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Artwork:  Studio: FrenchBaker.  Designers: PD Sharma / Betsy Baker


History Week 2021: FROM THE GROUND UP

4 – 12 September 2021  |  #HistoryWeek2021


We are excited to announce that the History Week theme for 2021 will be 



The HCNSW has chosen to go with the theme ‘From the Ground Up’ which was suggested by Mina Bui Jones from Addison Road Community Organisation, a valued member organisation. 

“What a great surprise our theme was chosen! We can’t wait to see how History Council members will engage with it. For us at Addi Road, a heritage site and community centre, ‘From the Ground Up’ is an inspiring and relevant theme for History Week this year. It’s a reminder of the importance of place and Country; of the fundamental connections between specific environments and human endeavours. But it also suggests people’s histories, local histories, community histories — stories from the streets and from the soil that provide the material and the momentum for the making of history.” Mina Bui Jones, Addison Road Community Organisation

We thank all who participated in our History Week 2021 Theme Competition. There were a variety of exceptional and diverse theme suggestions from our members.

What type of events can be staged in History Week 2021?

For History Week 2021 we ask our members to reflect on a period of tumult,  and answer the question: 

“What kind of histories do we most need in our world today to heal the past and usher in fresh hope and possibility for the future?”

We want you to tell History Week audiences how histories can ‘return to the roots’ to strengthen the way we connect and care for one another and our communities. You are encouraged to tell these stories through Histories of particular interest to you. We encourage variety and diversity.  You might ask yourself:

“What role might histories of place and environmental histories, social histories and ‘histories from below’ play in this process?”

Are they 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, fictional, cultural, social, medical or biographical history? We want you to re-think History from the Ground Up and present your ideas in History Week 2021.

ONLINE/IN-PERSON:  These ideas can be online or in-person events.  As we saw in 2020, our members embraced online event production, in many cases increasing their audiences way beyond their expectations.  If you want further information about how you can stage your event online, please visit our History Week Online page which provides a wealth of information.  You can also check out our History Week 2020 Report, which can be accessed via the button at the top of this page.

What is History Week?

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

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 2021.

In 2021, History Week will be launched on Friday 3 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 7 September 2021. A list of past Annual History Lectures can be found here.

How can members be involved in History Week 2021?

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 2021 Program Calendar on our website. If you record your event, we will also feature it on our YouTube channel.

Online solutions for events

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

  • In-person presentations or 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
  • In-person attendances or 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 now open.


Further questions about History Week 2021?

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 will open in May.  All registrations must be made via the online form which will be 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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