Editorial: First Web-Based Edition, May 2012

Look to the past, live in the present, and move into the future. It is an ethical code that I put forward for professional historians. Like all codes, it will never settle historiographical debates, but it has a simple point to it that may guide our way.  As historians we want to understand the past, but we ought not to endeavour to live in the past. Our critical capabilities as historians tells that, as much as we inherit choices and habit in time gone-by, the living is the now, and the ability to choose what is at hand is the step into the future. Historical insight also tells us that for the sake of a better future we need to put old habits aside; perhaps just retaining a few sets of crusty habits as part of our charming character but a willingness, nevertheless, to always develop new ones over against old practices.

(more…)

Continue Reading

What’s a name worth in Queensland: Coen & South Coen Rivers

By Geoff Wharton

Coen is one of the oldest European place-names in Queensland. The name ‘de rivier Coen’ (Coen River) first appeared on a chart compiled by the Dutch sailor Arent Martensz de Leeuw of the discoveries of the Pera expedition along the coast of western Cape York Peninsula in 1623.  Hence this is one of the oldest European place-names in Queensland.  The river, which may have been the river now known as the Archer, probably was named after Jan Pieterszoon Coen, Governor-General of the Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie (VOC – United East India Company), often referred to as the Dutch East India Company.

(more…)

Continue Reading

State of the History Profession in Queensland Project

By the Editor

The Management Committee of the Professional Historians Association (Qld) has commissioned a project to look at the state of the history profession in Queensland.

As an association of professional historians, it is natural to be concerned to get an accurate understanding of the state of its profession and of the heritage-history market. The project will incorporate a series of statistical and other analytic studies to assess history research higher degree (RHD) graduate numbers, employment opportunities for historians, and numbers of contracts or work positions available to historians. The important question is the pattern that these indicators form over the past decades to provide a conclusion about the state of the profession in Queensland.

(more…)

Continue Reading

Reviewing Members’ Specific Research Areas

From time to time members of the PHAQ Management Committee get contacted, not about contract bids, but about informal enquiries on various projects. We are then usually asked for members we know that are specialists in particular history fields.

When formal job or contract opportunities are on the table the PHAQ ensures that there is an equality of opportunity for all members, and in such cases, there is no separate liaison between members. Notifications for jobs or contracts are sent out as soon as possible by general email to members. However, where there are enquires that relate to identifying a specialist the Management Committee believes that there is a role in liaison which could be formalised in a PHAQ members’ research area register. Although the PHAQ has a consultants’ register, there is a need for a larger register to cover (at least) most members and a wider range of fields.

(more…)

Continue Reading

Lorna McDonald’s New Book

Lorna McDonald is our former Patron of PHAQ and a member of our association. Lorna’s recent book is a history on life in Rockhampton. The following is from the flyer:  Wonderfully illustrated with priceless photographs, period paintings, drawing and postcards, Treasures in a Tea Tin is brought to life by Central Queensland historian, Dr Lorna McDonald, in such a way…

Continue Reading

The John Douglas Kerr Medal of Distinction for 2011: Emeritus Professor Geoffrey Bolton

At the 2011 Queensland Day dinner hosted by the Royal Historical Society of Queensland, Emeritus Professor Geoffrey Bolton was awarded the John Douglas Kerr Medal of Distinction. Emeritus Professor Geoffrey Bolton is one of Australia’s most eminent historians and can be viewed as the “father” of historical writing on north Queensland. He is author of thirty books and more than…

Continue Reading