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Making Public Histories: Australia’s Broken Years?

September 28, 2023 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

History Council of Victoria Presents – Making Public Histories: Australia’s Broken Years?

Historian Joan Beaumont’s books Broken Nation: Australians in the Great War (2013) and Australia’s Great Depression (2022) offer profound reinterpretations of those pivotal events of the early twentieth century.

In conversation with Alistair Thomson (Anzac Memories: Living with the Legend, 2013), Joan will reflect on what brought her to the study of the Great War and the Great Depression, the challenges she faced in researching and crafting her books, and how we might best understand these events and their reverberating effects on individuals, families and nation.

Joan Beaumont is an internationally recognised historian of Australia in the two world wars, Australian defence and foreign policy, the history of prisoners of war and the memory and heritage of war. Broken Nation: Australians and the Great War (Allen & Unwin, 2013) was joint winner of the 2014 winner of the Prime Minister’s Literary Award (Australian History), the 2014 NSW Premier’s Prize (Australian History), the 2014 Queensland Literary Award for History, and the Australian Society of Authors’ 2015 Asher Award. She is Professor Emerita at ANU, and previously served as Dean of Arts and Social Sciences at the ANU (2010-11) and Dean of Arts at Deakin University (1998-2008).

Alistair Thomson is Professor of History at Monash University and President of Oral History Australia. His books include: Anzac Memories (1994 and 2013), The Oral History Reader (1998, 2006 and 2015 with Robert Perks), Ten Pound Poms (2005, with Jim Hammerton), Moving Stories: an intimate history of four women across two countries (2011), Oral History and Photography (2011, with Alexander Freund), and Australian Lives: An Intimate History (2017, with Anisa Puri). He is currently part of a team researching the history of fathering in twentieth century Australia.

The seminar is part of an ongoing series, Making Public Histories, that is offered jointly by the Monash University History Program, the History Council of Victoria and the Old Treasury Building. Each seminar aims to explore issues and approaches in making public histories. The seminars are open, free of charge, to anyone interested in the creation and impact of history in contemporary society. Click HERE to learn about other events in the series.

We thank the series sponsors, Monash University Publishing, the Monash University History Program and the Old Treasury Building.


September 28, 2023
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Event Category:


History Council of Victoria
0418 814 957