A Year-round Holiday: The Histories of West Lakes

Susan Marsden’s book, A Year-round Holiday: The Histories of West Lakes (Wakefield Press) considers more than 180 years of history of an area of so-called wasteland of degraded swamp and sand that was transformed in the 1970s into well-groomed waterways and homes. The title quotes the marketing slogan used to sell this development as a prestigious place to Read more …

Dancing in my Dreams: Confronting the Spectre of Polio

Kerry Highley’s Dancing in my Dreams: Confronting the Spectre of Polio (Monash University Publishing) details the disease and its treatment, the scientific endeavour that led to the discovery of the poliovirus, and the studies in virology and immunology that culminated in the production of a polio vaccine. It highlights the experiences of patients and the Read more …

The Eighties: The Decade That Transformed Australia

Frank Bongiorno’s The Eighties: The Decade That Transformed Australia (Black Inc.) brings to life the most controversial decade in Australian history, with high-flying entrepreneurs booming and busting, torrid debates over land rights and immigration, the advent of AIDS, a harsh recession and the rise of the New Right. The book will be launched in Canberra Read more …

Camden History Notes

Ian Willis documents Camden stories drawn from the memories and experiences of local families, local identities, community organisations, local institutions, local rituals and traditions, and a host of other matters. These stories link to other parts of the world and are part of the movement of peoples, ideas, technologies and institutions across national boundaries, from Read more …

Frank the Poet: Francis MacNamara, 1811-1861

Francis MacNamara, was born in 1811 in Cashel, he claimed, in the County Tipperary, Ireland. He was transported to Botany Bay in 1832, then to Van Diemen’s Land arriving 29 October 1842, by which time he was widely known as ‘Frank the Poet’. Mark Gregory’s research project on MacNamara’s life and work is documented in Read more …

Kin: A Real People’s History of Our Nation

In Kin: A Real People’s History of Our Nation (Hardie Grant) Nick Brodie traces his family tree back to some of the earliest white arrivals in the Australia to uncover a series of stories of hardship and travail, of revival and treasured memory, of individual hope, and of social, economic and cultural achievement. It was Read more …

Callan Park: Compassion and Conflict in The Asylum

Using images – some never seen publicly before – and oral history interviews (including the Rozelle Hospital Oral History Collection) Roslyn Burge has created a fascinating insight into the former mental asylum, capturing the stories of patients, residents, staff, the community, the landscape and Callan Park’s importance as a place of refuge and conflict. The Read more …