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Warnings from the grave: Death, glory and memory in Australian cemeteries

with Dr Lisa Murray

The History Council of NSW is proud to announce one of its most popular events, the Annual History Lecture, ‘Warnings from the grave: Death, glory and memory in Australian cemeteries’, will be delivered by Dr Lisa Murray, City Historian at the City of Sydney.

First held in 1996, the Annual History Lecture was inaugurated by the History Council of NSW to underline the importance of history to current issues and concerns. It is the premier networking event for history professionals and enthusiasts during our flagship festival, History Week.

History Awards

The History Council of NSW will also present the following prestigious history awards:

  • Aboriginal History Prize
  • Annual History Citation
  • Deen De Bortoli Award
  • Max Kelly Medal

Join us for all things history, networking, drinks and nibbles.

When: 6pm-9pm, Tuesday 4 September 2018
Where: The Mint, 10 Macquarie Street, Sydney
Tickets: $45 HCNSW members / $50 General admission
Bookings:  via the Book Tickets button above
Contact: 02 9252 8715,
SPECIAL OFFER: $30 Students – contact us to claim the offer. Places are limited.
Drinks and canapés will be provided before and after the lecture and awards event.


Cemeteries are storehouses of history and rightly form part of our national heritage. The human remains, gravestones, furniture and setting all embody the rituals of death. The material culture of death recorded in our cemeteries are valuable sources for historians, but should never be considered in isolation. To truly understand the Australian way of death we must appreciate cemeteries as cultural landscapes, analyse the social and economic history of funerary practices and consider the fickle nature of memory and commemoration.

In this Annual History Lecture, Dr Lisa Murray will survey the history of Australian cemeteries, highlighting the central role memory has played in their fates. She will reflect upon the beauty, value and threats to our national heritage.

Dr Lisa Murray

Dr Lisa Murray

City Historian, City of Sydney

Lisa Murray is the City Historian, overseeing a diverse program at the City of Sydney Council encompassing community, civic and urban history. With 20 years of experience in the field of public history, Lisa is passionate about making our history accessible to everyone.

Recent publications include the award-winning Sydney Cemeteries: A Field Guide (NewSouth Publishing, 2016) and Our City: 175 Years in 175 Objects (City of Sydney, 2017). Lisa is currently writing a history and graveside companion for Australian cemeteries, to be published by the National Library of Australia.

Photo by Dr Mark Dunn

The Annual History Lecture is proudly presented by the History Council of NSW during its flagship festival, History Week. Supported by Create NSW, Sydney Living Museums and De Bortoli Wines.
Feature image: Emu Plains General Cemetery by Dr Mark Dunn