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Artwork:  Studio: FrenchBaker.  Designers:  Kate Fitzgerald / Betsy Baker



History Week 2019 has now finished.

We wish to give a big Thank You to all of our members for staging such fantastic events and encourage you
to fill out the survey/feedback forms via the buttons on the right.


Our dates for 2020 are 5-13 September.


History Week 2019: Memory & Landscapes

31 August – 8 September 2019  |  #HistoryWeek19

Registrations are now closed for 2019.

History Week
is the annual, state-wide celebration of history organised by the History Council of New South Wales in partnership with our members. 

Initiated by the HCNSW in 1997, History Week is a fantastic opportunity for member organisations, large and small, throughout NSW to engage and educate the community about the vitality, diversity and meaning of history and its practice. 

What happens in History Week?

Members apply through the HCNSW  to host history events relating to the annual theme.  Previous events have included talks and lectures, ‘behind the scene tours’ and heritage trails, exhibitions and radio features, film festivals, open historic houses and gardens, book sales and launches.  We encourage our members to think creatively about the form their event will take.

In 2019, History Week will commence on 30 August with the NSW Premier’s History Awards held at the State Library of New South Wales.  This is followed by 9 days of events (Saturday 31 August – Sunday 8 September) that are staged by our members for a general audience, all around NSW. These events are publicised by the History Council of NSW through our various platforms and channels, including an interactive program that allows attendees to sort events by content, genre and region.

Key events and programs during History Week are:

Overall, there will be close to 100 events being staged throughout NSW in History Week.

How are members involved in History Week 2019?

Members promote their organisation by hosting an event or by hosting a history speaker through our Speaker Connect program, attending the NSW Premier’s History Awards at the State Library of NSW and the History Council’s Annual History Lecture and Awards. Events form part of the HCNSW’s media campaign and be promoted in the History Week 2019 Program Calendar on our website. (Please see the 2019 Program Calendar button on the right of this page).

What is the theme of History Week 2019?

The theme of History Week 2019 is ‘Memory & Landscapes’, which will explore our relationship to landscapes.

This rich palette could include:

  • Remembering where we come from
  • Spiritual, physical, social and cultural connection to place
  • Stories of travel
  • Migration
  • Creative or analytic depiction, interpretation or analysis
  • Landscape as canvas, gallery and film set
  • Landscape as a threat or a treat
  • Agriculture
  • Environment
  • Land care
  • Conflict, death, dispossession, murder, genocide
  • Landscape then and now – changes over years, centuries and millennia
  • Memory in landscapes – memorials and monuments
  • Memorialisation

Annual History Lecture

Counter Currents –

Aboriginal men and Women at the Heart of Empire


The Annual History Lecture will take place at the Mint, Macquarie Street, Sydney, on the night of 3 September 2019. This year, Professor John Maynard will deliver the lecture, entitled: Counter Currents – Aboriginal men and Women at the Heart of Empire.
For more information about the Lecture, click here to visit the page.

Join us for a night of history, networking and nibbles.

Awards & Prizes presented at Annual History Lecture

In addition, the History Council of NSW will present the following prestigious history awards:

  • Aboriginal History Prize
  • Macquarie University’s Centre for Applied History Award
  • Max Kelly Medal
  • The Addison Road Community Centre Organisation Award for Multicultural History
  • Annual History Citation

Applications for these awards are now open. Please check our Awards and Prizes page for further details, including information about how to apply.

Closing date:  31 May 2019 (applications have now closed).

Join us for a night of history, networking and nibbles.

Professor John Maynard.  Image supplied.
Prizewinners at Annual History Lecture 2018:  Prof Lyndall Ryan, Meg Foster, Jessica Urwin, Dr Peter Prince.  Image:  TWH Photography.

Speaker Connect during History Week & year-round

(NoteSpeaker Connect for History Week is no longer accepting applications, Please apply for the year-found program.)

Speaker Connect is a program that aims to connect emerging and established history professionals with community and local government organisations across New South Wales.

Each year, we offer host member organisations across Sydney and regional NSW the chance to receive visiting member speakers during History Week, as well as other times of the year.

Find out more about how to apply for our year-round Speaker Connect program.



Speaker Connect – Our 2020 Speakers

The History Council of NSW hosts a program of speakers of outstanding quality and expertise, connecting them with organisations across the state to facilitate the sharing of their wealth of knowledge with the wider community, linking members with member organisations to bring history alive.

Speaker Connect Online Presentation | Yells, Bells and Smells: The ANZACS in Malta during the Great War | 30 April 2020

Love military history especially the history of our beloved ANZACS? Do you wish to learn and engage with a fascinating, unknown aspect of their story? Please join Bathurst Library and HCNSW Speaker Connect speaker, Diana Sillato for a free, online presentation – ‘Yells, Bells and Smells’: The Anzacs in Malta during the Great War – on Thursday 30 April at 6pm!

