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Artwork:  Studio: FrenchBaker.  Designer:  Michelle French



History Week [Online] 2020 – History: What is it good for?

5 – 13 September 2020  |  #HistoryWeek2020

Did you know that History Week is both an online and in-person series of events in 2020?

Event registrations have now closed

Subscribe to our History Week YouTube channel to be automatically informed when History Week recordings are uploaded.

The year 2020 has been momentous with bushfires, pandemics and protests. All these events have their origins in the past and history has rarely been so important in the present day.

This year’s History Week theme invites participants to share why history matters to them. What can the past tell us about current events? What value is history in local communities affected by bushfires? What were your communities’ experiences of pandemics past and present?

We invite you to showcase history in all its forms – histories of place, community and environment as well as family histories, Indigenous histories and others.

Tell us why history matters to you and your community, and what history is good for! 

For all inquiries about event registrations, please contact

Online Event Information – History Week

Are you a member or member organisation wanting information about how to stage your event/s online?  Check out our additional resources via the link below.  Lots of ideas about how you can stage your event!

What is History Week?

History Week is the annual, state-wide celebration of History organised by the History Council of New South Wales.

In 2020, due to COVID-19 Health considerations, we are offering our members the opportunity to stage their History Week events online as well as in-person.

This is your opportunity to share your latest passion, a long term project or research that has moved you. Involve your local community in histories that matter through History Week 2020.

Theme for History Week 2020

During History Week 2020 we ask you to answer the question: History: What is it good for?

In 2019 the combined Australian History Councils launched the Value of History Statement.

The History Week theme for 2020 invites participants to share with their communities why history matters to them. From telling stories about the past to shaping our futures, the practice of history enriches our lives in so many ways.

What do you love about history?  Can history be life-changing?  We want you to tell History Week audiences what histories are special to you.

  • Are these histories of place and environment such as local, public, urban, architectural or environmental history?
  • Or perhaps your focus is people and you are drawn to family histories, Indigenous histories and biographical history?
  • Is speculative, fictional, cultural or social history what inspires you?
  • Maybe you love military, economic, business or labour histories?

The combined Australian State History Councils’ Value of History Statement shows how history is critical in shaping local identities, fostering inclusive communities and generating economic well-being. History stimulates us to think critically and creatively, and it inspires future generations.

Whatever your style, taste and interest in history, we want you to answer the question: What is history good for?  Absolutely everything!

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.  Overall, there will be close to 100 events being staged throughout NSW in History Week 2020, many of which will be online for the first time ever.

In 2020, History Week will be launched on Friday 4 September at the NSW Premier’s History Awards, an event run in partnership with the State Library of NSW.

A further feature event of History Week is the Annual History Lecture planned for the night of 8 September 2020, this year featuring Professor Stan Grant as lecturer in an online presentation that will be professionally recorded and streamed.

How can members be involved in History Week 2020?

You and your organisation can take advantage of the week and promote your organisation by hosting an event that you create, by hosting a History speaker through our Speaker Connect program and/or attending the NSW Premier’s History Awards at the State Library of NSW and the History Council’s Annual History Lecture. Your event will form part of the HCNSW’s media campaign and be promoted in the History Week 2020 Program Calendar on our website.

Online solutions for events

There is no one type of online mode that will suit all History Week events, but here are a few suggestions.  We are happy to discuss options with you and provide information to help you achieve your goals if you contact us.

  • Webinars of presentations via Zoom by or with local historians and/or those supplied to you through our Speaker Connect Program (1 hour suggested duration)
  • Recordings of performers that can then be streamed from your website and/or ours
  • Videos of exhibitions, streamed from your website and/ours
  • Webinar discussions with historians in a sister city anywhere else in the world
  • Locally produced videos about Museums and their artifacts that tell local history
  • Oral Histories, recorded and uploaded to your/our website, along with photographs


History Week events are open to public audiences. 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.

Registrations are open now.  Please apply via the link at the top of this page.


Further questions about History Week 2020?

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

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

History Week events are open to public audiences. 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, online/in-person, 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?

History week event registrations are now open.  All registrations must be made via the online form which is advertised on this site.

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.  Theme specific artwork will be added to this page once it is completed.

HCNSW logo (jpeg 62kb)
Publicity guide (pdf 172kb)

Please contact us at for assistance.

How does the Speaker Connect program fit into History Week?

The Speaker Connect program is run all year round.  During History Week, we encourage Speakers to apply to give a presentation focused on the annual History Week theme.  Applications for Speaker Connect are via the web form on that page.

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


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