From the highlights of the National Trust Heritage Festival to events commemorating the World War I centenary, this May and June there are a whole host of history and family history exhibitions, open days, seminars, talks and more from around Australia and New Zealand. Here is our round-up of the best!
Coffs Harbour District Family History Society Seminar
What: Coffs Harbour District Family History Inc will hold an in-depth seminar featuring guest speaker Ben Mercer from Ancestry, sharing tips and tricks for getting the most out of the site as well as AncestryDNA.
Where: Community Village, Earl Street, Coffs Harbour
When: Saturday 28 May, 10am – 4pm
Cost: $30 for visitors, $25 for members
More: Coffs Harbour District Family History Inc
Visiting London’s Big 3: The National Archives, SOG and the British Library
What: Virtually every family historian with British heritage has dreamt of researching at these three standout institutions. This lecture from Sue Stenning, with the Society of Australian Genealogists, will explain how to go about accessing these collections.
Where: Richmond Villa, 120 Kent Street Sydney
When: Saturday 28 May, 1:30pm – 3:30pm
Cost: $22 for members, $25 for non members
More: Society of Australian Genealogists
With Secrecy and Despatch
What: This artistic exhibition commemorates the 200th anniversary of the Appin Massacre, ordered by Governor Macquarie, with new works by Aboriginal artists and First Nation Canadian artists exploring themes of conflict, culture and colonial brutality.
Where: Campbelltown Arts Centre, 1 Art Gallery Rd, Campbelltown
When: Until Sunday 12 June
More: Campbelltown Arts Centre
Western Front Association Seminar
What: Join the Australian branch of the Western Front Association for a seminar on the First World War. Speakers will discuss AIF battalion commanders on the Western Front, the Gallipoli campaign, and ‘Kitchener’s 100’: Australian surgeons who served as medical officers in the British forces.
Where: 99 on York, York St, Sydney
When: Saturday 18 June
Cost: $20 including lunch
More: Email wfaaaustraliabranch [@] gmail.com
200th Birthday of the Royal Botanic Gardens
What: The Royal Botanic Gardens celebrates the 200th anniversary of its foundation with a range of events, festivals, exhibitions and heritage walks throughout the year.
Where: Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney
More: Royal Botanic Gardens
Footprints: The Journey of Lucy and Percy Pepper
What: This touring exhibition from Public Record Office Victoria (PROV) traces the lives of a remarkable Aboriginal family through the first half of the 20th century, through adversity and triumph.
Where: 63-65 Elgin Street, Morwell
When: Opens Monday 23 May
Islamic Coins: A Journey Through Islamic Civilisation
What: Journey through a diverse range of cultures, empires and territories in this exhibition of Islamic coins at the Islamic Museum of Australia.
Where: Islamic Museum of Australia, 15A Anderson Rd , Thornbury
When: Until Monday 30 May
Cost: $10 entry
More: Islamic Museum of Australia
Using Coroners’ and Fire Inquests for Local and Family History
What: Death inquests and fire inquests can both form invaluable resources for family and local historians, brimming with clues and hints for further research. Joan Hunt will explain how to use these untapped sources at this Genealogical Society of Victoria talk.
Where: GSV Meeting Room, Level B1 257 Collins Street, Melbourne
When: Thursday 23 June, 12pm – 1pm
Cost: Free for GSV members, $10 for non members
More: Genealogical Society of Victoria
19th Century Bling: Goldfields Jewellery
What: Explore the social history of the gold rush era through the intriguing lens of jewellery at this fascinating exhibition at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka (MADE). Over 200 exquisite and rare pieces of Australian goldfields jewellery are on display.
Where: MADE, 102 Stawell St, South Ballarat
When: Until Monday 4 July
Pozières: Australians on the Somme, 1916
What: Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance is commemorating the 100th anniversary of Pozières and the Somme offensive of 1916 with an exhibition of original artefacts, photographs and works of art.
Where: Shrine of Remembrance, Melbourne
When: Until 7 August
More: Shrine of Remembrance
Visualising Modern Australia
What: Discover what treasures and insights await you in the audio-visual materials of the National Archives of Australia (NAA) at this presentation by historian Frank Bongiorno. He will discuss the major changes to public and private life in Australia from the 1960s and ’70s and how these transformations can be traced through film and sound.
Where: National Archives of Australia, Queen Victoria Terrace, Parkes
When: Friday 13 May, 5:30pm – 7:30pm
Cost: Free, bookings essential
It’s Here Somewhere…
What: As invigorating as it can be to expand our family history research, there’s not much point if we can’t find the information we need when we want it! Learn about how to improve your family history record-keeping and filing systems to make your research far easier at this open discussion hosted by the Heraldry and Genealogy Society of Canberra (HAGSOC).
Where: HAGSOC Education Room, 41 Templeton St, Cook
When: Saturday 28 May, 10am – 1pm
Cost: $30 for members, $40 for non members
Two Wheels to the Front Line: Australian Corps Cyclist Battalions
What: Have you ever heard of the Australian Cyclist Battalions? Learn about these unique troops and the role they played during the Great War through the Australian War Memorial’s collection at this public talk.
Where: Australian War Memorial (AWM), BAE Systems Theatre
When: Thursday 20 June, 12pm
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