Aus map - Federation of Australian Historical Societies Tasmanian Historical research Association Royal Historical Society of Queensland Royal Australian Historical Society Canberra & District Historical Society Royal Historical Society of Victoria History Trust of South Australia Historical Society of the Northern Territory Royal Western Australian Historical Society

 

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Structure and Committee

Under its constitution, the Federation has eight members, each of which is the major historical society or organisation in an Australian state or territory, and most of which in turn have affiliated historical societies within their state. In all, there are about 1,000 historical societies in Australia under the umbrella of the Federation.

The Executive is composed of the President, Senior Vice-President, Vice-President, Honorary Secretary and Honorary Treasurer (all elected biennially at the Annual General Meeting), together with the Immediate Past President.

The FAHS employs a part-time Executive Officer, who is also the Public Officer.

 
Dr Ruth Kerr (RHSQ)

FAHS President

Dr Ruth Kerr is an experienced historian in mining, regional, economic and company history, having written several books on these subjects. Ruth has worked in the area of native title, been an archivist at Queensland State Archives and is currently in Strategic Policy in Primary Industries and Fisheries in Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation. Ruth is a long term member of the Royal Historical Society of Queensland Council (first female president,1992-1995), an Adjunct Professor of History at University of Queensland, member, past President of Professional Historians Association (Queensland), past President of the FAHS (and Committee member since 1986), and a member of several historical societies.

Adjunct Professor Judith Smart (RHSV)

FAHS Senior Vice-President and RHSV Delegate

Judith Smart is a historian of the Australian homefront during World War I and of Australian women's organisations and activism. She is a past editor of Australian Historical Studies and the Victorian Historical Journal. She is currently working on a history of the National Council of Women of Australia 1931–2006. She holds honorary positions at the University of Melbourne and RMIT University and is a Council Member of the RHSV and vice-president of the History Council of Victoria.

Esther Davies (CDHS)

FAHS Vice-President and CDHS Delegate

Esther Davies is a retired history teacher and former President of both the Canberra and District Historical Society and the ACT History Teachers' Association. She currently works part-time as a school archivist.

Dr Helen Henderson (RWAHS)

FAHS Hon. Secretary

Prior to her retirement twelve years ago, Helen was a Senior Researcher in Epidemiology in the Health Department of Western Australia. She has a PhD in Anthropology. She was elected to the Council of the Royal Western Australian Historical Society in 1996 and became Vice-Chairman in 2001, a position which she still holds. She has been actively involved for varying periods in: the History Council of Western Australia; the Historical Records Rescue Consortium; Museums Australia (WA); and the FAHS, of which she has served as Vice-President and President. Helen and her husband, Bill, are currently preparing a biographical account of the life and scientific contribution of Augustus Oldfield (1821-1887) who was an important botanical collector in Australia in the mid-nineteenth century.

Nick Drew (RWAHS)

FAHS Hon. Treasurer

Since leaving full time employment with Wesfarmers, Nick is now on various committees for the Royal Western Australian Historical Society being a Councilor, Tours & Events, Promotions & Marketing and the Affiliated Societies. Nick is also Treasurer of the Friends of Battye Library, Perth and the History Council of WA

Associate Professor Don Garden (RHSV)

FAHS Immediate Past President

Associate Professor Don Garden is an environmental historian who now works as a consultant historian after teaching at the University of Melbourne for many years. He holds honorary positions at the University of Melbourne and the University of New England. Since 2013 has been President of the Royal Historical Society of Victoria, and is a member of the Kew, Newstead, Nepean and Rye historical societies in Victoria.

Margaret Anderson (HTSA)

HTSA Delegate

Margaret Anderson is Director of the History Trust of South Australia, a position she has held since 2000. In a career spanning 30 years she has worked as a public historian in museums in Western Australia and South Australia and taught history and Australian Studies at Monash University. Her research interests have focused on women’s history and demography, but she has also written more generally about South Australian history and the practice of public history.

