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 Henry Reynolds, Judith Brett, Jenny Hocking, Stuart MacIntyre, Mark McKenna, and Humphrey McQueen. We’ve also hosted writers with strong historical interests like Tom Keneally, Paul Kelly, and Don Watson.

Between July 29 and October 21 we shall be hosting fortnightly talks at the Blackheath Primary School hall, corner of Leichhardt Street and the Great Western Highway (see map below).

Doors open at 3.30, talks start at 4.00, followed by a Q&A which generally ends around 6.00. Admission is $5 (free to those 18 and under). Refreshments are also available for a small additional charge.


Full details of this year’s program will soon be available on our website.  But here is an outline of what we have in store for you.

July 29   The History behind SBS’s “Who Do You Think You Are?”                 LINDA EMERY (freelance historian and researcher for SBS)

August 12  British Colonisation and Official Terrorism in Van Diemen’s Land                                                                                                                                   NICK BRODIE (University of Tasmania)

August 26  When Atomic Thunder Rolled Across Australia   ELIZABETH TYNAN  (James Cook University)

September 9  Dr Marx, Professor Childe and manure: some rather crude materialism (Vere Gordon Childe Lecture)                                      HUMPHREY MCQUEEN (independent historian and activist) 

September 23  The Secret Cold War: ASIO,  1975-1989                                     RHYS CRAWLEY (Australian War Memorial & ASIO official historian)

October 7  Snakebite, science and suffering: serpents, dogs and doctors in colonial Australia                                                                                                PETER HOBBINS  (University of Sydney)

October 21  Recovering the Hawkesbury’s Vanished Places: Four River Stories                                                                                                                                 GRACE KARSKENS (University of NSW)



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

Best wishes,

The Blackheath History Forum Committee