Audio on demand
Historical Interpretation series
Leading historians and commentators explore the meaning behind different moments and concepts in Australian history. Many of these talks are from visiting fellows at the National Museum’s Research Centre.
Professor Geoffrey Blainey, Jackie French, Susan Hall, Dr Maria Nugent and Martin Terry
Historical Interpretation series, 17 May 2009
Leading writers and historians discuss their recent books on Captain James Cook and explore Australia’s continuing fascination with the explorer.
Matthew Higgins, National Museum of Australia
Historical Interpretation series, 15 April 2009
Curator Matthew Higgins talks about his book Rugged Beyond Imagination, which explores how people including stockmen, skiers, scientists and surveyors have shaped and been shaped by the Australian alpine environment.
Dr Adele Wessell, Southern Cross University
Historical Interpretation series, 6 April 2009
Historian Adele Wessell uses cookbooks to draw conclusions about Australian political and social life at the turn of the century, examining British diet and food preferences that were maintained and transformed in colonial Australia.
Dr Richard Reid, National Museum of Australia and Brendon Kelson
Historical Interpretation series, 15 March 2009
Researcher, author and Irishman Richard Reid and photographer Brendon Kelson examine the role of the Irish in Australia, to be featured in a forthcoming National Museum book, The Scattered Children of St Patrick.
Dr Adele Wessell, Southern Cross University
Historical Interpretation series, 30 November 2008
Historian Adele discusses cookbooks as historial resources, drawing on the National Museum’s collection in her time as a Visiting Fellow with the Museum’s Centre for Historical Research.
Dr Libby Robin, National Museum of Australia
Historical Interpretation series, 29 October 2008
Environmental historian Libby Robin talks about the uses of environmental history in museums in Australia and New Zealand as a bridge between the traditions of natural and social history.
Historical Interpretation series, 8 October 2008
Irish archaeologist Michael Gibbons talks about the history and archaeology of Killeany Harbour, Inis Mor on Aran Island off the coast of Ireland, as part of a broader survey of Irish antiquities.
Dr Peter Stanley, National Museum of Australia
Historical Interpretation series, 31 August 2008
The story of one Australian platoon involved in the 1918 battle of Mont St Quentin, as told by historian Peter Stanley, who follows the 12 men throughout their lives.
Dr Shino Konishi, Australian National University
Historical Interpretation series, 28 August 2008
Historian Shino Konishi explores the experiences in the 1960s of young Torres Strait Islander men who moved from the Torres Strait to the Australian mainland to work on railway construction.
Professor Alistair Thomson, Monash University
Historical Interpretation series, 9 July 2008
Oral historian Alistair Thomson explores the experience of migration to Australia in the 1950s and 1960s, through the eyes and life stories of four British women, during his time as a Director’s Fellow at the National Museum of Australia.
Dr Darrell Lewis, National Museum of Australia
Historical Interpretation series, 4 June 2008
Historian Darrell Lewis discusses his research on ‘the outback archive,’ unorthodox historical records from pre-European times to the present, concentrating on marked water tanks and trees along the Murranji Track in the Northern Territory.
Dr Mickey Dewar
Historical Interpretation series, 27 May 2008
Historian Mickey Dewar talks about her research into Mindil Beach, Darwin and the ways in which a cultural site intersects with a complex community history and memory, as part of her time with the National Museum’s Centre for Historical Research.
Historical Interpretation series, 25 May 2008
American writer and scholar William Fox discusses his research into how humans transform land into landscape, terrain into territory, and space into place, during his time as a Visiting Fellow at the National Museum’s Centre for Historical Research.
Professor David Day
Historical Interpretation series, 25 October 2007
Historian and National Museum Director’s Fellow David Day argues that Australian prime minister Andrew Fisher should be remembered for social reforms and infrastructure projects, not just committing ‘the last man and last shilling’ to the First World War.
Robyn Davidson and Dr Mike Smith, National Museum of Australia
Historical Interpretation series, 16 September 2007
Adventurer and author Robyn Davidson joins desert archaeologist Mike Smith for a discussion about her travels in Australia, India, China and Tibet, and 30 years since the publication of her Making Tracks book.
Dr Mike Smith, National Museum of Australia
Historical Interpretation series, 5 September 2007
Desert archaeologist Mike Smith on his expedition into the remote southern Simpson Desert in South Australia. Mike recalls the thrill of discovering ancient fossil remains, working with camels and a helicopter rescue for an injured expeditioner.