By Neville Buch
Disclaimer: The views expressed herein are solely those of the author and do not claim to represent the Professional Historians Association.
The economy, or more precisely, economic value, works differently among members of the Professional Historians Association. Those members who are academics are paid by universities primarily to teach and to gain future research funding by delivering research outputs, mainly publications which will count in Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) evaluations. Actually producing history professionally is a by-product in this particular facet of the economy. Other members are employees of government entities. As public servants, they may have the role of historians but they must perform dissimilar bureaucratic duties for which they are also paid to do. A few members are consultants in the employ of private companies, and others are freelance consultants. These members are paid to complete historical projects but are subject to the demands of the market, and many times the market doesn’t want or offer terribly much.