Newsletter 7 April 2020
What very strange times we are now living in! I hope you are coping with the restrictions and that the organisations you are affiliated with are able to keep functioning, albeit in an altered way. It is difficult for many historians to conduct research (with the major collecting institutions shut to the public), but for those who have amassed information which they have not yet worked through, this may be the perfect opportunity to get stuck into those projects that get put on the backburner.
The corona virus pandemic has caused the History Council to cancel many planned events. We could not hold our General Committee meeting on 6 April, and have had to post-pone the tour of the archives of the State Library (which was open to all members and was to have preceded our meeting) and a presentation from Anna Pope of Heritage SA. Committee members are sending in their reports which will be amalgamated in lieu of minutes.
Our Awards Night was to have been held at the State Library on Friday 29 May. That too has been cancelled, and unfortunately we will not be holding an awards night this year. At our next executive committee meeting we will decide when, where and how the winners of the 2020 awards will be announced. Plans for our regional lecture were well underway when restrictions on gatherings were introduced. These plans are now on hold but we are optimistic that we will be able to hold a regional lecture later in the year.
Our eNewsletter is now up and running. Our first edition for 2020 went out on 13 March 2020, and we are aiming to publish it fortnightly. The History Council is indebted to Catherine Manning from the History Trust and our wonderful volunteer Jess Lauren for their help (we have had trouble formatting the newsletter through the website, but we are ironing these problems out). So please, especially over the next few months when we are all working remotely and unable to socialise and catchup as normal, please forward Sandra our secretary any items you may think of interest to our members. This newsletter begins with some ideas to keep your spirits up while you remain at home.
Wishing you all the best as you work from your homes and adjust to the new normal,
Virtual escapes while social distancing
Art Gallery of South Australia Online Collection
AGSA has one of the largest art museum collections in Australia, comprising almost 45,000 works of art spanning 2000 years. Our collection includes paintings, sculpture, prints and drawings, photographs and videos, textiles and clothing, ceramics, glass, metalwork, jewellery and furniture. Search the collection online here.
Art in the time of Covid-19
It's hard to believe that only a month ago we were celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the Adelaide Festival (you can watch our little wrap video here). How the world has changed.
In difficult times, we believe that the arts can both inspire and strengthen our community. Now more than ever we all need art to give us comfort, hope and connection. And while we can’t come together in person right now to enjoy these uplifting experiences, there are still many ways of accessing, enjoying and interacting with art.
We want to do our little part to spread joy, even from afar, directly to your safe spaces. Read on for some ideas from us to you.
Adelaide Festival 60 Years Book
This should brighten many rainy (isolated) days: 296 pages of Festival stories from the last 60 years in a stunning cloth-bound, hardback limited edition coffee table book. Get lost in stunning photography and tales that capture moments in time, both sweeping and intimate. Order yours here.
Things that made us smile, from the Adelaide Festival
And maybe they'll make you smile, too?
Star Trek star, Sir Patrick Stewart has taken to reading a Shakespearean sonnet a day on Twitter. With 154 sonnets, that should keep him going for a few months.
While in isolation, tenor Tomas Dalton and baritone Tom Hamilton performed an intimate rendition of "I Still Call Australia Home" to their apartment neighbours.
Similarly, The Rotterdam Philharmonic players joined forces from their loungerooms to perform this joyful "Ode to Joy".
Our own Adelaide Symphony Orchestra's Dean Newcomb recorded this beautiful Mozart Clarinet Concerto Adagio for a cloned clarinettist
"I've been self-isolating for six days and this broke me. I am sobbing. Bravo everyone." We are sobbing, too - watch the couch choir's rendition of "Close to You" and try to keep a dry eye.
And while we're at it, Google Arts & Culture is always worth a look, heaps of fun stuff to read and do with new additions all the time.
Protect our Heritage Alliance (POHA)
Good news: A 15,700+ petition was presented to Parliament 26 March.
Bad news: Sunday 22 March Rally was cancelled due to the PM’s 500 limit on gatherings. It will be held later in 2020.
The news about the Planning and Design Code does not get any better. (see 3 Feb Report).
