Changing National History: Adding the Missing Colonial Women

The Melville History Society has much pleasure inviting your members to the 32nd Murdoch lecture to be held on Monday 17th September 2018 hosted by the City of Melville at the Melville Civic Centre 10 Almondbury Rd Booragoon.

Our guest speaker this year will be Dr Lenore Layman who will deliver her paper:

Changing National History: Adding the Missing Colonial Women

Dr Layman is an historian, now retired from Murdoch University. She has numerous publications. Please see the attached biography.

The proceedings begin at 6.30pm with light refreshments, the lecture commencing at 7.15pm and taking approximately 45 minutes, followed by question time

Should you have any family members and friends who would care to attend they would be most welcome.

Please RSVP for catering purposes.

RSVP:              7th September 2018
Barbara:          Tel. 9330 3604
Judy:                Tel. 9330 1331
Carol:               Email

Yours sincerely,
President, Melville History Society

The Australian Dictionary of Biography is an indispensable research tool for all of us working in the field of Australian history; it is both authoritative and readily accessible. But it has its flaws. One is the relative absence of women from its pages. Women comprised only two per cent of entries in the first six volumes of the Australian Dictionary of Biography covering the colonial period (1788-1890) and published in the decade 1966-76. Since then a few more colonial women have been added but they are still mostly missing from Australia’s pre-eminent biographical dictionary. Did women really play such an insignificant part in colonial history? Most of us now answer – definitely not. This talk explores the lives of some of Western Australia’s missing colonial women and what their stories add to our understanding of WA’s past. It also looks at how the making of Western Australian history has changed since the 1960s and asks – what sort of history are we all making today?


Dr Lenore Layman is an historian, now retired from Murdoch University. She has recently published 110° in the Waterbag:  A History of Life, Work and Leisure in Leonora, Gwalia and the Northern Goldfields; Powering Perth: A History of the East Perth Power Station the Electrification of Perth; Blood Nose Politics: A Centenary History of the WA National Party; and co-edited A Historian for All Seasons:  Essays for Geoffrey Bolton. She was the historian member of the team which produced the Australian Asbestos Network website on the health disaster of asbestos use in Australia. Lenore is busy with community history projects and actively involved in the WA History Foundation, Royal WA Historical Society, Society for the Study of Labour History, and Professional Historians Association WA. Historical research, writing and editing, what better to constitute a perfect retirement!

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