Does this rock painting, featuring a long, white gun, depict first contact? Is it a work of history?
Australian history is already a hotly contested discipline but is it time to broaden our definitions of the canon? Might an indigenous rock painting or a novel or a poem constitute a work of history?
Koori women Treahna Hamm, Vicki Couzens and Lee Darroch wear ‘Biaganga’, traditional possum coats at the Melbourne Museum’s Aboriginal Cultural Centre in Melbourne.
Museums are cracking open the temperature-controlled, dehumidified display cases and inviting people in. Working with Aboriginal communities is reawakening cultural connections and ancient art forms.
There’s too much evidence of violence in Australia’s past to hide behind euphemisms.
The Founding of Australia, Algernon Talmadge, 1937.
Detailed historical research on the colonial frontier unequivocally supports the idea that Aboriginal people were subject to attack, assault, conquest and subjugation: all synonyms for the term 'invasion'.
Drape ‘Anzac’ over an argument and, like a magic cloak, the argument is sacrosanct – even though it shouldn’t be.
AAP/Alexander Turnbull Library
Never has the Anzac tradition been more popular and yet never have its defenders been more chauvinistic, bellicose and intolerant of other viewpoints.
Activists trying to bring attention to the issue of rape in war were arrested for protesting at Anzac Day services in the 1980s.
ACT Heritage Library
Protests on Anzac Day, rather than being 'utterly alien to Australians', have a long tradition and embody the democratic right to dissent for which the troops fought.
Pukara, Roy Underwood, Lennard Walker, Simon Hogan and Ian Rictor, Acrylic on canvas, Western Australia, 2013.
© the artists, courtesy Spinifex Arts Project
The exhibition inevitably raises the ugly head of the Elgin Marbles – but all this noise drowns out the quiet activism of the show itself.
History in schools is not engaging our students.
History class image from www.shutterstock.com
In 2008, historian Dr. Anna Clark conducted a survey of the state of history education in Australian classrooms. The book that resulted from this study — History’s Children — presented a bleak image of…
It’s time for the National Museum to look to the future.
In an election year we need to remember that, in recent years in Australia, history has been the subject of fierce party politics, and we should spare a thought for our museum sector. In 1996, at the Sir…