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The Royal Australian Historical Society, Australia’s oldest historical organisation founded in Sydney in 1901, is heading to Bankstown to host its annual conference. This event includes two days of history-based talks with a particular focus on how migration history is an essential part of local and community history. The conference also incorporates historical tours, and opportunities to network with fellow history lovers. As one of the most ethnically diverse communities in Australia, Bankstown is the ideal setting to explore the importance of migration history, learn skills that will support history projects and enjoy opportunities to network with people who share a passion for history.

RAHS President, Associate Professor Carol Liston, explains why people should attend this conference: “The mix of talks include practical how-to explanations that will support local and community history projects. We want those who attend the conference to go home full of ideas about how they can incorporate Migration Matters into their local history”, she said.

David Hill, author of The Forgotten Children: Fairbridge Farm School and its Betrayal of Britain’s Child Migrants to Australia, will be the keynote speaker at the conference. There will also be speakers who will concentrate on Bankstown migration history. Sue Rosen author of Bankstown: A Sense of Identity will be speaking at the conference and Wayne Peake will talk about the Peake Family of Peakhurst and the Georges River District (1811-1996), and will participate in a panel discussion on different Bankstown migrant experiences.

As well as local migrant experiences, conference delegates will be provided with the opportunity to learn skills to enhance history projects, and gain insights into connecting local and global migration histories. Dr Bruce Pennay OAM, whose talk is titled Seeing Migration Matter Locally’ explains: “Sixty/seventy years ago large numbers of pictures were used to shape Australian community responses to migrants and refugees. They survive in official and media archives to show how migration mattered in the post-war. Another huge number of pictures also survive in family albums. They show how migration mattered to those undertaking the experience.”

The Royal Australian Historical Society Conference will be held at Bankstown Sports Club on Saturday 24th – Sunday 25th October, with pre-conference drinks hosted at the Gillawarna Room at Bankstown Sports Club on Friday 23rd October. For a full speaker program and booking information please go to the RAHS website: 

For media enquiries and further details on arranging interviews with seminar speakers, contact RAHS General Manager, Suzanne Holohan on (02) 9247 8001 or email