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Conference program

Browse the full program for the 2020 Annual Meeting here.

Public lecture

Wednesday, 2 December 2020

5.30 pm – 6.30 pm


Professor Mark Ledbury
Power Professor of Art History and Visual Culture
Director, Power Institute

About Professor Ledbury

Day One

Thursday, 3 December 2020



official welcome and Keynote 

Humanities and… Interdisciplinarity
Chair: Professor Anna Johnston

A/Professor Grayson Cooke (Southern Cross University)

1.00–1.15 Stand and Stretch

Humanities and… Medicine
Chair: Professor Paula Hamilton

Georgia McWhinney (Macquarie University)
Vernacular medicine in the British world during the First World War

Dr Peter Hobbins (Professional Historian)
Science, generosity and hope: Sharing medical endeavour

Dr Jacqueline Healy (University of Melbourne)
Sharing culture through art: The art of healing, Australian Indigenous healing practice

2.15–2.30 Stand and Stretch

Humanities and… Law
Chair: Geoff Barker

Professor Kathy Bowrey (University of NSW)
Can you trust a novelist-lawyer?

The Hon Lance Wright QC (Former President IRC NSW)
Tales of innocence and experience: Lives at the intersection of law and humanities

Dr Alecia Simmonds (University of Technology, Sydney)
Possessive love: The legal life of romantic objects in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries

3.30–3.45 Stand and Stretch

Humanities and… the Environment
Chair: Diana Richards

Nicole Kearney (Biodiversity Heritage Library)
Literature's new frontier: Making Australia's biodiversity heritage literature truly discoverable online

Dr Luciano Cardellicchio (University of NSW)
Beyond the spherical solution: A framework for Australian construction history

A/Professor Nancy Cushing (University of Newcastle)
The urgency of environmental history

Day Two

Friday, 4 December 2020



Humanities and… Everyone
Chair: Nathan Sentance

Dr Tamson Pietsch (University of Technology, Sydney)
Publics and podcasts

Damien Webb + Melissa Jackson (State Library of NSW)
Curating with community

Dr Lisa Murray (City of Sydney)
A strumpet for history

1.00–1.15 Stand and Stretch

Humanities and… the Future
Chair: Pauline Fitzgerald

Julie Baird (Museum, City of Newcastle) 
When reality becomes taboo: Humanities and the future of museums

Professor Simon Burrows (Western Sydney University)
What can't you do with a humanities degree: Resetting the terms of the debate

Dr Naomi Malone (University of Technology, Sydney)
Understanding history is good to understand the present

2.15–2.30 Stand and Stretch

Keynote and conference wrap up

Humanities and… the Public Conversation
Chair: Professor William Christie

Dr Meredith Lake (Professional Historian)

3.30–4.15 ACHRC Annual General Meeting
All Welcome

Call for proposals

Do you have an idea for an engaging Lightning Talk at the 2020 Annual Meeting?


State Library of NSW

The lofty interior of a building with marble and sandstone walls, large columns and the floor depicting a map.

The State Library is one of the great libraries of the world, with a history dating back to 1826. Everyone is welcome at the Library – our inspiring spaces, rich collections, galleries, and cultural and learning programs are open to all. The Library collections focus on Australia; documenting the history and society of Australian people.

The Library holds one of the most significant collections of maps and charts in Australia. The estimated size of the collection is over 200,000 items including important maps and charts documenting the discovery and exploration by Europeans of Australia's coast and inland regions.

As you enter the Mitchell Building  you will encounter the Tasman Map on the floor of the vestibule, constructed by Melocco Brothers 1939–1941.


State Library of New South Wales
Corner of Macquarie Street and Shakespeare Place
Sydney NSW 2000

Plan your visit