Speaker Connect




Please note that our Speaker Connect program has been impacted by the current situation with COVID-19, but we have had a terrific response from Host organisations and Speakers to our proposals to conduct Speaker Connect events online.  We are currently scheduling our existing program of Speakers, and will be in touch when we open the program up for new applications. 

Program description

Our popular Speaker Connect program connects emerging and established history professionals with community and local government organisations across New South Wales.  The History Council of NSW pays the Speaker, with the host organisation receiving their services free of charge.

Speakers and organisations need to be members of the History Council of NSW to participate.

Speaker Connect takes place throughout the year, with a special program during History Week.

Dr Gary Werskey, Speaker at Bathurst Library, 2019
Image:  Bathurst Library


How Speaker Connect works

Our Speaker Connect program gives both member organisations and individuals the chance to further their professional skills and raise the profile of history in their community and/or their profession with the History Council of NSW paying the speaker fee and matching up speakers to host member organisations throughout NSW.  Speakers and Hosts need to be members of the History Council of NSW to participate in the program.

Further information can be found in the Frequently Asked Questions section below, or by contacting our Programs Officer –

Applications for Speaker Connect are open year-round for Speakers and Host organisations, with a total number of 12 Speakers engaged in a calendar year.  As a guideline, please allow six weeks before a planned event, if it is date-specific.

Selection as a Speaker is not guaranteed by the History Council of NSW.





Could not fault the organising, communication and oversight of the event by HCNSW. Always felt looked after and ‘in the picture’.

Speaker Connect speaker, 2019

This was our third year participating in the program and we will definitely apply again next year. Everything is always so easy to organise and runs smoothly.

Speaker Connect host, 2017

I enjoyed enormously communicating my passions to the general public and making history come alive for them.

Speaker Connect speaker, 2019

We get quality speakers that are knowledgeable and passionate about their subject. The History Council of NSW is easy to work with. All involved are friendly and helpful.

Speaker Connect host, 2019

Frequently asked questions

What makes a good application?

Applicants should:

  • reflect their desire to contribute to the understanding and practice of history in NSW
  • be detailed and specific about why they would like to participate and the audience they would like to engage
  • be detailed about how they would benefit from involvement in the program
  • outline any prior experience that may contribute to the program
  • be a current member of this History Council of NSW
Is this part of the History Week festival?

The Speaker Connect program is not specifically a part of the History Week festival as runs throughout the year. There is an option to stage your event during History Week, which some speakers and organisations prefer.


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

Yes. All applicants, whether host organisations or individual speakers, must be current members of the History Council of NSW to participate in this program. We rely on the financial support of our members to deliver our annual programs. Read more and apply to become a member.

What do speakers receive for their participation?
  • Speakers have the opportunity to present to an audience of history enthusiasts and/or academics.
  • We offer a $300 honorarium to all speakers for their services. Alternatively, speakers can choose to contribute their fee as a donation towards program costs. Speakers will receive the honorarium on completion of their talk.
  • Accommodation and travel costs within NSW will be arranged and paid by the History Council of NSW.
  • Meals and refreshments are the responsibility of the speaker and it is expected that they are covered by the honorarium.
What do hosts receive for their participation?

Host organisations will receive:

  • A speaker free of charge. We will also cover the speaker’s travel costs
  • Promotional material where necessary (such as flyers, posters etc)
  • Publicity support to assist in promoting the event via the History Council of NSW’s social media sites and newsletter.
How and when are applications assessed?
  • Applications will be assessed as they are received, and successful applicants will be contacted as soon as possible to begin organisation
  • Please note that this program is competitive and not all applications will be successful
  • Applicants must submit their application at least six weeks before the desired date of their speaker connect event. This is to ensure ample time for organisation and promotion
  • Applications that are unsuccessful or have missed the deadline for certain dates/months can be carried over and assessed for the next available date/month.

Speakers will be assessed on:

  • their ability to deliver exciting and thought provoking talks that illuminate aspects of Australian history or
  • their ability deliver a professional development workshop/seminar geared toward the practice of history.
  • Membership (current) of the History Council of NSW.

Host organisations will be assessed on:

  • Venue facilities – the capacity, audio visual equipment and access of your venue will be considered
  • Audience and purpose – how would your organisation benefit from the program? How might it fit in with your other events and programs? What audiences do you hope to engage and how would this program serve them?
  • Experience – previous experience in promoting and hosting events locally will be taken into consideration.
  • Membership (current) of the History Council of NSW.

All applicants should be willing to communicate with History Council staff in order to ensure the efficient, appropriate and successful organisation and promotion of their Speaker Connect event.

I'm a writer - can I sell my book at the Speaker Connect event?

The HCNSW is funded by the NSW Government to support the Speaker Connect program. This is used to pay a fee to Speakers for their engagements.  Speakers are therefore asked not to sell their books at the event directly, but encourage people to order them online.  Thank you for your consideration in this matter.

Is there a feedback or survey available to fill out after a Speaker Connect session?

Yes, we welcome feedback.  You can find links to Feedback Surveys for Host Organisations, Speakers and Attendees at the bottom of our Speaker page.

Have any questions? Contact us at


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