A Pacific island woman with a child planting sugar cane in a field, Bingara, Queensland, c 1897.
John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland.
In 1881, a Pacific Islander woman brought here to work on a sugar cane plantation ran away. She was violently retrieved by her employer. Her story sheds moving light on a dark history of exploitation.
Gough Whitlam delivering the 1972 election policy speech at the Blacktown Civic Centre in Sydney, 1972.
National Archives of Australia via Wikimedia Commons
Cultural policy has scarcely featured in the 2022 campaign – when Whitlam campaigned in 1972, the arts were centre stage.
Elioth Gruner (1882–1939), Spring Frost, 1919. Oil on canvas.
Art Gallery of New South Wales
In 1895 the Wynne Prize was proposed as an award for a ‘landscape painting of Australian scenery’. Today it is more likely to be given to an Indigenous artist’s explanation of Country.
Schoolchildren queuing for free soup and a slice of bread during the Depression, Belmore North Public School, 2 August 1934.
State Library of New South Wales
Joan Beaumont’s latest book offers a deeply conservative reading of a pivotal moment in Australian history.
A concrete plinth marking ground zero of the first Totem atomic test in South Australia in 1953.
Photo: Andrew Burden
The British atomic tests at Emu Field in South Australia pre-dated Maralinga by three years. Largely forgotten, they remind us the costs of harmful political decisions are borne by the most powerless.
View of the town of Parramatta from May’s Hill, ca. 1840. Painting attributed to G. E. Peacock.
State Library New South Wales
A chance encounter in the National Library of Australia’s digital archive holds clues about an 1843 cookbook published in Parramatta.
It has been tradition for soldiers to have a drink with Chloé at the Young and Jackson Hotel since the first world war.
Bianca Di Marchi/AAP
In finding new ways to commemorate Anzac Day, we should learn a lesson from the rise of the Gallipoli pilgrimage.
Elizabeth Macarthur [portrait by unknown artist]
State Library NSW
Kate Grenville suggests we read Elizabeth Macarthur’s letters as ‘a wonderful piece of fiction, sustained over sixty years’. They were exercises in doubleness, concealment, and delicious irony.
From the Easter Show to the ‘busy lady’ competition in the Australian Women’s Weekly, we’ve been competitive cookers for over 100 years.
Eugene von Guérard, Mount Kosciusko, seen from the Victorian border (Mount Hope Ranges) 1866.
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Purchased, 1870 Photo: National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Tadeusz Kościuszko was a revolutionary thinker who was Commander in Chief of the Polish-Lithuanian armed forces.
Police investigating the cold case murder of US man Scott Johnson, a suspected gay hate crime, at North Head, Manly, in 2020.
Two books on historical gay hate crimes – the murder of George Duncan in Adelaide, 1972, and army officer Warwick Meale in Townsville, 1942 – aim to create positive change by revealing past injustice.
Scott Morrison’s pitch to voters that the election is about “you” is a potentially powerful one. But Labor has one available that is even better: it’s about “us”.
Uluru by night with Milky Way, stars and galaxies. Taken at Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in Northern Territory, Central Australia.
The First Astronomers shares the extensive star knowledge of First Peoples worldwide, stretching back millennia to reclaim so-called Western discoveries and highlight the strength of oral traditions.
William Barak, Figures in possum skin cloaks, 1898.
Can a poem tell us more about the past than a history book?
Aboriginal Tent Embassy 50th anniversary, Old Parliament House, Canberra, 26 January 2022.
Anna Clark’s latest work scrutinises the role History has played in nation building and the shaping of Australian culture, but her book has an absent philosophical centre.
The final work of a gifted historian charts the rise and fall of the Communist Party of Australia.
Brittany Higgins and Grace Tame at the National Press Club last month.
Australia’s political economy was built on the primacy of (white) male labor, male power and male control, writes Julianne Schultz. Women have changed this culture - but still risk abuse when speaking out.
State Library New South Wales
The Tasman map, dating from the 1600s, was promised to the Commonwealth – but NSW got it instead. Here’s how it happened.
AAP Image/Lukas Coch
Pubs like the John Curtin Hotel are more than just buildings – the loss of the hotel would also be a loss of our living cultural memory.