I am a professional historian and the principal of HM Bennett, a Brisbane-based business providing professional history research and heritage assessment expertise.
With over three decades’ experience in this field, including 19 years employed in the Queensland Government’s Heritage Branch, I can offer a wide experience in historical research, assessment, writing, editing and publishing. I also have experience in history/heritage seminar and conference organisation and in providing expert advice to Queensland’s Planning and Environment Court.
I strive to provide a high standard of information and advice to clients and produce well-written and illustrated historical and heritage reports and well-researched, fully-referenced and illustrated histories.
I am a member of the Professional Historians Association (Qld), the Australian Historical Association, the Australian Garden History Society, the National Trust of Queensland and the Brisbane History Group.
Skills and Services Offered
I specialise in the research and writing of historical reports, commissioned histories and heritage surveys and assessments. My work has included general historical research and reporting; history of places and enterprises; thematic histories of regions, local government areas, towns and suburbs; historical heritage assessments and surveys based on recognised local/regional, state and national heritage criteria; history/heritage guides; and family history.
BA (UQ 1975), Dip Ed (UQ 1976), Grad Dip Media Studies (AFTRS 1987) PhD (Griffith 2011)
Professional Interests
My professional interests lie in the history of the pattern of development of Queensland’s towns and suburbs; in the evolution and conservation of the built environment generally; in nineteenth and early twentieth century drapery firms and department stores; and in the role of women as entrepreneurs. The history of residential flats in Brisbane in the 1920s and 1930s is a particular interest.
Publications and Experience

Alfred Henry Towndrow and Margaret Shaw Blaikie: a family portrait c.1700-2015, commissioned private publication, 2015.
Work faithfully performed... A history of E. Chapman & Son Pty Ltd, builders and contractors since 1869, Everton Hills, Qld: E. Chapman & Son Pty Ltd, 2013.
(Editor and principal author) Using the criteria: a methodology. An interpretation and methodological framework for entering places in the Queensland Heritage Register using the criteria established by the Queensland Heritage Act 1992, Brisbane: Queensland Heritage Council, 2006.
(Editor and principal author) Illustrated guide to entering houses in the Queensland Heritage Register, Brisbane: Queensland Heritage Council, 2005 (on-line at

Journal Articles:
‘History, Heritage and the Professional Historian’, pp 49-52 in Circa, Issue 4, 2014.
‘New Farm from quality street to mixed assortment’ pp151-75 in Rod Fisher (ed.), Brisbane: Houses, Gardens, Suburbs and Congregations, (Brisbane History Group Papers No.22), Kelvin Grove, Qld: BHG, 2010.
‘Alexander Stewart and the evolution of West Ashgrove’ in Barry Shaw (ed.), Brisbane: People and Places of Ashgrove, (Brisbane History Group Papers No.21), Kelvin Grove, Qld: BHG, 2010.
‘An interwar ‘sea change’: the impact of the modern Brisbane flat on the urban environment’ Chapter 2 in Lynette Finch (ed.), Seachange, New and Renewed Urban Landscapes. 9th Australasian Urban History/Planning History Conference. Caloundra, February 2008. Proceedings (CD-Rom). Maroochydore, Qld: University of the Sunshine Coast, 2008.
‘Being Modern: Living in Flats in Interwar Brisbane’ pp35-48 in Queensland Review, 13:2, 2006.
‘The Business of Building: remodelling Brisbane’s central business district 1900-1940’ pp1-5 in Helen Bennett, Maureen Lillie and Bronwyn Price, Brisbane’s Commercial Heritage 1900-1940: Three walking tours of the CBD (Brisbane History Group Tour No.23), Kelvin Grove, Qld: BHG, 2002.
‘Borrowed Mythologies: recycling Brisbane’s inner city heritage’ in Sustainable Heritage Conference Proceedings (CD-Rom), Brisbane: Queensland Heritage Council, 2000.
‘The Queensland House in the Interwar Period: the Brisbane suburban context’, seminar paper 12 in Interwar House and Suburb: The middle class dream Conference Proceedings, Sydney: National Trust of Australia (New South Wales), 1998.
‘From Byzantium to Brisbane – the Cathedral of St Nicholas’ pp16-18 in National Trust of Queensland Journal, April 1996.
‘Re-discovering Warwick: looking beyond the façades’ pp12-14 in National Trust of Queensland Journal, October 1996.
‘Alexander Jolly and the Greening of Ithaca’, p5 in National Trust of Queensland Bulletin, February 1994.
‘Building Our Heritage’ pp13-14 in National Trust Queensland Journal, October 1990.
‘Studying a community concept: late nineteenth century Toowong’ pp49-56 in Rod Fisher (ed.), Brisbane: Public, Practical, Personal (Brisbane History Group Papers No.1), Chelmer, Qld: BHG, 1981.

‘Significance Assessment, Engineers Australia (Queensland Division) Brisbane Archive’ (Report), March 2014.
‘Emerald District Hospital (former), historical report’ (including significance assessment), November 2012.
‘Grantham Butter Factory, historical report’, September 2012.
‘42 Maxwell Street, New Farm, historical report’, June 2012.
‘Interpreting the modern: Flatland in Brisbane 1920-1941; living in multiple-occupancy dwellings in interwar Brisbane’ (PhD thesis, unpublished), Nathan, Qld: School of Humanities, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Griffith University, 2010.
Beaudesert Shire Thematic Historical Overview, Brisbane: Environmental Protection Agency (Queensland), 2000.
Gatton Shire Thematic Historical Overview, Brisbane: Environmental Protection Agency (Queensland), 1999.
Warwick Shire Thematic Historical Overview, Brisbane: Environmental Protection Agency (Queensland), 1994.
‘South Brisbane Municipal Council Chambers’, Report for Department Technical and Further Education, Queensland, 1990.
‘Treasury Building, Brisbane’, Report for Department Public Works, Queensland, 1990.

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