individuals and as a nation is bound to our history. But our awareness of that history is so low that we often grasp at past events to try to glimpse a national identity. We need all Australians to have access to honest, truthful histories of all aspects of the country's ancient and more recent past to truly understand what it means to be Australian."

"Australia is a country which a unique and important history and our identity as individuals and as a nation is bound to our history. But our awareness of that history is so low that we often grasp at past events to try to glimpse a national identity. We need all Australians to have access to honest, truthful histories of all aspects of the country's ancient and more recent past to truly understand what it means to be Australian."

Henri Quin, RAHS

"I think Australians have much too little respect still for their history. What is happening now in Windsor is a prime example of a total lack of respect for an important historical site. Australian history is not at all boring, if PRESENTED well. Disasters like the Windsor bridge should not happen . The problem might be how to make dead stones speak."

"I think Australians have much too little respect still for their history. What is happening now in Windsor is a prime example of a total lack of respect for an important historical site. Australian history is not at all boring, if PRESENTED well. Disasters like the Windsor bridge should not happen . The problem might be how to make dead stones speak."

"I think Australians have much too little respect still for their history. What is happening now in Windsor is a prime example of a total lack of respect for an important historical site. Australian history is not at all boring, if PRESENTED well. Disasters like the Windsor bridge should not happen . The problem might be how to make dead stones speak."

Prof Cecilia Morgan, Professor, University of Toronto, Canada

"Thanks for this! I'm a historian of Canada with interests in settler colonialism, so I try to keep track of work in Australia and Aotearoa/New Zealand. I think this is a very valuable statement that is much-needed, particularly at this moment in time."

"Thanks for this! I'm a historian of Canada with interests in settler colonialism, so I try to keep track of work in Australia and Aotearoa/New Zealand. I think this is a very valuable statement that is much-needed, particularly at this moment in time."

"Thanks for this! I'm a historian of Canada with interests in settler colonialism, so I try to keep track of work in Australia and Aotearoa/New Zealand. I think this is a very valuable statement that is much-needed, particularly at this moment in time."

Madelaine Sacco, Student, University of Newcastle

"I’m a student of history and I fully understand the value that history has in all parts of our social climate. My favourite quote is: “we cannot know where we’re going until we’ve known where we’ve been.” I feel that this is the sentiment with which history operates within the education system. It incorporates not only the historical impact of actual events, but in understanding what it means to be human and how we got from there to here. I fully endorse this statement."

"I’m a student of history and I fully understand the value that history has in all parts of our social climate. My favourite quote is: “we cannot know where we’re going until we’ve known where we’ve been.” I feel that this is the sentiment with which history operates within the education system. It incorporates not only the historical impact of actual events, but in understanding what it means to be human and how we got from there to here. I fully endorse this statement."

"I’m a student of history and I fully understand the value that history has in all parts of our social climate. My favourite quote is: “we cannot know where we’re going until we’ve known where we’ve been.” I feel that this is the sentiment with which history operates within the education system. It incorporates not only the historical impact of actual events, but in understanding what it means to be human and how we got from there to here. I fully endorse this statement."

Julie McIntyre, Snr Lecturer, University of Newcastle

"As an academic historian connected to communities beyond the academy and the history profession, I encounter many people, such as business and political leaders, who do not have an opportunity to (or think to) separate well-researched knowledge of the past from myth and hearsay. As we endeavour to ensure veracity, sagacity and ethical approaches to our inquiries in Australian history, I hope that Australians look more to historians as experts and authorities on the nature of the past."

"As an academic historian connected to communities beyond the academy and the history profession, I encounter many people, such as business and political leaders, who do not have an opportunity to (or think to) separate well-researched knowledge of the past from myth and hearsay. As we endeavour to ensure veracity, sagacity and ethical approaches to our inquiries in Australian history, I hope that Australians look more to historians as experts and authorities on the nature of the past."

"As an academic historian connected to communities beyond the academy and the history profession, I encounter many people, such as business and political leaders, who do not have an opportunity to (or think to) separate well-researched knowledge of the past from myth and hearsay. As we endeavour to ensure veracity, sagacity and ethical approaches to our inquiries in Australian history, I hope that Australians look more to historians as experts and authorities on the nature of the past."

Suzan Dickson, History Teacher (Ret)

"I am a retired History teacher and lecturer in education (History method) and believe that History plays a vital role in the identity of both individual communities and the nation."

"I am a retired History teacher and lecturer in education (History method) and believe that History plays a vital role in the identity of both individual communities and the nation."

"I am a retired History teacher and lecturer in education (History method) and believe that History plays a vital role in the identity of both individual communities and the nation."

Dr Kiera Lindsey, Snr DECRA Fellow, University of Technology Sydney

"History is integral to how we make sense of ourselves, one another and the world we live in. It fosters belonging, understanding and creative reflection - qualities we need to cultivate if we are to make the world a better place."

"History is integral to how we make sense of ourselves, one another and the world we live in. It fosters belonging, understanding and creative reflection - qualities we need to cultivate if we are to make the world a better place."

"History is integral to how we make sense of ourselves, one another and the world we live in. It fosters belonging, understanding and creative reflection - qualities we need to cultivate if we are to make the world a better place."

Dan McAloon

"Unless we write the history and collect the stories of experience, they die with us, and go unknown, unpublished into the future - and that is a sorry state for a country whose history is both short by European arrival, and very long, by the occupancy of the First Peoples."

"Unless we write the history and collect the stories of experience, they die with us, and go unknown, unpublished into the future - and that is a sorry state for a country whose history is both short by European arrival, and very long, by the occupancy of the First Peoples."

