Barbara Webster
Barbara Webster undertakes historical research and writing about people,
places, organisations, institutions, events and environments. Her particular
interest is Central Queensland history and how people there organised their
lives socially, industrially, politically and demographically, as well as
interacted with and impacted the natural environment. Barbara is an
experienced oral history practitioner and has books, chapters in edited works
and national and international journal articles to her credit. Her work
experience includes more than two decades in the tertiary education field
researching, writing course materials and teaching local history and heritage
studies as well as broader areas of Australian and world history. She is on
the editorial panel of the leading journal Labour History and a member of
three national history associations and two local history societies in
Central Queensland. While bringing academic rigour to her research and
writing, Barbara produces accessible histories that can be enjoyed by a
general audience.
Skills and Services Offered
Historical research and commissioned histories of organisations,
institutions, people, places, events and environments.
Oral history interviews
Creating historical bibliographies and databases
Heritage consultancy
Post-graduate thesis examination
Thesis and manuscript editing and proofing
Public speaking
BA, CertTeach, MLitt, PhD
Professional Interests
Central Queensland regional and local history and heritage
Social, political and industrial history
Environmental and urban history
Historical geography and patterns of settlement, transport
and communications
Genealogy and family history
Publications and Experience

Commissioned research

Historical research for Gladstone Power Station, covering both institutional history and stories of working life (2009–2011)

Researching and writing an institutional history of the Fitzroy Basin Association Inc. (2007–2008)

Environmental history research and writing on the Fitzroy River and Keppel Bay for the Historical Coastlines: Community Perspectives project of the Cooperative Research Centre for Coastal Zone, Estuary and Waterway Management (2000–2006)

Selected Publications


Working towards a sustainable future: A history of the Fitzroy Basin Association Incorporated, FBA, Rockhampton, 2008.

Marooned: Rockhampton’s great flood of 1918, Cooperative Research Centre for Coastal Zone, Estuary and Waterway Management, Brisbane, 2003.

Contributions to edited works:

‘Rockhampton’s great flood of 1918’, Queensland Historical Atlas, 2009–2010,’s-great-flood-1918.

 ‘Staunch but conservative: The trade union movement in Rockhampton [to 1957]’, Queensland Historical Atlas, 2009-2010,–-trade-union-movement-rockhampton.

 “‘The best deal for workers”: Rockhampton unions and the Queensland arbitration system to 1957’, in B Bowden, S Blackwood, C Rafferty and C Allan (eds), Work and strife  in paradise: The history of labour relations in Queensland  1859-2009, Federation Press, Annandale, 2009.

 ‘Celebrating the “Great Boon”: Eight Hour Day and early
Labour Day in Rockhampton, 1909–1929’, in J Kimber
and P Love (eds), The time of their lives: The eight hour
day and working life, Australian Society for the Study of
Labour History, Melbourne, 2007.

 ‘Crafting Keppel Bay: The evolution of a coastal landscape’, in S Mullins, M Danaher and B Webster (eds), Community, environment and history: Keppel Bay Case Studies, CQU Press/Coastal CRC, Rockhampton, 2006.

‘A “disorderly, hydra~headed river”: Engineering the Fitzroy in the Age of Progress’, in S Mullins, M Danaher and B Webster (eds), Community, environment and history: Keppel Bay case studies, CQU Press/Coastal CRC, Rockhampton, 2006.

 ‘“A podium for politics”: The origins and role of the Rockhampton Trades and Labour Council and its predecessors’, in B Ellem, R Markey and J Shields (eds), Australian labour councils: Origins, purpose, power, agency, Federation Press, Sydney, 2004.

Numerous academic journal articles in History Australia, Labour History and Environment and History and published and unpublished peer-reviewed conference papers relating to trade unions, railway workers and meatworkers in Rockhampton, Gladstone electricity industry workers and environmental history of the Fitzroy River and Keppel Bay.

Phone Number
(07) 4938 3867
0413 008 285

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