There are already inappropriate developments being constructed with rules not being followed – e.g. masses of concrete poured instead of using permeable paving. There are still letters in The Advertiser against the Code and radio/wireless debates on David Bevan’s 8.91 am show between POHA Convenor Professor Warren Jones and State Planning Commissioners Michael Lennon (or Alan Holmes ex DPTI) and The Minister for Planning, Hon Stefan Knoll. The last three think every is fine re: The Code. It seems at the moment Minister Knoll doesn’t see the need to defer the implementation of The Code (because of Covid-19), from the 3 month extension agreed to by Parliament recently, (i.e. to September this year).
However at last Labor have weighed in for deferral (remember that former Labor Minister for Planning John Rau started this catastrophe?). Shadow Minister for Planning Hon Tony Piccolo has written to the Minister for Planning requesting a deferral until 1 July 2021. He also asks that contributory items (that add to the character of a street be included in new planning reforms. They weren’t included by Labor under Rau. “The Opposition, Housing Industry Association, Master Builders Association and Urban Development Institute of Australia and community groups have demanded the rollout of the statewide planning and design code be pushed out until as late as July next year” - The Advertiser Sat 4 April 2020. Strange bedfellows...
To be continued...
Around the country
ANZAC Day 2020
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year the Australian War Memorial will hold a private, nationally televised Anzac Day commemorative service. This service will be held in the Commemorative Area and Hall of Memory at 5.30 am on Anzac Day. The traditional Dawn Service, National Ceremony and veterans’ march will not take place.
The event will not be open to the public but will be broadcast live across Australia by the ABC and streamed online.
Explore the Australian War Memorial's Digital Collections Online
While the galleries are closed, staff are working behind the scenes to continue creating digital collections and offering online services.
Using the Memorial’s website you can:
• Follow #LPCarchive on Facebook and Twitter to see archived Last Post Ceremonies
• Get started researching your family’s military service
• Ask Research Centre staff for advice on how to research or use our online collections
• Listen to the Memorial’s podcasts that highlight our military history
• Visit the online shop for a wonderful selection of books and gifts
Jill Roe Prize Due Date Extended
In recognition of the widespread disruptions caused by Covid-19, the Australian Historical Association is extending the due date for the Jill Roe Prize. The Prize is awarded annually by the AHA for the best unpublished article-length work of historical research in any area of historical enquiry produced by a postgraduate student. The Award will consist of a cash payment of $150 and a citation, as well as consideration for publication by History Australia.
Applications due 17 April 2020
NAA-AHA Scholarships Due Date Extended
In recognition of the widespread disruptions caused by Covid-19, the AHA and NAA are extending the due date for the NAA/AHA Postgraduate Scholarship. National Archives of Australia-Australian Historical Association scholarships assist talented postgraduate scholars with the cost of copying records held in the Archives. Students enrolled in a Masters or PhD degree in history are invited to apply. Four scholarships will be awarded.
Applications due 17 April 2020
National Library of Australia Community Heritage Grants Applications Open
The Community Heritage Grants (CHG) program provides grants to community organisations such as libraries, archives, museums, genealogical and historical societies, multicultural and Indigenous groups. The grants are provided to assist with the preservation of locally owned, but nationally significant collections of materials that are publicly accessible.
Applications due 4 May 2020.
National Library of Australia 2021 Fellowships Applications Open
The National Library of Australia, in partnership with its generous sponsors and donors, offers researchers an opportunity to undertake a 12-week residency at the Library. Applicants may work in any field or discipline where the Library’s collections have appropriate depth and breadth to support the desired outcomes.
Applications due 5.00pm(AEST), 29 May 2020
The Federation of Australian Historical Societies Local History Backup Campaign: How Historical Societies can work for the preservation of their invaluable collections
One of the principal roles of community historical and heritage societies is the collection and preservation of items that together tell the stories of our history and heritage. As demonstrated in the FAHS flyer, ‘Societies have collected and preserved millions of items which form a significant part of Australia’s cultural heritage and the Distributed National Collection. Increasingly their images, documents and artefacts are being digitised and made available online, often through the Commonwealth-funded National Library of Australia Trove platform.’
