8:00 PM20:00

Historic Wallpaper in Tasmania


Alan Townsend

Wallpaper and Domestic Life in Colonial Van Diemen’s Land.

Colour, Excess and Luxury

Alan Townsend is a historian and heritage consultant who has taught himself the skills for recreating historic wallpapers. He has produced wallpapers on commission for Narryna Heritage Museum, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery and the National Trust.

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8:00 PM20:00

Unrelenting Sadness: Stories from the Soldiers Memorial Avenue, Hobart

Soldiers Avenue.jpg

John Wadsley

John Wadsley has been a professional planning and heritage practitioner for the past 25 years, and established his own consultancy 12 years ago. He has a particular interest in military history and has worked on a number of conservation projects for some of Australia’s most significant war memorials and military facilities. He co-authored the Bicentennial history of Anglesea Barracks, Barrack Hill, published in 2011, as well as publishing a number of articles on historical topics. He has previously worked at a number of historic sites around Tasmania and at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, where he assisted researching their Great War exhibition in 2015. He currently works part-time at the Maritime Museum of Tasmania. He has been a member of the Friends of Soldiers Memorial Avenue since 2003 and has been President for a number of years. He is currently writing a history of the Claremont Army Camp and is researching his great uncle’s battalion, the 52nd,  and the men who served in it during the Great War.


Unrelenting Sadness – stories from Soldiers Memorial Avenue

The Great War had a profound effect on Australia. One physical expression of this was the construction of war memorials on an unprecedented scale. There were traditional monuments in the form of obelisks, arches, honour boards and statues. Others served a broader community purpose such as halls, gardens and civic spaces. And memorial avenues would become a significant Australian response to the war. And all forms of memorial played a key role in helping communities remember those who served and died. They provided a tangible place compensating in part for the actual grave that most families would never see. 


And so, in Hobart, the Soldiers Memorial Avenue came to be such a place, where private grieving and community remembrance could be expressed together. The Avenue today provides the opportunity to uncover the layers of local memories associated with the Great War: there are stories of individual soldiers; the places so far away where they fell; the hardships faced by mothers, sisters and wives left behind; and the need for the Hobart community to express its collective identity during a time of unparalleled grief, loss and upheaval. This presentation will examine a number of these stories that give real and personal insights into the direct effect of war. It will also reflect on the role of the Avenue as a place that can sustain the memory of loss, as well as being part of our social fabric, hopefully in perpetuity. The Avenue brings tangible form to the unrelenting sadness felt across Tasmania arising from the Great War.

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A Tasmanian Life
8:00 PM20:00

A Tasmanian Life

Raymond Arnold, a Tasmanian Life

Born in Melbourne in 1950, Raymond Arnold studied teaching and art in Victoria before developing his professional career after moving to Tasmania in 1983. Located in the Southern Ocean, its landscape has been tempered and shaped by exposure to a prevailing westerly air-stream. Large tracts of forest in the west of the state give way to more settled pastoral areas in the east. This dynamic natural environment has in turn, shaped Tasmanian identity and culture. Raymond's prints and paintings have reflected his examination in the construction of the Tasmanian landscape and the identification with a type of 'ground'. He enveloped himself deeply into this landscape by relocating to Queenstown in 2006.

As a complement to this he has also been researching the intaglio print medium in Europe, working in France and Scotland on a regular basis since 1993 to connect to the tradition of making etchings. Fashion and dress, his great-grandfather's experiences of the First World War as a soldier in the AIF and the decoration of medieval armour are concepts that have been played out in tandem with his investigation into the print and identification with the 'figure' as much as the ground!

Raymond Arnold has held over 50 solo exhibitions and participated in group shows in Australia, Europe and the US. He is represented in the collections of the Imperial War Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, the Bibliotheque Nationale and the Musee Courbet in France. In Australia, the National Gallery, the Australian Parliament House and various State Galleries have Raymond Arnold prints in their collection

Well known as one of Tasmania's pre-eminent printmakers Raymond is also a skilled and successful painter having twice won the Glover Prize, one of Australia's most significant awards for landscape painting.


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8:00 PM20:00

William McCulloch of Maria Island

Kathy Gatenby

PIC Corzona Allport painting PRINT READY.jpg


William Fenton McCulloch developed a farm on Maria Island between the years 1904 to 1922. Today, his old farm is a key landmark and a favourite stopping place for visitors to the island, although few people would have heard of William McCulloch, let alone realise the part he played in shaping the cultural landscape. Kathy's talk will provide insight into a man who struggled to find his path in life. He was a drifter, a soldier and a Jesuit scholar before choosing to live a simple existence on Maria island where he farmed 'in the manner of Virgil'.

