Editorial – The Best of Times, The Worst of Times, July 2012

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

When feeling despondent about the recent political and economic environment in Queensland, we need to remind ourselves of Dickens’ words, and the thought that it is not over yet. The “fat girl” hasn’t sung, and her name is history. Professional historians are not history yet in this state! We, as an Association, have it in our own hands to make our future and that is why I urge members to consider and read carefully the item in this e-bulletin, called “Announcing Strategic Planning”.

We respect each other’s private business interest and the right to compete in the marketplace, however, as professionals, our commitment is to the good of the history vocation, and that means we need to think strategically about our interests as a group of professional historians. It is important in the best of times, and it is essential in the worst of times. We have an opportunity at the 2012 Annual General Meeting to make a difference. Make plans now for the AGM, commencing 5.30pm, 26 September, The Billiard Room, Old Government House, 2 George Street, Brisbane (within grounds of Queensland University of Technology).

Think about what you can do for the Association. There is a significant vacancy for the treasurer position, and all Management Committee positions are open for nomination for the coming year. Furthermore, we will need members to be more active and participate in PHAQ working groups. Our hopes and aspirations, in a career as a professional historian, do not just happen due to good luck. A great part of our work depends on the collaboration of our colleagues working to build up the profession.

Hang in there, and seek the support of your fellow members. And ask yourself how can help myself and the history profession in Queensland.