Melanie Tasker
I am interested in the many influences and impacts of evolving international histories, socio-culture, attitudes and beliefs on the founding and progression of Australia as a society and as a nation.

History is far more than the dates and names of victors (and losers) caught up in major world events; it is the often disparate stories of regular men, women and children.

Understanding history gives voice to all, the rich, the poor, the successful and the silenced. It acknowledges our past, contextualises our present, and informs our future.

My interests lie primarily with social history - the grass roots history of the minutiae of everyday life contextualised within wider international, national and local social, cultural, medical and political paradigms.

Most importantly, history is best celebrated, respected and accessible to all when it’s served with a collaborative dose of fun.
Skills and Services Offered
Academic articles
Books and booklets
Newspaper and magazine articles
Heritage research for heritage applications
Biographical research
PowerPoint presentations
Physical history and visual image displays
Direct personal and professional research projects
Research undertaken for others’ chosen outputs and uses
Bachelor of Historical Inquiry and Practice (University of New England) - Awarded the graduate Jennifer Crew Prize in History.
Graduate Certificate in Information Studies (Charles Sturt University)
Professional Interests
Colonial and post-colonial Australian Histories
British histories
Australian social histories
House, building and property histories
Local and community histories
Business history
Public and private organisations, services, and institutional histories
Historical crime and justice
Medical and mortuary histories
Publications and Experience

Traces Magazine:
•     ‘Murder or Misadventure on the Moana?’ Traces, volume 26, 2024
Two suspicious 1919 cyanide deaths onboard the Union Steamship Company of New Zealand’s RMS Moana.
•     ‘Colonial Australia – Affairs of Honour’ Traces, volume 25, 2023
A very brief insight into the history of Colonial Australian duels positioned within broader social, cultural, economic and legal contexts.

“Looking Back”- the History Hermit: a regular column published in the Beaudesert Times newspaper from 2022:
•     ‘Precedented Times’ – Looking at the government-mandated local responses to the Spanish Flu pandemic.
•     ‘On the Road’ – Early automobiles in the district.
•     ‘A Bit of Drama’ – Local community theatre entertainment and thespians at war in the days before television.
•     ‘A Test of Faith’ – An historical ‘whodunnit?’
•     ‘Lights Out’ – Local responses to broader WWII black-out laws.
•     ‘In the Trenches’ – The community get busy digging slit-trenches and constructing air-raid shelters.
•     ‘Cops and Robbers’ – In which Constable Vincent Dowling is accidentally shot by the good guy. Don’t worry, it ends well.
•     ‘Beards and Burlesque’ – A local 1949 fundraiser involving beards and burly dudes.
•     ‘Looking Back on Times Past’ – A history of the local newspaper within the context of community newspapers’ contributions to societies both past and present.
•     ‘Etiquette of Mourning’ – Local observance of the strict Victorian era ‘Cult of Death’ mortuary protocols.
•     ‘Making Tracks’ – The construction of the rail line to the district including the impacts - both positive and negative - to communities within the broader contexts of 19th century Queensland rail construction.
•     ‘Ahead of their Time’ – local inventors and patent holders.
•     ‘Fire!’ – The decimation and the responses of one of many colonial timber-towns prone to conflagration.
•     ‘Beaudesert Fire Brigade’ – Like other Queensland towns and cities, the local ‘bucket brigade’ is finally, if not easily, corralled into a cohesive fire brigade.
•     ‘What’s in a Name?’ – The stories behind community members immortalised in local street names.
•     ‘Black Gold’ – The exciting, if not ultimately anticlimactic, local discovery of crude oil positioned within the context of Australia’s early 20th century race to discover a gusher large enough to dig the economy out of its own economic deep hole.
•     ‘Beaudesert Cemetery’ – The Cemetery Act of 1865 and its influence on the construction of, and economic responsibility for, the new public cemetery.

The Beaudesert War Memorial 1915-1921, Beaudesert Historical Society, 2017.

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