Changing National History: Adding the Missing Colonial Women

17 September 2018

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The Melville History Society and the City of Melville invite you to the annual Murdoch Lecture presented by renowned historian Dr Lenore Layman

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Changing National History: Adding the Missing Colonial Women

Join the Melville Historical Society for its Annual Murdoch Lecture, presented in partnership with the City of Melville.

Renowned historian, Dr Lenore Layman, will present her research on the absence of women in Australian colonial history, specifically in the first six volumes of the Australian Dictionary of Biography, which cover the colonial period.

The Australian Dictionary of Biography is an indispensable research tool for those working in the field of Australian history, being both authoritative and readily accessible. But it has its flaws. One is the relative absence of women from its pages. Women comprised only two per cent of entries in the first six volumes of the Australian Dictionary of Biography, covering the colonial period (1788-1890) and published in the decade 1966-76. Since then, a few more colonial women have been added but they are still mostly missing from Australia’s pre-eminent biographical dictionary.

Did women really play such an insignificant part in colonial history?

Most of us now answer – definitely not. This talk explores the lives of some of Western Australia’s missing colonial women and what their stories add to our understanding of WA’s past. It also looks at how the making of Western Australian history has changed since the 1960s and asks – what sort of history are we all making today?

About Lenore Layman

Dr Lenore Layman is an historian, now retired from Murdoch University. She has recently published 110° in the Waterbag:  A History of Life, Work and Leisure in Leonora, Gwalia and the Northern Goldfields; Powering Perth: A History of the East Perth Power Station the Electrification of Perth; Blood Nose Politics: A Centenary History of the WA National Party; and co-edited A Historian for All Seasons:  Essays for Geoffrey Bolton. She was the historian member of the team which produced the Australian Asbestos Network website on the health disaster of asbestos use in Australia. Lenore is busy with community history projects and actively involved in the WA History Foundation, Royal WA Historical Society, Society for the Study of Labour History, and Professional Historians Association WA. Historical research, writing and editing, what better to constitute a perfect retirement!

Getting here and refreshments

The event will be held at the City of Melville Civic Centre, 10 Almondbury Road, Booragoon. There is ample parking available off Davy Street, near the Civic Square Library, or you can park in front of the City of Melville Civic Centre in the car park off Almondbury Road.

Light refreshments will be served and commence at 6.30pm with the lecture starting at 7.15pm.

Event Information

Hosted by

Melville History Society and City of Melville

Time6:30 PM - 8:30 PM

Free event but bookings essential. Reserve your place online or phone for more information

Contact Details

City of Melville Customer Relations Team

Phone: 1300 635 845 or 9364 0666

Book this event


City of Melville Civic Centre
10 Almondbury Road
Booragoon Get Directions

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