Intimate stories, challenging histories

Guest blogger: Elisabeth Gondwe – President Oral History Queensland.

Oral History Queensland (OHQ) delivered the Oral History Australian (OHA) Biennial Conference in partnership with State Library of Queensland in October 2019. The program included keynote Katrina Srigley, Gaa Bi Kidwaad Maa Nbisiing/The Stories of Nbisiing: Relational story listening and storytelling on Nbisiing Nishnaabeg territory. Access more about the conference wrap-up at Oral History Australia (OHA).

A forum explored Oral histories in the future with presentations by Geert Vermiere of Milena Principle – podcaster, academic and journalist; Siobhan McHugh; Sarah Rood – Way Back When.

Hamish Sewell of Soundtrails and panellists Lorina Barker, Kerry Charlton, Sadie Heckenberg and Katrina Srigley explored Indigenous Oral History: the challenges and opportunities.

Delegates participated in day tours to Logan City and surrounds to experience an interpretation of colonial history and the landscape of the Eagleby Wetlands, Tamborine and Veresdale Hotel regions. The tour was made possible by a Regional Arts Development Fund grant and partnership between State Government and Logan City Council supporting local arts and culture in regional Queensland.

By developing an Oral History compass as a story telling tool, concept artist Greg Manning identified 16 points on the compass based on the themes and questions Sir Joseph Banks was asked, subsequent to his voyage with James Cook on the Endeavour in 1770. (Public Records Office London. Home Office 107/1 “A Second Report form the Committee of Enquiry into Transportation”. 10 May 1785.) Image – Banks compass courtesy of Greg Manning 2019.

The same compass applied to the Waterford Tamborine Road . Image – courtesy of Greg Manning, 2019.

The words Greg symbolically placed on the compass points above were designed to activate discussion about local place names within the Logan landscape and explore their relationships.

Did you know Mt Cotton was named for Sir Sydney Cotton, a convict supervisor at Moreton Bay? Previously, Sir Sydney was knighted for his actions in the 1857 uprising in India, writing an account of his experience in ‘Nine years on the North West Frontier of India‘.

Logan City is bisected by a road bearing the name of Sir Patrick Lindesay, Acting Governor of NSW. He later left NSW to lead British military excursions and incursions around Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

Patrick Logan died with the knowledge that his detachment, the 57th Regiment left Moreton Bay for India. The Regiment was remembered for the recapture of Mangaluru, after a local freedom movement claimed a brief victory against British occupation.

Postcard of North Stradbroke Island, Collection North Stradbroke Island Museum on Minjerribah.

A second tour took delegates to Djarranggaree on Minjerribah / North Stradbroke Island and included sightseeing and a presentation talk at the North Stradbroke Island Museum.

For more information about Oral History Queensland (OHQ) visit our website. Information about Oral History Australia (OHA) and the 2019 Biennial conference are available online.

Elisabeth Gondwe, President Oral History Queensland