Inspired by an adventurous childhood in some of Tasmania’s most beautiful and remote places - including Maria Island - Kathy Gatenby is a researcher and storyteller, specialising in the area of thematic interpretation, a valuable tool that provides a deep and meaningful connection to place. 

Kathy has post-graduate qualifications in Cultural Heritage and has a particular interest in stories that explore how people shape places, and in turn, places shape people. She is the author of a Tasmanian biography, Viv and Hilda: Meeting the Robeys of Maria Island (2011), has written for local and national magazines, and delivered a range of presentations on place-based interpretation.

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John Burns, Barbary Lion & Hands on History in Museums
8:00 PM20:00

John Burns, Barbary Lion & Hands on History in Museums

Lions and Tigers.

Belinda Bauer will present the biographies of two zoological specimens in the TMAG collection where research has uncovered some surprising stories.
Taxidermy made for display is often considered less significant in museum research collections. This is because much of it becomes disassociated with key data and through the rigours of public display - ends up in poor physical condition.
However by tracing a specimen's biography and museum afterlife - much can be revealed about the development of natural history collections and changing attitudes towards animals.
Hear the story of John Burns the lion and a decrepit Bengal tiger.
Belinda is the Vertebrate Zoology Collection Manager at TMAG.  
She has worked in many museum roles over the last 17 years, at the Queensland Museum and the Natural History Museum of Ireland and TMAG.
She has moonlighted as an archaeologist and has a Masters in Museum Studies.

A decade of delivering history in Museums. 

How do you get 8 yr olds to understand what life was like in the 1820s? How do children of the digital age connect with the silent movie era? How can history help to rehabilitate prisoners?  John will share some of the programs, approaches and experiences at the coal face of connecting historical research and narrative with the public. When does it work and when does it fall short and what might it look like in future?

John Retallick develops and delivers history related education and public programs at TMAG. After 4 years in the community development sector working in PNG and the UK John found himself working at Museum Victoria in 2005 and now more than a decade later thinks the museum sector might just be for him. He also thinks he may have been the last person to have been picked up from school in a horse and buggy. 


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The Communist Party of Tasmania
8:00 PM20:00

The Communist Party of Tasmania

  • 159 Macquarie St Hobart, TAS, 7000 Australia (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Alison Alexander: The Communist Party of Tasmania

Tasmania is possibly the place where the Communist Party has received the least support anywhere, despite spirited attempts. Alison Alexander looks at Party attempts to gain influence and why it never really succeeded.

Dr Alison Alexander is a seventh-generation Australian, with convict ancestors in the first, second and third fleet. She has worked as a freelance historian and as a lecturer and tutor in history at the University of Tasmania. Alison has written some 30 books about Tasmania's history. In 2014 she won the Australian National Biography Award for The Ambitions of Jane Franklin. Her most recent book is The O’Connors of Connorville.

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Ida Bay Excursion
12:10 PM12:10

Ida Bay Excursion

The Ida Bay Railway is the last operating bush tramway in Tasmania and also has the distinction of being the most southerly railway in Australia.

We will be travelling on the 12:30 train trip. The train driver will explain the history of the local area, the convicts, the early settlers and their industries, with a stop at the cemetery on the way into Deep Bay. We will spend some short time at Deep Bay to walk to the beach and examine the area before the return trip. Shelter and toilet facilities are available at Deep Bay.

Each way of the train trip, with the one stop on the way in, covers some 7kmand takes around 50 minutes. Suitable warm clothing could be necessary depending on the weather.

The cost to THRA members, because of our group booking is $25 adults, Children $12, payable at the Ida Bay Train Station on the day.

As there only two train carriages available at the moment, we will be limited to a maximum of 40 participants, thus the first 40 to apply via the following method can only be accommodated.

Average drive time from Hobart to Ida Bay is 1 hour 40 minutes. However, you should allow for you own driving abilities, the weather conditions, unexpected traffic, as well as time to purchase take away food if necessary for lunch from the variety of facilities on the way.

Otherwise bring your own picnic lunch.

Some food is available at the cafe at the Ida Bay Railway Station.

Food can be consumed on the train which does travel relatively slowly.

The journey to Ida Bay will give you a great opportunity to admire the beautiful Huon district with magnificent views of the Huon River. The drive takes you through fascination farming communities and historical towns like Franklin, Geeveston and Dover.

However, we must be at Ida Bay Railway station by at least 12:10 to allow for check in.

So if you are meeting for car pooling you will need to depart Hobart around 10:15

We should be back at the Ida Bay Station shortly before 3pm to commence our return to Hobart.

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