The Blackheath History Forum returns with a soon to be announced lineup of interesting and topical speakers.

We’re having an early start at the Gardners Inn on February 24th with the return of Noah Riseman after his 2023 talk was postponed because of the Federal elections.

Explorations in NSW Trans History, 1945-2023
Saturday, 24 February 2024

Trans people have been in Australia since time immemorial, though it is only since the end of the Second World War that there has been a clear discourse and visibility around transness. New South Wales has been the site of much of Australia’s trans visibility, including the first known trans organisation, the oldest service provider, and some of the more heated debates around trans rights. This presentation draws on research in the new book Transgender Australia: A History since 1910, focusing on NSW in the post-Second World War era.

Noah Riseman is a Melbourne-based historian who specialises in Australian histories of sexuality, gender and race, and was Professor of History at the Australian Catholic University for 16 years. He is author or co-author of several books, including Defending Country: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Military Service since 1945 (2016); Serving in Silence? Australian LGBT Servicemen and Women (2018); Indigenous Peoples and the Second World War: The Politics, Experiences and Legacies of War in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand (2019); Pride in Defence: The Australian Military and LGBTI Service Since 1945 (2020) and Transgender Australia: A History Since 1910 (2023). He has also written publicly accessible reports on Australian trans history, most recently A History of Trans Health Care in Australia (AusPATH, 2022) and New South Wales Trans History (The Gender Centre and ACON, 2022).

Pub talks – $15 (includes one drink), 4 pm Saturday, 24 February 2024. Book through Humanitix or pay at the door. Eftpos and cash are accepted.
Payment can be made at the door or you can book in advance online.
Enjoy interesting conversation along with good food and drink at Gardners Inn, Blackheath, the oldest continuously licensed hotel still trading in the Blue Mountains. After the talk stay for a meal at one of the best Pub Food locations in the area, their Beef & Guinness Pot Pie is a signature treat.


We’re finalising our 2024 season which will run from May through to November 2024, on the 2nd Saturday of every month. Watch this space for another programme of topical and fascinating speakers.

For more details see our Program Page for 2024

The talks will be held at 4 pm at Blackheath Public School Hall in Leichhardt St. Blackheath, or at Gardners Inn on the Great Western Highway in Blackheath.

Hall Entry: $10 Waged; $5.00 Unwaged, or Pub talks – $15 (includes one drink),.

Tickets for each event can be purchased online through Humanitix, the Australian owned humane event ticketing platform that donates all profits from booking fees to children’s charities. Tickets will also be available at the door. Card and cash payments accepted.

Afternoon tea at the Hall from 3.30 pm (drink/cake $3 ea.).


We are still seeking volunteers for the committee and the season to set up the sessions, transport and store equipment, or serve behind the cake/tea counter and the entry desk. You don’t have to volunteer for every session (but you can if you like) and you will get free entry, coffee, and cake for your time. Please contact us if you think this might be something you can do.

The Blackheath History Forum is open to anyone interested in understanding Australian history in both its national and global contexts.  Our aim is to highlight ‘the past in the present’.

Our past speakers have included many of Australia’s leading historians, including Joan Beaumont, Judith Brett, Jenny Hocking, Grace Karskens, Stuart MacIntyre, Mark McKenna, Humphrey McQueen, and Henry Reynolds. We’ve also hosted engaging writers with strong historical interests like Meredith Burgmann, Richard Fidler, Jackie French, Paul Kelly, Tom Keneally, and Don Watson.

The Blackheath History Forum received funding from the Australian Government 2021 Volunteer Grants. We have also been supported by the Australian Government’s Culture, Heritage, and Arts Regional Tourism (CHART) program.

With thanks to our marketing partner,



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If you have any questions please Contact Us.

We look forward to meeting you at our next forum event.

Best wishes,

The Blackheath History Forum Committee

Image: Waratah head portrait 2. Doug Becker. CC BY-SA 2.0.

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