PHA Qld 2016-17 Year in Review

At the PHA Qld AGM on Saturday 14 October, Outgoing President Jonathan Richards delivered a report to members on the 2016-17 working year. At the outset, Jonathan thanked the members of the Management Committee for their friendship, good company and support, and their ongoing contribution to the success of the Association, noting that PHA Qld would not continue as a viable organisation without their efforts.
PHA Qld currently has 82 members with several enquiries for membership in progress. Long-time member Dr Lorna McDonald OAM died earlier this year, aged 100. The Association is in a healthy financial situation, largely due to the efforts of the Management Committee and Tim Roberts as Treasurer.
Two successful social events were held over the year, one in March at the Breakfast Creek Hotel and a second in June at the Regatta Hotel. A social day and General Meeting was held at retiring Patron of the Association, Ross Johnston’s home at Tomewin in May. These events would not be possible without organisation by Lee Butterworth and Hilda Maclean, and Ross Johnston for his wonderful hospitality at Tomewin.
The Association hosted a professional development day at the Queensland Art Gallery in October 2017, which was attended by over 20 PHA Qld members and a number of guests. Some valuable feedback has been received from members and will be used to coordinate future professional development sessions.
Jonathan Richards continued to represent PHA Qld on the Queensland State Archives User Group, and Carmel Black has done the same at the National Archives of Australia Consultative Forum. These meetings have raised the profile of PHA Qld and offered opportunities for informal networking with other history groups. Both stakeholder groups have granted insights into the priorities and complexities of record management and preservation, as well as permitted access to some internal documents (including more than 20,000 QSA records on the web-enabled series list). QSA staff are, as a direct result of lobbying by the members of the User Group, currently negotiating with state government departments regarding restricted access period (RAP) policies.
The John Douglas Kerr Medal was jointly awarded by PHA Qld with Royal Historical Society of Queensland to Emeritus Professor Geoffrey Blainey AC, a noted Australian historian. Vice-President Tim Roberts ably represented PHA Qld at the award ceremony, including the preparation and delivery of the citation.
Scanning of PHA Qld records continues, and volunteers met three times in the last year to assess, scan and file many years of paperwork. The massive task of converting all paper records to digital files is almost completed. Thanks to all members who have given their time for this project; to the University of Queensland for use of their campus facilities; and in advance to the Fryer Library for accepting the paper copies that we determine to have been safely superseded by digital versions.
Neville Buch has capably maintained the PHA Qld e-bulletin and Facebook page, especially at a time of great personal stress; and Tim Roberts has updated the PHA Qld website and continued to develop the e-bulletin. PHA Qld needs to maintain a strong digital profile, and the Association’s current website is in need of a revamp.
The committee thanks Neville Buch and Helen Brackin for their sterling contribution to the management of the Association over the past 12 months, and to the extraordinary job that Ross Johnston has done as the Association’s Patron. The newly elected executive and management committee are as named:
Patrons: Emeritus Professor Clive Moore and Dr Jan Wegner
President: Mr Timothy Roberts
Honorary Secretary and Membership Secretary: Ms Janice Cooper
Honorary Treasurer: Dr Jonathan Richards
Committee Members: Dr Carmel Black, Dr Lee Butterworth, Dr Ray Kerkhove, Dr Ruth Kerr OAM, Ms Maureen Lillie, Dr Hilda Maclean.