"Unless we write the history and collect the stories of experience, they die with us, and go unknown, unpublished into the future - and that is a sorry state for a country whose history is both short by European arrival, and very long, by the occupancy of the First Peoples."

Kerry Ross, Museum Coordinator, Goulburn Mulwaree Council

"The Value of History statement aligns with my personal view of the foundational role of history in creating a sustainable and just society."

"The Value of History statement aligns with my personal view of the foundational role of history in creating a sustainable and just society."

"The Value of History statement aligns with my personal view of the foundational role of history in creating a sustainable and just society."

John Low, Librarian (Ret); Local Historian

"I've had an interest in history for most of my life and worked as both a history teacher and a local history/studies librarian. I can't imagine my life without a sense and consciousness of history. The past is so much a part of the present that without an awareness of it we are only half awake."

"I've had an interest in history for most of my life and worked as both a history teacher and a local history/studies librarian. I can't imagine my life without a sense and consciousness of history. The past is so much a part of the present that without an awareness of it we are only half awake."

"I've had an interest in history for most of my life and worked as both a history teacher and a local history/studies librarian. I can't imagine my life without a sense and consciousness of history. The past is so much a part of the present that without an awareness of it we are only half awake."

Alison Downham Moore, A/Prof Modern European History, Western Sydney University

"Only a society that knows its own past can understand itself. Every learned culture in the history of humanity has recorded its own history in some form, and cultures without writing have also generally transmitted tales of past origins through consistent and compelling oral traditions. Historical understanding then appears to be a fundamental human social need that grounds our sense of self in wider contexts to which we owe our very existence."

"Only a society that knows its own past can understand itself. Every learned culture in the history of humanity has recorded its own history in some form, and cultures without writing have also generally transmitted tales of past origins through consistent and compelling oral traditions. Historical understanding then appears to be a fundamental human social need that grounds our sense of self in wider contexts to which we owe our very existence."

"Only a society that knows its own past can understand itself. Every learned culture in the history of humanity has recorded its own history in some form, and cultures without writing have also generally transmitted tales of past origins through consistent and compelling oral traditions. Historical understanding then appears to be a fundamental human social need that grounds our sense of self in wider contexts to which we owe our very existence."

Michael Newton, Exec Director, WEA Sydney

"WEA Sydney offers a wide range of history courses (ancient, European, Australian) in the belief that they provide exactly the values that this statement lists. Our Mission Statement is in alignment with these values."

"WEA Sydney offers a wide range of history courses (ancient, European, Australian) in the belief that they provide exactly the values that this statement lists. Our Mission Statement is in alignment with these values."

"WEA Sydney offers a wide range of history courses (ancient, European, Australian) in the belief that they provide exactly the values that this statement lists. Our Mission Statement is in alignment with these values."

Dr Ian Willis, Historian

"I believe history has value and must be supported."

"I believe history has value and must be supported."

"I believe history has value and must be supported."

Matthew Payne

"Without history we don't know who we are. We have no perspective from which to compare or evaluate ourselves, our worldviews, and our identities. History is a pillar of civilisation and an essential part of any socially engaged, competent citizen."

"Without history we don't know who we are. We have no perspective from which to compare or evaluate ourselves, our worldviews, and our identities. History is a pillar of civilisation and an essential part of any socially engaged, competent citizen."

"Without history we don't know who we are. We have no perspective from which to compare or evaluate ourselves, our worldviews, and our identities. History is a pillar of civilisation and an essential part of any socially engaged, competent citizen."

Rowena Hall, PhD Candidate, Australian National University

"My current research is studying a family archive of photographic and written material in Western Australia covering crucial years when the brutality of colonialism in the Norwest was most heightened. Understanding our history and shared stories is imperative in our nation's healing. This initiative is a step in the right direction."

"My current research is studying a family archive of photographic and written material in Western Australia covering crucial years when the brutality of colonialism in the Norwest was most heightened. Understanding our history and shared stories is imperative in our nation's healing. This initiative is a step in the right direction."

"My current research is studying a family archive of photographic and written material in Western Australia covering crucial years when the brutality of colonialism in the Norwest was most heightened. Understanding our history and shared stories is imperative in our nation's healing. This initiative is a step in the right direction."

Joshua Kiehne, Head of Humanities, Australian International School Singapore

"History is power. Those who seek to use it to better the word and create a brighter future deserve the support of everyone, for without our History we have nothing that binds us together as humans."

"History is power. Those who seek to use it to better the word and create a brighter future deserve the support of everyone, for without our History we have nothing that binds us together as humans."

"History is power. Those who seek to use it to better the word and create a brighter future deserve the support of everyone, for without our History we have nothing that binds us together as humans."

Dr Alison Holland, Snr Lecturer, Department of Modern History, Politics and International Relations, Macquarie University

"I think this sort of public endorsement/recognition of history is critical at a time when the humanities and social sciences need to defend their existences. As a lecturer who teaches historical thinking and gets students to think about the need for it in the workplace/community and life beyond University it is also a valuable resource and teaching tool. I thank the History Councils for this initiative."

"I think this sort of public endorsement/recognition of history is critical at a time when the humanities and social sciences need to defend their existences. As a lecturer who teaches historical thinking and gets students to think about the need for it in the workplace/community and life beyond University it is also a valuable resource and teaching tool. I thank the History Councils for this initiative."

"I think this sort of public endorsement/recognition of history is critical at a time when the humanities and social sciences need to defend their existences. As a lecturer who teaches historical thinking and gets students to think about the need for it in the workplace/community and life beyond University it is also a valuable resource and teaching tool. I thank the History Councils for this initiative."

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Endorse the Value of History Statement – 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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