Emeritus Professor Richard Broome (RHSV)

RHSV Delegate

Emeritus Professor Richard Broome is a member of the Academy of the Humanities. He has taught Australian and Indigenous history for over thirty years, mostly at La Trobe University, and has been a public historian for six years. He has published eight books and many articles, his most notable being Aboriginal Australians (2010) in print over four editions since 1982; and Aboriginal Victorians (2005) which won the NSW Premier’s Prize for Australian History and the Victorian Community Awards, Best Print Book. Richard Broome served on many university committees, as President of the History Institute Victoria, is currently Patron of the History Teachers Association of Victoria, and also Vice President of the Royal Historical Society of Victoria.

Judith Dunn (RAHS)

RAHS Delegate

Caroline Homer (THRA)

THRA Delegate

Dr Ian Jack (RAHS)

RAHS Delegate

Ian Jack is Senior Fellow at St Andrew’s College in the University of Sydney. He has retired from the Department of History in that university, where he was a co-founder of Historical Archaeology in 1974. He was President of the Royal Australian Historical Society from 2003 until 2010. His six-year stint on the Heritage Council of NSW ended in 2005. He is currently a member of the History Advisory Panel of the Heritage Council. He is author of Exploring the Hawkesbury and Macquarie’s Towns; co-author of Australian Pioneer Technology, Industrial Archaeology in Australia, Regional Histories of New South Wales and Australia’s Age of Iron: History and Archaeology; and many articles on heritage and local history.

Hon. Robert Nicholson (RWAHS)

RWAHS Delegate

Bob Nicholson has spent his life in the law. After six years as foundation Secretary-General of the Law Council of Australia, he returned to private legal practice in Perth. In 1986 he was appointed to the Commonwealth Administrative Appeals Tribunal. In 1988 he became a justice of the Supreme Court of Western Australia. In 1995 he became a member of the Federal Court of Australia. After reaching the compulsory retirement age in 2007 he became President of the Royal Western Australian Historical Society and now continues on the Council as Past President. In addition to articles on the law, he has published several papers on issues of historical moment concerning the law.

Catherine Pearce (THRA)

THRA Delegate

Catherine Pearce is a librarian working in the local studies area in Launceston, Tasmania, where she manages a collection of historic photographs. Passionate about museums and history from a young age, she is Vice President of the Launceston Historical Society. Catherine holds a Master of Social Sciences degree from the University of Tasmania. Her research interests include local history, women’s history, Australian art history, the convict era and the Federation movement.

Dr Barry Russell (HSNT)

HSNT Delegate

Dr Barry Russell is a Curator Emeritus at the Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT), Darwin, and a Research Fellow at Charles Darwin University. He is a fish taxonomist with over 40 years research experience, and a former Assistant Director of the MAGNT. He has a passionate interest in the history of early natural history in Australia, and is a member of the Society for the History of Natural History. He is currently researching the life and natural history contributions of Lt James Barker Emery, who sailed on HMS Beagle in northern Australia (1837-41); and the life and ichthyological work of French explorer, diplomat and naturalist, F.L. de Castelnau, who was the French Consul General in Melbourne from 1863-1877.  

Julia Ryan (CDHS)

CDHS Delegate

A retired senior secondary history teacher and ACT Department of Education curriculum adviser, Julia Ryan was a founding member of the ACT History Teachers Association in the 1960s. Co-convenor of the Association’s professional development committee for many years she co-organised the History Teachers Association of Australia’s 2001 Conference to celebrate the Centenary of Federation. Since 2003 she has been a Council member of the Canberra & District Historical Society and, on their behalf, has managed such ACT Heritage Grant Projects as Settler Society on Record and Canberra History Gateway.  

Stephen Sheaffe (RHSQ)

RHSQ Delegate

A barrister, former president of the Royal Historical Society of Queensland, former member of the RHSQ Council and holder of many executive positions on the Council. Currently the president of the Queensland National Trust and the Queensland representative on the Australian Council of National Trusts.

John Davies

Executive Officer

John Davies is retired from the Australian Public Service, where he was an Information Technology Officer. He has been working for the FAHS part-time since 2006.