Discussions on the history and historiography of Australia's New England

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

New England Australia History Research Report - March 2009

It has been a long, long, break since my last post, but I have not been completely idle.

To begin with, I have established that my idea (however limited at present) of creating entry pages for the different Aboriginal language groups is of value. My original reason lay in my frustration with the fragmented nature of on-line material. However, I am doing some contract work at present in an Indigenous organisation and have found that many Indigenous people in fact share my frustration.

Linked to that work, my recent train reading has included "Clean, Clad and Courteous" - Jim Fletcher's History of Aboriginal Education in New South Wales. I want to write this up further with key dates; that way I have filled in another building block in my history of New England.

As part of my recent work I have also been looking at NSW discrete communities - this is the name applied to the old missions and reserves that now form the heart of the NSW Land Council system. Just having a list is of itself helpful, but I have also been looking at some of the individual histories. At the moment I am not doing this in a very structured way beyond my immediate work needs, simply filling in gaps.

I have also finally purchased John Mulvaney & Johan Kamminga's Prehistory of Australia (Allen & Unwin 1999). I wanted to do this to provide a broader national framework for my New England work. It won't exactly meet my needs, it is actually quite weak at a regional level, but it does provide a start.

Not a lot to report, I know, but I am still making at least some progress.