In the light of the disastrous recent summer, the drive to digitise and otherwise seek to protect and preserve collections is even more urgent. We face the uncertainties of climate change, fires, floods and other potential disasters that threaten the physical security of our collections. I am sure that most of us are aware of examples of societies whose collections have been lost or damaged in the last decade.
FAHS is a partner of Blue Shield Australia (BSA), which in turn is part of an international network that seeks to protect the world’s cultural heritage that is threatened by armed conflict and natural disasters. To coincide with Blue Shield Australia’s annual MayDay campaign on the first day of May, the Federation of Australian Historical Societies is launching a national project to encourage historical societies to join the Local History Backup.
Federation of Australian Historical Societies Merit Awards
Nominations for 2020 close on 30 June 2020.
$1.5 million in South Australian Government assistance for the arts sector
COVID-19 is already having a significant impact on our society and economy, and people working in the arts and culture sector are particularly feeling these effects.
Arts South Australia has re-configured its available grant funds to assist artists and organisations to respond to immediate pressures being experienced.
Total funding of $1.5 million will be allocated in the coming weeks. The COVID-19 programs and opportunities are as follows:
Grants and funding:
Arts Organisations’ Collaboration: grants of up to $100,000 for major arts and cultural organisations, the small-to-medium sector and independent artists to achieve employment outcomes, explore new ways of working together, create and develop work and engage with audiences. Applications close 5pm Tuesday, 14 April 2020.
It will be a condition of funding that the independent artists and smaller organisations will be the primary financial beneficiaries, with the major organisation contributing in-kind resources and organisational capacity (such as staff time or facilities) to the project or initiative which is the subject of the application.
Arts South Australia is also working with many organisations funded through the Arts Organisations Program that will be granted supplementary funding for a predetermined amount. Grant amounts have been determined following consideration of organisations that have experienced financial loss through cancelled tours, performances or other activities, their capacity to honour existing contracts with creatives, their capacity to continue to employ people, and the available funding pool. In excess of $500,000 will be allocated through this measure.
Arts South Australia is providing flexibility for artists and arts organisations by:
- Varying the purpose, conditions and reporting requirements for all existing grants, and applications submitted in recent grant rounds, where circumstances have changed as a result of COVID-19
- Approving variations to current funding agreements to enable activity to be continued in different ways, or to enable funding recipients to honour existing contractual arrangements especially with artists and arts workers, or retain grant funding and apply it to other more pressing purposes
- Simplifying application and reporting requirements to reduce administrative burden and fast-track the release of funds.
In addition, a donation of $50,000 to “Support Act” has just been made to enable increased support towards the organisation’s “Support Act Wellbeing Helpline” and other vital services provided to the sector, particularly the Australian musicians and music workers and crew.
Also, the Commonwealth Government has recently released a range of support measures for individuals and businesses, including income support, early release of superannuation, cash payments and guaranteed loans for small and medium businesses. Further information can be found at www.business.sa.gov.au.
Arts South Australia will provide regular updates to the sector as new information comes to hand over the coming weeks, including further support measures, and the sharing of new ideas and approaches. We are re-activating the Arts South Australia Facebook page and further updates will be published on www.arts.sa.gov.au.
Inaugural Australian Lebanese Historical Society Competition for Secondary School Students
Investigating the Australian Lebanese Story
The Competition aims to encourage students to research their Lebanese immigration history and the history of Lebanese in Australia. This is the goal of the ALHS and we hope that this Competition will result in a new generation of Australian Lebanese eager to research and write their own story adding to those which ALHS members have been researching and writing since the foundation of the ALHS twenty years ago.
This is an activity that is very safe to do in our present Covid 19 pandemic situation. It can be done at home, within the family, using computer access to resources such as the ALHS website, the National Library of Australia website with its Trove section full of wonderful resources, as well as local and overseas online libraries and resource centres, and a very rich source - older family members who can be reached by phone, Skype, Zoom, FaceTime, WhatsApp and all the other safe means of communication.
Any questions about the competition can be addressed to Antonia Simpson, Coordinator, ALHS Secondary Schools Competition 2020, at [email protected]