Tanya Evans spoke at the Wollongong City Library.
This talk explores the use of memory and material culture in the history of families who travelled between Britain and Australia and settled in the early colonies from 1788 until the late nineteenth century. It is part of a wider project exploring the meanings and experiences of family life amongst diverse social groups including British convicts, ex-convicts, the free population (both rich and poor) and indigenous families. The talk draws on printed, oral, pictorial and material sources: diaries, memoirs, letters, samplers, quilts and clothes belonging to a variety of cultural institutions including the Museum of Childhood in Perth, Museum Victoria, the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, and the Historic Houses Trust of New South Wales, as well as those discovered within private collections, to explore some of the meanings of objects brought by families from Britain to Australia. It suggests that a focus on material culture enriches our understanding of the economic, social and cultural history of the family in late eighteenth and nineteenth-century Britain and Australia.
Since gaining her PhD. from the University of London in 2002 Tanya Evans has worked as a social and cultural historian of motherhood, marriage, the family, sexuality, gender and poverty in Britain and Australia from 1750 to the present. A Macquarie University Research Fellow from October 2008 until 2011 working on histories of the family in nineteenth-century Australia, Tanya has a long-standing interest in the histories of philanthropy and voluntary organisations and is working on a history of Australia's oldest charity, The Benevolent Society of New South Wales, focusing on the family histories of former clients of the Benevolent Asylum. She is also working on an exhibition provisionally entitled 'Family Life in Colonial New South Wales' for the Museum of Sydney.
Brought to you by the History Council of NSW as part of the History Week 2012 Speaker Connect program in partnership with the Royal Australian Historical Society and proudly supported by the Copyright Agency Limited and the Your Community Heritage Program.
Created by James Brettell for the History Council of NSW.