Tag Archives: Cultural Heritage Management

Blog Post #4

Hey Everyone,

The semester is finally drawing to a close and for my final blog post I just wanted to talk about what I have learned or what I have gained from doing this directed study topic.

First of all is the greater appreciation that I have for historical research and the history of European settlers in Adelaide. Coming into this topic, I must admit that I was not totally interested in historical archaeology and I thought that it would not be as an involving project as it eventually turned out to be. Continue reading

Directed Studies Post #3

So much is changing in Aboriginal cultural heritage protection and regulation in NSW it is little wonder I missed the date for my 3rd blog post. Apologies to all. The Omnibus bill went before the Upper house on Monday night. It was accepted with very minor changes. The amended version must go back before the Lower house but never the less is progressing towards applying in the not too distant future.

In the words of Director General in April this year:- “This Bill, introduced in Parliament on 25 February 2010, is the first phase of broad Aboriginal Cultural Heritage reform, It will implement Government’s decision to make changes to the National Parks and Wildlife Act and improve enforcement and operation of the regulatory provisions relating to Aboriginal cultural heritage.
Government has also committed to considering a stand along piece of Aboriginal cultural heritage legislation and a Working Party is being established to develop proposals over the next two years” (DECCW 2010).

The new reforms will provide for the imposing of much more appropriate penalties for impacts on Aboriginal cultural heritage in NSW.
I cannot help but wonder where the new changes will take us. It appears to me that many Aboriginal people have spent a lot of years attempting to move archaeological and scientific thinking towards a holistic understanding of our environment. Acknowledgement of the cultural landscape. The connection between the natural and the cultural and the evidence of that continuing relationship.

Separating the two values of Aboriginal life for protection and regulatory purposes: the natural resources and the cultural use of them may not be the step forward that many seek.

Directed Study- Mitcham

Hi Everyone,

My directed study is coming along well, but I still have a lot of work to do revising my report and creating my site maps. I consider myself fortunate this semester in that my two research projects complement each other geographically, historically and methodologically; I have learnt a great deal more about the Mitcham area than what I thought at the beginning of the semester.

For this post, I thought that I might share with you some information regarding wages and working conditions for labourers in the mid-nineteenth century, and how this information compliments one of my research topics.

Christine Bender and Susan Piddock state in their chapter of ‘Valleys of Stone’ that in 1851, there were approximately 1,500 unemployed men living in Adelaide. This spell of unemployment was broken with the discovery of gold in Victoria, as men were drawn to the Victorian goldfields with the hopes of striking it rich. This absence of labour created a worker shortage, and as a result, wages soared (2006: 35). By 1853 labourers were earning 9 shillings a day which was twice as much as what they earnt in 1851 (2006: 36).

Samuel Saunders, the original owner of the sections of land that make up Randell Park today, arrived in South Australia in 1850. By 1854, he was a partner in a quarrying operation , he had purchased a section of land and he had built his house on that piece of land. He eventually ended up running his own business using the stone that he quarried from his own land, as well as constructing bridges that are still standing today, one of which is heritage listed. It appears that Saunders’ story is a classic European settler story, in that he achieved all of this from years of hard work and sacrifice.

However, when placed in the historical context outlined above, his story can be viewed through a new perspective. I am not saying that Saunders coasted through life on a lucky break, but the point that I am trying to make is that when two pieces of information complement one another, it allows us to view those pieces of information from a different perspective and gives the story so much more texture. I have found this to be one of the best aspects of historical and archival research.

Cheers.

Making Heritage Brochures

Brochures are one of the main means by which the MHRC promotes Mitcham’s heritage, and they currently have over 40 available from the centre and online. These brochures cover many aspects of the area’s history – from suburbs and wards, prominent people and buildings, to cemeteries and reserves within Mitcham – and are usually presented as chronologies or timelines.

My first individual project at the Centre was to create two new brochures suitable for the public – one for the photographic collection and the other for a tiled table top tour. Already there existed four brochures regarding the photographs, one for each of the four major donors to the collection, but Maggy’s brief was to make an overarching brochure which would encompass the collection as a whole. There were no existing brochures regarding the tiled tables, and Maggy’s brief was that I make a ‘tour’ brochure that people could use to visit the 6 tables.

I used the local history collection to research my two topics, to gather information and images. I had decided early on that I didn’t want my brochures to be just another two chronologies to add to the collection – I wanted them to be interesting, original and useful. I wanted to make them more engaging to the public with a fresh layout, easy to understand, relevant and informative text, associated photographs, a map for the tour and an order form for the photos. I was also aware, particularly with the photographic collection, of not repeating information that could already be found in other brochures.

After several edits, the brochures were debuted to the public at the Princes Rd centre opening in November 2009, and are now available from the Centre and online. A new table top is being unveiled for History Week 2010 (see Mitcham website for details) and my table top tour brochure will be peddled at that event to encourage people to visit the other sites around Mitcham.

for your own copy, click on the links below
http://www.mitchamcouncil.sa.gov.au/webdata/resources/files/Photographic_Collection.pdf
http://www.mitchamcouncil.sa.gov.au/webdata/resources/files/Tiled_Tabletop_Tour.pdf

Mitcham Heritage Centre Practicum

Hello, my name is Emily and I’m a Master of CHM student. My practicum, which actually began way back in June 2009, was with the Mitcham Heritage Research Centre (MHRC), under the guidance of local history officer Maggy Ragless. The purpose of my placement was to experience ‘a day in the life’ of a local history officer, in order to assess the potential of this career choice as an option for me for the future.

The MHRC, when i began the placement in June, was located in the old school building on Belair Rd, opposite the Mitcham Council office. It was here, in just one and half rooms, that Maggy and her team of volunteers tirelessly worked to maintain and promote Mitcham’s unique heritage, until very recently when they moved to the more spacious old Police Station on Princes Rd.

The MHRC provides public access to the local history collection, and provides a variety of community services such as regular talks, guided walks, publications, conservation workshops and assistance with research. Items in the collection include newspapers, maps, plans, historical files, photographs, books, surveys and council reports. The MHRC does not collect artefacts.

Over the course of my placement, in addition to observing and assisting Maggy in her every-day work, I was to be given more specific tasks to undertake. Initial suggestions for these included creating brochures, helping with the move, setting up a library database, and planning ideas for History Week 2010. I also had the opportunity to participate in workshops, school group tours and other talks and walks given by volunteers of the centre.

Stay tuned for blog #2: making history brochures for the community