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What challenges do historians face when exploring sensitive topics? Intergenerational trauma and ethical issues associated with gathering and analysing historical evidence are important concerns when reconstructing contentious narratives. Winners of the 2016 New South Wales Premier’s History Awards – Stuart Macintyre, Ann McGrath and Tanya Evans – reveal to Caroline Butler-Bowdon how they explored difficult subjects such as interracial relationships, war and poverty.

When: Thursday 25 May 2017, 3:00-4:00pm
Sydney Dance 2, Pier 4/5, Hickson Road, Walsh Bay
Free. Bookings unavailable – arrive early to avoid disappointment.

This is a special event presented by the History Council of NSW and the Sydney Writer’s Festival (22-28 May 2017).

Ann McGrath is a Professor of History at the Australian National University. Her most recent book, Illicit Love: Interracial Sex and Marriage in the United States and Australia won the 2016 NSW Premier’s History Prize. She also wrote Born in the Cattle: Aborigines in Cattle Country and with Ann Curthoys, How to Write History People Want to Read. Her films include Message from Mungo winner of the United Nations Association of Australia Award for Indigenous recognition.

Stuart Macintyre is an emeritus professor at the University of Melbourne and chair of the Heritage Council of Victoria. Previous books include The History Wars (with Anna Clark), A Concise History of Australia and The Cambridge History of Australia (edited with Alison Ashford). His account of what happened to Australian universities after John Dawkins, No End of a Lesson, will be published later this year.

Tanya Evans is an historian and the author and co-author of three books including Fractured Families: Life on the Margins in Colonial New South Wales, which she wrote in collaboration with family historians. She is the is president of the History Council of NSW and a senior lecturer in the Department of Modern History at Macquarie University where she teaches Australian history and public history. She has worked as a historical consultant for the National Council for the Unmarried Mother and Her Child in the UK, The Benevolent Society and for the Australian television series, Who Do You Think You Are?.

Caroline Butler-Bowdon is the director of strategy and engagement at Sydney Living Museums. Her career has spanned more than 20 years and has been dedicated to cultural leadership that connects diverse audiences to arts and heritage through a broad range of public engagement programs. She is the winner of multiple awards for projects including festivals, exhibitions and books exploring urban life, architecture and design across the centuries.