On 3 September 2019, Dr Stephen Gapps, President of the History Council of NSW, launched the Value of History Statement in New South Wales and called for its endorsement, following its national announcement by the four History Councils of NSW, South Australia, Western Australia and Victoria.
The statement emphasises the value of studying the past and telling its stories, focusing on several ways in which history is essential, through:
- shaping our identities,
- engaging us as citizens,
- creating inclusive communities,
- contributing to our economic well-being,
- teaching us to think critically and creatively,
- inspiring our leaders, and
- providing a foundation for future generations.
Australian historian Will Davies in his TedX Talk in October 2019 explores the value that history provides by questioning Henry Ford’s notion that history is bunk by arguing for history’s worth and relevance.
This is a fascinating talk that truly brings awareness to historical discourse & its value to contemporary communities.
The History Councils call on individuals and organisations in Australia to endorse, share, and use this statement about the value of history in contemporary life. The ideas expressed in the statement can be incorporated into projects, funding applications, training materials, mission statements, websites, marketing materials, submissions and other organisational outlets.
The Value of History Statement can be endorsed in NSW on the HCNSW site or in other states.