General Information for Affiliates

2017 State History and Heritage Conference

What are the threads that connect places with their past?

How does an understanding of history enhance our response to heritage? What common knowledge and skills support a successful local museum and an Indigenous cultural tourism business? 

The WA State Heritage & History Conference aims to explore these and many more connections, intersections and common causes over two days on 11 and 12 May 2017, at the iconic Perth Concert Hall.

The Conference, organised by the State Heritage Office, will bring together a broad range of presentations, creating partnerships and links within and across groups in the heritage sector. 

Parallel streams will focus on different subject areas including heritage conservation and development, historical research, cultural and heritage tourism, collections management, interpretation and related disciplines and interests. 

Identifying and forging connections will strengthen and build the capacity of organisations, including RWAHS Affiliated Societies, enabling them to better meet future challenges and demands.  

For further details visit the 2017 State History and Heritage Conference website.

Please direct any enquiries to the Department:

Ph: 1800 653 004


Community Heritage and Icons Grants 2017 -  Call for applications

The 2017 Community Heritage Grant round is now OPEN - for  guidelines and application form 
go to

Applications close c.o.b. 5 pm 8th May 2017 (AEST)

Federation of Australian Historical Societies (Inc.)

The Federation was established in 1977, has eight constituent members, one in each state and territory, and is the national peak body representing the interests of about 1,000 historical societies and approaching 100,000 members throughout Australia. The constituent member organisations are:

  • Canberra and District Historical Society (Inc.)
  • Historical Society of the Northern Territory (inc.)
  • History South Australia
  • Royal Australian Historical Society (Inc.)
  • Royal Historical Society of Queensland (Inc.)
  • Royal Historical Society of Victoria (Inc.)
  • Royal Western Australian Historical Society (Inc.)
  • Tasmanian Historical Research Association (Inc.)

The Federation communicates with governments and public officials to inform them about issues affecting historical societies and museums, and to advocate the interests of historical societies and museums.

The Federation provides, via the "Support" drop-down menu on its website, access to a variety of online guides and training materials to assist historical societies, including its guides to:   

  • heritage identification and protection (formerly FAHS Heritage Handbook)
  • heritage tourism Cultural landscapes
  • how to publish historical materials (Publishing History).
  • disaster planning and recovery

The Federation publishes a bi-annual Newsletter and a monthly E-bulletin.  These publications are distributed to historical societies across Australia.  You are encouraged to distribute them to all your members who have internet access. If you are not receiving them please contact the Federation (E-mail:; Ph: 02 6295 2837;
Post:GPO Box 1440, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia).

Toodyay Historical Society- old brick flour mill
Toodyay Historical Society, 2009
Photo: Helen Henderson

The FAHS Survey  - Now Open Stage Two on Collection Management 



Stage Two of the FAHS Survey of historical societies on Collection Management is now open.

We are excited to launch the FAHS survey on Collection Management to find out what items you have in your collection (both physical and digital) and how you are documenting, preserving and making available this material. What's working and what's not -the survey canvasses information about the following aspects:
.    the nature and size of your collection
.    the importance of different parts of your collection
.    cataloguing
.    digitisation
.    collection policies
.    accessions register
.    access to the collection
.    forward planning.

The information we collect will assist the FAHS in its work of promoting society needs and interests, and of seeking recognition and support from government and the community.
For simplicity, the questions use the term 'your society' throughout, but it is not restricted to groups calling themselves 'historical societies'.Other bodies with similar purposes (for example, family history societies, heritage societies and museums) are welcome to complete the survey.
The results will be published on the FAHS web site. The report will not contain any information that identifies particular societies.

For assistance with the survey please contact FAHS:
Online Outreach Officer,  Dr Bernadette Flynn: or 
Executive Officer,  John Davies 

It is not necessary to have completed Stage One before doing Stage Two.

To enter Stage Two of the survey, please click on the following link:  


Report of the Federation of Australian Historical Societies National Survey of Historical Societies Phase 1

The Report of the FAHS National Survey of Historical Societies Phase 1 is now available on the Federation's website at  It contains a wealth of information about how societies are managing and the challenges they are facing.  

The response to the survey was excellent and it is hoped that societies will be just as keen to fill out the Phase 2 questionnaire when it becomes available.

Launch of the FAHS Local History and Schools’ Curriculum Guidelines 

Local History and Schools’ Curriculum is a Federation of Australian Historical Societies guidelines project designed to assist local historical societies connect with the teachers and students at schools in their areas. 

Ann Parry, a professional schools’ curriculum designer based in the ACT, was contracted by the FAHS to construct the guidelines. During her three years’ research Ann Parry visited local societies in Queensland, Western Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania. She addressed teachers at professional conferences and conducted questionnaires to gather their experience and opinions. Ann also addressed the Royal Australian Historical Society annual conference and presented at the FAHS October Meeting in Melbourne.

The Local History and Schools’ Curriculum guidelines connect the schools’ curriculum with resources available in local historical societies, include valuable suggestions about how they may be used by teachers and societies and provide pathways beyond traditional approaches. The guidelines are an invaluable and unique resource which we hope will encourage liaison between schools and local historical societies, to the enhancement of both.

The curriculum guide was initiated, managed and edited by Esther Davies, Canberra & District Historical Society delegate and Vice President, FAHS  and Julia Ryan, President, Canberra & District Historical Society and delegate to FAHS and is available at'%20Curriculum.html

FAHS Outreach Office History Clinic is Open

The Dr is in the house Tuesdays 1pm-4pm by appointment.

Want help setting up email campaigns?

Need advice on scanning, image resolution, data management ?

Confused about how to develop an interpretation plan ?

Trying to sort out the web; Facebook; Flickr; Instagram ?

Dr Bernadette Flynn the FAHS Outreach Officer is available at History Clinic to assist with practical questions about running your historical society. Dr Flynn has professional expertise in image management, video, multimedia and has a particular interest in activating collections and historical interpretation. 

Lodge a request via email and book in for a session
Sessions will be conducted online.

Further Information or phone 02 4377-1682

TROVE has received additional funding

Are you someone who helps to make Trove the Commonwealth government’s fourth most heavily used website, behind the Bureau of Meteorology, Centrelink and the Department of Human Services, with more than 55,000 visitors a day? If so there’s good news! The National Library of Australia has been given a funding boost including an upgrade for the digital resources portal. After cuts in 2015, there is now a $16.4 million allocation over four years for digitising material and upgrading critical infrastructure. Remember when trawling through newspapers was a time-consuming and, in the end, overwhelming task? No more, and this injection of funds will help to ensure TROVE’s viability and growth into the future.

A valuable NSW initiative

The Pathfinders – the History of NSW Aboriginal Tracker’ is being developed by Michael Bennett, historian for Native Title Services Corp. The website ( provides an overview of the history of NSW trackers from 1862 when the current NSW Police Force was established, through to 1973 when the last tracker retired. There is also a timeline and information on the lives of individual trackers, including details on the police stations where they worked and lived, as well as the traditional language groups to which some of the trackers belonged. ‘A good tracker could pick up the smallest change in the landscape and quickly work out in which direction a person or animal was moving’. Here is a NSW project well worth copying!
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