Speaker Connect 2019: applications open

The History Council of NSW has opened applications for its popular Speaker Connect program for 2019. Apply to speak or to host a speaker now.

Maud Butler: You Can’t Fight, You’re A Girl

Yvonne Fletcher is at Toronto Library this History Week to share the story of Maud Butler: a girl, disguised as a soldier, who served in World War One.

Why We Read True Crime

Woollahra Libraries will host Rachel Franks this History Week as she investigates the power and popularity of true crime.

Execution as Entertainment

Join historian Rachel Franks at Sutherland Library this History Week as she looks at ‘execution as entertainment’ through four colonial-era hangings.

In the Footsteps of Governor Macquarie

Join Pauline Conolly at Singleton Public Library in History Week as she shares the little-known history of Charles Macquarie, nephew of the famed Governor.

Veiled Warriors: Lives and Deaths of Australian Nurses in war

This History Week, Michelle Cavanagh visits Mudgee Town Hall to share the lives and deaths of Australian nurses who made the ultimate sacrifice in war.

Darling’s Suicides

Join James Dunk at Wollongong Central Library this History Week as he asks whether the actions of Governor Ralph Darling drove his employees to suicide.

Activist Commemorations: Remembering the Life of Bessie Guthrie

Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts host Isobelle Barrett Meyering this History Week to explore the life, death and legacy of Sydney feminist Bessie Guthrie.

Death of men in training at the Liverpool Field Hospital in 1915

This History Week, Shoalhaven Libraries host Ian Willis as he explores the deaths of Australian Army recruits in training for the First World War.

Lest We Forget: How the Great War changed what we wore in the face of death

This History Week, Mosman Library Services host Fiona Reilly as she examines Australian clothing choices and how we honoured our dead in a changing world.

Using Oral History to inform Family History Research

Join Alison Wishart for this History Week Speaker Connect event and learn how to use oral history in your family history research. Hosted by WEA Sydney.

The impact of the 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic in Australia

Join Alison Wishart as she explores the notorious influenza pandemic in Australia in this History Week Speaker Connect event, hosted by Lake Mac Libraries.

Further questions about History Week 2019?

More information is available through our frequently asked questions to the right, or contact us at

Past History Weeks

Further information about past History Weeks as well as our overall aims can be found here.

Do I have to be a History Council member to participate?

History Week events are open to the public. However, all organisations or individuals wishing to host a History Week event or take part in the History Week Speaker Connect program must be current members of the History Council of NSW. The History Council relies on the financial support of its members to deliver its annual programs. Apply to become a member here.

What makes a successful History Week event?

Successful History Week events:

  • relate to or incorporate the History Week theme
  • select a running time most appropriate for the target audience (for example, many students, full-time workers and young people are unable to attend events scheduled during the day. We advise hosts to consider running an event outside of regular office hours to attract wider audiences)
  • select a format most appropriate for the target audience (for example a lecture, exhibition, interactive experience etc)
  • are well and consistently promoted at least one month in advance and across a variety of channels, in addition to the History Council of NSW’s online channels
  • have a clear, concise and engaging event description, along with an eye-catching and relevant feature image, which entices audiences to attend
  • include clear instructions on how attendees can book or register for the event, whether this be through an online booking system, or via a contact email or phone number.
What is the History Week event registration process?
  1. All History Week event registrations must be made through our online registration form.  (Applications for 2019 are now closed) 
  2. Registrations will be processed as they are received. You will be sent a confirmation email with your registration details. The contact person listed on the registration form will be the primary liaison with our staff
  3. Changes to any of these details must be sent immediately to our staff at
  4. After registrations close at 5pm on Monday, 1 July 2019, our staff will begin to post events on the HCNSW History Week website, starting with Speaker Connect events. A downloadable PDF program will be made available in August, as will a further digital interactive program.
  5. Events will be circulated and advertised throughout the month of August. Event hosts are strongly encouraged to advertise their selected event through a variety of their own channels in addition to our channels
  6. After History Week, event hosts will be approached to provide feedback on their experience of the event and its organisation and promotion. Detailed and specific feedback is greatly appreciated
  7. We will release a History Week report for download on our website.
Do you have a media pack and guide?

We have made a media pack available for our host organisations to assist in publicity. Download our logo, publicity guide and media release template below. HCNSW logo (jpeg 62kb) Publicity guide (pdf 155kb) and Media Release Template (pdf 178kb) See buttons on this page for other visual resources.  Please contact us at for assistance.

NSW Government logo thumbnailHistory Week is supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW

History Week partners

We are grateful for the support of Create NSW and all of our cultural partners, listed below.


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