It is with deep sadness that the Professional Historians Association (Qld) – and Queensland’s broader history community – farewells Dr Rodney Fisher, who passed away in Brazil on 28 June 2017 following a short illness.
Fisher is best known for his work in recording the architectural heritage and historic character of Brisbane. After moving to Queensland in 1974, Fisher initially lectured in Tudor history, but became intrigued by the early sites of Brisbane and concentrated his research in this field from the early 1980s. During his career, he published extensively on the historic sites around Brisbane, writing or editing dozens of volumes including The Queensland House: a roof over our heads (1994, co-edited with Brian Crozier), Brisbane: local, oral and placename history (1990), and Brisbane in 1888: the historical perspective (1988). Fisher also contributed several articles to the Queensland History Journal, book chapters, and conference papers throughout his career.
Fisher was appointed Director of the Centre of Applied History at the University of Queensland in 1991. He retired from academia in 2001, however maintained strong links with academic institutions and served as a consultant to UQ postgraduate students for several years. He was an advocate of community engagement with history, serving as a consultant to the Brisbane Living Heritage Network, Turrbal Association, and Brisbane History Group. Fisher was as an assessor for the Queensland Heritage Council and a member of the Brisbane City Council Heritage Advisory Committee, and his enthusiasm for local heritage was evidenced in his involvement in moves to establish the Brisbane History Group and the Professional Historians Association of Queensland.
The Professional Historians Association (Qld) extends its condolences to Fisher’s family, colleagues, and friends.