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First Nation: Careers in History: Preparing for opportunity!

‘Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity’ (Seneca)
This session is presented by the History Council of New South Wales, supported by grants from the City of Sydney and Create NSW


In this Careers in History seminar, we speak with four historians who are currently working in different parts of the history sector, focusing on the telling of First Nations histories, be that via museums, archaeology, or heritage. They tell us all about their qualifications and skills, how they got their first lucky break and what they have been doing since. In addition, we will be hearing from the representative of a History/Heritage company that has a solid track record of employing First Nations Historians, to hear about their aims and goals.

Come and get inspired by these journeys and success stories, as you learn all about the moves and groves of these successful First Nation History practitioners.

Join us for a fabulous evening of networking, learning and enjoyment! 

Refreshments will be available following the formal proceedings, so do book in to let us know how many to cater for.

(Note, this is a hybrid event – it will be held in person in the auditorium of the Sydney Mechanics School of Arts, but also streamed via Zoom.  Book via the separate registration buttons below).

When |  Tuesday, 19 July, 2022 at 5.30pm, for a 6pm start – 7.00pm, followed by refreshments & networking until 8.00pm.

Where |  The Auditorium, Level 1, Sydney Mechanics School of Arts, 280 Pitt Street, Sydney (close to Town Hall Station)



On the Panel |

(Image: Brian J Marshall )

Dr Kiera Lindsey |  Session Chair

Kiera Lindsey is an award-winning historian and ARC DECRA Fellow. Her research is concerned with the intersections between creative practice and historical research, with a particular focus upon imagination, speculation and the uncanny. She is a leading practitioner in the field of speculative biography and recently published a co-edited collection with Routledge which defines this emerging field. She has published national and international books and book chapters and journal articles on creative histories and nineteenth-century history, as well as the colonial artist and mystic, Adelaide Ironside, who is the subject of her current monograph, scheduled for publication in 2023. Kiera has a strong track record of public engagement and creative histories work in television, radio, public talks, podcasts, museums and heritage interpretation. She is also a member of the Sydney Living Museums Curatorial and Public Engagement Working Party and considers herself very lucky to also be the current Vice President of the History Council of New South Wales. 

(Image:  Supplied)

Dr Paul Irish | Historian & Archaeologist, Coast History & Heritage

Paul Irish is the director of Sydney firm Coast History & Heritage and is a historian and archaeologist. For the past 15 years he has been piecing together the Aboriginal history of coastal Sydney with researchers from the La Perouse Aboriginal community. This has included joint publications, exhibition and website content, as well as the 2015 NSW History Fellowship exhibition This Is Where They Travelled: Historical Aboriginal Lives in Sydney.

Through these are other projects he tries to work collaboratively with Aboriginal people to make their incredibly rich history more broadly known and understood.

(Image: Supplied)

Neenah Gray Historian, Coast History & Heritage

Neenah Gray is a Kamilaroi, Darumbal, Noonuccal woman from Queensland. She currently works at Coast History and Heritage as a Historian whilst completing her Honours year at Australian Catholic University. Her strong sense of ancestry and thirst for knowledge has been the driving force of her studies and professional career.

(Image:  Supplied)

Brye Marshall | Heritage Consultant and Field Archaeologist, Artefact Heritage Services

Brian has over 15 years’ experience in Indigenous community engagement & workforce reform. He has over 5 years’ experience in Aboriginal Cultural Heritage & non-Aboriginal urban environments. 

Brian has experience in various archaeological sites in Adelaide, the Adelaide Hills, and the Northern Flinders Ranges, Greater Sydney, Northern and Southern NSW. He has undertaken site surface analysis, test & salvage excavations, reburials, excavation/transport and forensic analysis of skeletal remains, rock art documentation and reporting, ethno-archaeological surveying, historical SSD projects such as Central Station, The Bays, MTMS and heritage interpretation.

Brian has experience in qualitative analysis and applying it to workforce reform strategies to Indigenous Teacher Education, Indigenous Higher Education and the NGO sectors.  He currently works at Artefact Heritage Services as a Heritage Consultant and Field Archaeologist.



(Image: Daniel Boud)

Emily McDaniel, Director, First Nations, Powerhouse Museum

Emily McDaniel is a curator, writer and educator from the Kalari Clan of the Wiradjuri nation in central New South Wales. She currently holds the position of Director First Nations at the Powerhouse Museum and is the curator of Yananurala for the City of Sydney.

Her practice centres on truth-telling, storytelling and revealing histories through the work of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and creative practitioners. She consults on curatorship, cultural narratives, learning, engagement and interpretation in the public domain, media, museums and galleries sectors.