Gender-exclusive organisations are ubiquitous in the Australian social landscape, coming in all forms, shapes and sizes. The potential for such organisations, however, to inform us about past gender roles and attitudes has not been addressed within the Australian context. The aim of this thesis, therefore, is to investigate what the buildings of such organisations can reveal about the roles of men and women in the past.
Buildings belonging to the Freemasons and the Country Women’s Association in rural South Australia formed the basis for this investigation. Archaeological research was carried out to record the social, geographic, physical and functional attributes of buildings in order to identify trends occurring between and amongst buildings used exclusively by men and women. Attributes included street type, building size, visibility, decorative features, internal layout, alterations and use.
While CWA buildings remained relatively unchanged throughout the study period (1836-2010), the results for Masonic buildings showed that there were significant changes occurring, particularly regarding the use of external decorative features and the presence of amenities. Style, as a form of non-verbal communication, is used to reflect and reinforce prevailing ideology. The changing style of Masonic and CWA buildings suggest a shift in gender roles and attitudes, from the ‘traditional’ separate spheres ideology of pre-WWII, to the more ‘egalitarian’ worldview post-war. This thesis concludes that social changes occurring as a result of World War II are reflected in the design, location and construction of gender-exclusive buildings, most notably those belonging to the Freemasons.
Having moments ago finished the stressful process of writing my masters thesis I felt compelled to post my abstract here for everyone to read before rushing to the library to read the full version, lol. Enjoy :D, Olly.
All the way back in February this year, I accompanied Alice Gorman on her field work at the former Orroral Valley Tracking Station in Namadgi National Park, Canberra. Also along for the ride was Rob Koch (Tafe SA) and Ian Moffat (ANU).
Of course, we happened to make the 15 hour car trip to Canberra on one of its wettest weekends since 2002. The average rainfall for February is 55.4mm – that weekend they received 104mm. The rain did not however curb our enthusiasm, we donned our rain coats and went about recording and mapping the site using differential GPS and geophysical techniques.
The Orroral Valley Tracking Station, operational from 1965, was established as part of NASA’s Spacecraft Tracking and Date Acquisition Network (STADAN). The station closed in 1985, and today is visible only through the foundations of the buildings, a ‘footprint’ left as a reminder of the past.
Over the past few months I have been partaking in a Practicum as part of my Masters in CHM. This has involved looking into the history and use of Microlock networks, Minitrack stations and Baker Nunn cameras (all used in the tracking of satellites) at Orroral Valley and within Australia. Hopefully, this will assist Alice in her attempts to record and document the site so that an in-depth understanding of its contribution to Australia’s space history can be established.
Stay tuned for my results…
This master class was conducted by Andrew Collett. Andrew is a highly respected Adelaide lawyer with extensive experience in the areas of Aboriginal heritage, native title, administrative, personal injuries and industrial law. In his early career he worked as a solicitor and barrister for the Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement and was retained as junior counsel to act for all Aboriginal interests before the Royal Commission into British Nuclear Tests in Australia. He was subsequently retained as counsel by the traditional owners of the Maralinga Lands.
Andrew has also been retained as counsel for Aboriginal people and organisations in the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, the Hindmarsh Island Bridge Royal Commission, Children in State Care Inquiry, various native title claims (including in the Federal Court proceedings for the De Rose Hill Native Title Claim) and in the first South Australian “stolen children” action. In 2007 Andrew was also the Assistant Commissioner in the Children on APY Lands Inquiry. During his career Andrew has held a number of significant roles including: Chairperson of the South Australian campaign against racial exploitation and as a member of the Law Society of South Australia’s human rights and Aboriginal issues committees.
In this master class Andrew shared his expertise and teaching students about:
How to locate heritage and related legislation;
How to read and understand various pieces of heritage legislation from around the country and how they differ;
How to understand how other legislation interacts with heritage legislation (e.g., environmental and native title legislation);
Various case studies that demonstrate the importance of working within relevant heritage legislation; and
How heritage professionals may interact with the courts in their careers and issues relating to expert witness issues.
|Andrew Collett (fifth from right) with staff and students at the master class
It has been an interesting semester and it is a little sad to be at the end of my directed study (or at least the end of this stage of the study).
I delivered my presentation in person to industry partner representatives early this morning in Tweed Heads. It was exciting to get positive feedback on how the report will progress their current agenda.
Trying to ensure my presentation was available for the Presentation Day last week in Adelaide had been such a saga (and I still do not know if it arrived and was in a format that could be used), it was nice to face an audience and interact with them today.
Working back with NSW DECCW for the last 3 months has been a rewarding and challenging experience. When I worked there last (19 months ago) I was employed as an archaeologist. This time my position is as the Aboriginal Heritage Planning Officer. I am enjoying the shift in focus of this position away from the scientific aspects of Aboriginal heritage management towards cultural significance of the values. I work in the Environmental Protection and Regulation Group and find it reassuring that input into the process of accessing potential impacts and management options is diligent in ensuring it is informed by Aboriginal knowledge holders of the Country in which the values occur.