Making Public Histories Seminar Program (2017)

Old Treasury Building, March – June 2017

This seminar series, now in its tenth year and offered jointly by the Monash University History Program, History Council of Victoria and Old Treasury Building, explores issues and approaches in making public histories and is open to anyone interested in the creation and impact of history in contemporary society.

Reinterpreting Heritage Houses: Re-imagining Ripponlea

Tuesday May 2

Martin Green, Linda Young and Graeme Davison

This year the National Trust is planning the reinterpretation of Rippon Lea House and Garden (, Australia’s largest surviving 19th-century suburban estate. But has the house museum model become out-of-date? Martin Green (Cultural Engagement Manager, The National Trust of Australia, Victoria) looks at what house museums must do to engage contemporary audiences in their story and survive in the increasingly competitive tourism landscape. Graeme Davison (Monash Emeritus Professor and Melbourne historian) and Linda Young(Deakin Senior Lecturer in Cultural Heritage & Museum Studies and  author of a new history of Historic House Museums in the United Kingdom & the United States), will respond to the Rippon Lea plan and what it says about the prospects for re-interpreting heritage houses in Australia today.This seminar is presented as part of the 2017 Heritage Festival.

Making Digital Aural History: Australian Lives: An Intimate History  

Tuesday June 6

Anisa Puri and Alistair Thomson

Drawing upon interviews from the Australian Generations oral history project, Australian Lives is a book rich with testimony from diverse Australians about the history of everyday life across the past century. It’s also a book with a difference: e-book users can listen to hundreds of interview extracts by connecting direct to the National Library online archive. Authors Anisa Puri (President, Oral History NSW) and Alistair Thomson (Monash University) discuss the digital technologies that are enabling new types of aural history, consider the challenges of creating Australian Lives and showcase intimate histories from the book (details at

Where and When: 

6pm to 7.30pm – Old Treasury Building, Spring Street (by Parliament Station)

Admission is free – Bookings required.  Please book at