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How to get a job in History

Can you make a living working as a historian? What does a “history professional” actually do? For many students and early career professionals interested in history, finding employment opportunities beyond their tertiary studies can be both challenging and daunting.

Join the History Council of NSW for an informal session featuring a diverse range of guest speakers working in the history sector. Hear ‘lightning talks’ from historians, museum curators, researchers and other history professionals as they share their experiences and tips on how to kick-start a career in the history world.

After the lightning talks, there will be time for questions and an opportunity to network. Light refreshments will be provided.

When: Tuesday 31 January 2017, 6:00-8:30pm
Where: History House, 133 Macquarie Street, Sydney NSW 2000
Cost: Free – Register online
Contact: or 02 9252 8715

This special event is supported by Macquarie University’s PACE Program.

Our Speakers

Dr Mark Dunn is a professional historian, and some time archaeologist, who works in Sydney and around NSW. He has a Masters in Applied History from the University of Technology, Sydney, and a PhD from the University of NSW. Mark has collaborated on a variety of research projects for heritage sites around Australia, including Department of Defence sites, and for Government agencies including the CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology. Mark is currently the Deputy Chair of the Heritage Council of NSW, President of the Professional Historians Association (NSW), Chair of the History Advisory Panel, NSW Heritage Office and was President of the History Council of NSW 2009-2011.

Jacqui Newling has a Masters in Gastronomy from the University of Adelaide (2007) and is continuing her research in a PhD at Sydney University, researching food and food security in the early settlement of New South Wales and Norfolk island. She is currently an interpretation curator and ‘resident gastronomer’ at Sydney Living Museums (SLM). Jacqui curates Eat Your History projects and hosts regular Colonial gastronomy programs for SLM as well as affiliated history, heritage and community groups. She has co-curated the ‘Eat your history: a shared table’ exhibition at Museum of Sydney (2013-2014) and co-authors The Cook & the Curator blog. In 2015, Jacqui authored Eat your history, stories and recipes from Australian kitchens (Sydney Living Museums and NewSouth Publishing 2015).

Linda Brainwood has been a freelance researcher for sixteen years and has been multimedia editor at the Dictionary of Sydney Trust since March 2010. Prior to this, Linda worked on research and digitisation projects at the State Library of New South Wales, News Limited and Corbis. As a freelance researcher she has worked on a wide variety of projects for Australian and international book publishers and designers, museums, libraries, photographers and film-makers. Linda holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) from the University of Sydney and a Graduate Diploma in Information Management from the University of New South Wales.

Andrea Fernandes is a public historian with 20 years experience in research, heritage, multiculturalism, social policy, political administration, community engagement and cross-sector partnership projects. A history and politics honours graduate from the University of Manchester (UK), Andrea has been employed by private research firms, NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet, Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences and NSW Trade & Investment, and was a departmental representative in the offices of NSW Arts Ministers. Andrea is currently employed by the NSW Department of Industry, Skills and Regional Development in a senior policy and communications role. She is also current Secretary of the History Council of NSW, a board member for Launchpad Youth Community Housing and recently completed her Master of Arts in international relations and law at the University of New South Wales.

Nicole Cama is a freelance historian, curator, content strategist and the current Executive Officer at the History Council of NSW. Since completing Honours at the University of Sydney in 2009, Nicole has worked for Sydney University Museums covering all three collections of the University Art Gallery, Macleay and Nicholson Museums. At the Australian National Maritime Museum, Nicole worked as Curatorial Assistant Digitisation and later Digital Curator, researching and interpreting their collection for publication online and in print, and in social media and community management. She was also project curator of two exhibitions including #HoodsHarbour and the Warships Pavilion project. As a freelance historian, Nicole has worked on numerous projects for the City of Sydney, Dictionary of Sydney, IP Australia and PlayStation.

Amy Way is a PhD Candidate at Macquarie University, specialising in Australian history and deep history. She completed her Masters of Research on the cultural representations of ‘Mungo Man’ in 2016, and is the current Administrative Officer at the History Council of NSW. Amy has been a research intern for the History Council of NSW and Macquarie University, and has worked as an independent research assistant for various history professionals.

Chaired by Dr Tanya Evans. Tanya is a public historian, senior lecturer at Macquarie University, and current President of the History Council of NSW. She specialises in the history of the family, motherhood, poverty and sexuality, and is passionate about researching ordinary people and places in the past. Tanya is committed to the democratisation of history. Her recent book, Fractured Families: Life on the Margins in Colonial New South Wales (NewSouth, 2015), is a history of Australia’s oldest surviving charity The Benevolent Society, written in collaboration with family historians and supported by the charity over several years. Tanya also recently edited the community history Swimming with the Spit: 100 years of the Spit Amateur Swimming Club (NewSouth, 2016). She has an Honours from the University of Edinburgh, and a Masters of Women’s History and PhD from the University of London.