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BILLIBELLARY INDIGENOUS HISTORY LECTURE. The view from here: thinking about Australian Indigenous histories and their future.

February 20 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

$10 – $20

We are honoured that Professor Lynette Russell AM will deliver the 2024 Billibellary Indigenous History Lecture at the RHSV.

Lynette describes the genesis of her lecture, “Years ago one of my son’s friends assured me that my passion for Australian history was a fool’s errand. ‘Nothing ever happened here, no wars, no famines, no empires, nothing, just nothing’. These views he had formed in part at home but also, notably, at school. After reviewing the texts they were reading, I had to concede that Australian history, as it was being taught, might well be construed as boring. Even in the late 1990s, the most popular textbooks were outdated, divided into a chapter or two on pre-European history, and then wandered through Cook’s ‘discovery’, the first fleet, the rum rebellion, and the rise of squatters, bushrangers, depressions both great and not-so, Federation, railways, wheat, and wool. There was a clear division between Indigenous and non-Indigenous histories; Australian history was celebrated, heroic, masculinist and very, very white. Indigenous or Aboriginal history was to be covered quickly and contained primarily to pre-European times. Subtly, things are changing. There is a new generation of school teachers using new resources, both hard copy and digital. What might we imagine the landscape will look like as we contemplate the future of Indigenous history?”

Professor Lynette Russell AM FASSA FAHA (Sir John Monash Distinguished Professor and ARC Kathleen Fitzpatrick Laureate Professor at Monash University’s Indigenous Studies Centre) is an award-winning historian and Indigenous studies scholar. Her research is broadly anthropological history. Russell has published widely in the areas of theory, Indigenous histories, post-colonialism and representations of race, museum studies and popular culture.

Russell’s Aboriginal ancestors were born on the lands of the Wotjobaluk people, and she is descended from convicts on the other side of her family; she is rather uniquely placed as an historian. All of her work is deeply interdisciplinary and collaborative. Russell has collaborated with scholars in archaeology, anthropology and environmental studies, and worked in various Aboriginal organisations. She holds or has held positions on committees and reference groups pertaining to Melbourne Museum, the State Library of Victoria and the Collections Council of Australia as well as being a former president of the Australian Historical Association. She is an elected member of AIATSIS and, in 2023, she was elected an International Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences . She is the only Australian scholar to be elected to both the Royal Historical Society and the Royal Anthropological Institute, both in London. In addition, she has held two fellowships at Cambridge University and one at All Souls at Oxford University. Russell believes fervently that every undergraduate should undertake Indigenous studies as an essential part of the curriculum and her passions are community outreach and the dissemination of knowledge, social justice, and the Essendon Football Club.


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February 20
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
$10 – $20
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Royal Historical Society of Victoria
03 9326 9288


RHSV Gallery Downstairs
239 A'Beckett St
Melbourne, Victoria 3000 Australia
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03 9326 9288