Friday, December 24, 2010


All the entries have gone into the draw and the winners are!

Congratulations goes to:

[1] Convict Sydney at Hyde Park Barracks

  • S. Byrne, Kurnell, NSW
  • D. Davis, Woodcroft, SA
  • L. Perry, Kallangur, QLD

[2] "How To Get More Family Tree Time"

  • M. Pavljuk, Paralowie, SA
  • M. Smith, Victor Harbor, SA

[3] "One Family History: 220 years in Australia"

  • M. Jones, Canning Vale, WA

[4] Mid-century Trent Art Ware vase

  • D. Clarke, Cooma, ACT

Each of the winners have been sent an email confirming all the details. Merry christmas and a safe new year to you all, from the Inside History team!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Fancy a sneak peak inside Issue # 2?

Inside History is for people passionate about Australian and New Zealand history and heritage, whether it's their family's ancestry, or in a broader social context.

In issue 2 we have two terrific features on Trove, the National Library of Australia's brilliant search engine. Read about the new features in the planning stages in our interview with Rose Holley. Then, Shauna Hicks shows us how the site can make a wealth of difference to your family history research.

Our inspiring articles don’t stop there. Author Mark Webster looks at the role of the Red Cross in delivering care packages to New Zealand POWs during World War II. And we're thrilled to bring you the second instalment of Michael Flynn’s work, as he continues his research on the First Fleet convicts. In this issue, Michael has been trying to discover the author of an anonymous work published in 1789. Read all about his fascinating findings.

We take a step back in time to the frightening world of colonial medicine, and visit a school in Sydney that is teaching kids — and adults — about the education of their ancestors. Plus there are tips from the experts, a book package worth $110 up for grabs, and so much more!

Issue 2 of Inside History is on sale December 22.

below: your family: Ask our experts, Issue 2: Jan-Feb 2011

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Stand up for the Parramatta Female Factory

In issue 1 of Inside History we brought you the story of the wonderful and unique female factory precinct at Parramatta in New South Wales.

The buildings in the precinct date back to 1819 and are an incredibly important part of Australia's heritage. It was in convict institutions such as these that the Australian spirit of mateship and comraderie, a sense of humour and standing up for the underdog were developed.

And if you think convict heritage is not part of your heritage, think again! It's estimated that one in seven Australians are descended from someone who went through the Parramatta Female Factory. That means you either are related, or you know someone who is.

It's incredible to believe, but these historic buildings are not on the national heritage list and thus protected, even though they predate other world heritage listed convict sites such as Port Arthur in Tasmania, and Sydney's Cockatoo Island.

On the state government-owned site at Parramatta are two Francis Greenway buildings, original walls dating back to 1819, and the third class sleeping quarters with turnkey’s apartment, completed in 1825. All are in need of protection and conservation. One Greenway building is now a building society, and the matron's quarters, meeting and administration rooms are used for storage and training. The third class sleeping quarters and turnkey’s apartment in recent years has been a storage facility for broken beds, then computers.

And right now the Parramatta Female Factory needs your help more than ever, especially the third-class quarters, known as Building 105.

Sydney Western Area Health Services have lodged an application with the NSW Heritage Office seeking approval for alterations to be made to this building for the purpose of housing internal computer equipment and cooling systems. The proposed changes to Building 105 will not only seriously damage the historical fabric of the structure, but it will also deny access by the public to this important building.

How you can help

Gay Hendriksen, from the Female Factory Precinct Action Group, is calling for people to lodge a complaint against the proposed work.

Post your concerns by the deadline of 5pm Friday December 17 to:
Heritage Council of New South Wales
Locked Bag 5020
Parramatta NSW 2124

Email them to or

You can also help by emailing your concerns to the NSW Premier, Kristina Keneally, at and the State Minister for Health, Carmel Tebutt, at

If you'd like to be involved in the campaign or would like more information, contact Gay by email at

See why the site is so important: take a short tour of the factory by watching the video below.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Perth's heritage gets people lining up

Hats off to Heritage Perth, who organised a terrific weekend of heritage events in the city earlier this month. We've heard a great time was had by all, with people lining up to see Perth's historical treasures. Wish we could have been there! And if you want to know more, read our feature in issue 1 of Inside History on Perth's 14th-century heritage bells, which are celebrating 10 years in the city.

A tour of the Perth Mint building

All aboard the 1951 MTT-mobile!

Behind the scenes at Government House. 

Inside St Georges Cathedral. All images courtesy of Heritage Perth.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Where does Inside History come from?

Erskineville today is very different from the orchards and gardens covering the rich alluvial flats cultivated by the early settlers. However, due to its closeness to the city, transport and shops, as well as the colourful and varied residential character, Erskineville is a great place to live!

In 1794, Acting Governor Grose granted 120 acres to Nicholas Devine, Superintendent of Convicts. Togetherwith another 90 acres gained from Governor Hunter in 1799, Devine called his land "Burran Farm". The roughly covered the suburb we now know as Erskineville.

Devine built his home and established a large orchard and rose garden near the present site of the Erskineville Railway Station. He was specially fond of rose-gardening and developed several new species suited to the Australian climate. One of these he called the "Rose of Australia". A hotel built on the site of the rose garden is called by that name.

One day after he had retired, Devine and his wife were attacked by bushrangers. Mrs Devine died, but when Devine recovered, he was assigned a convict, Bernard Rochford, to protect him. Apparently, Rochford and his wife looked after Devine well. Before Devine died at the age of 104, he gave Rochford "power of attorney". Rochford subdivided the land and sold it in large allotments to some of Sydney's most respected citizens. They reaped a rich harvest from some of Sydney's best soil. Hired labour produced oranges, wheat, sorghum, vegetables and even a little tobacco.

The Rev, George Erskine, Superintendent of the Wesleyan Mission in the colony was one of the purchasers. With convict labour, he built a large double fronted brick cottage which he named "Erskine Villa". The road which ran past became known as Erskine Villa Road and later the suburb was named Erskineville. This home was still standing until 1961.

Source: Page 26, south sydney: shaping the future

Saturday, October 30, 2010

How can I contribute to Inside History?

The Inside History ethos:
Inside History is aimed at people passionate about history and heritage, whether it’s their own family’s ancestry, or in a broader social context. Published bi-monthly, Inside History provides insightful, interesting and practical features to its readers. Its 80 or so pages are packed with advice, articles and expert tips on genealogy, and stories on Australia and New Zealand’s varied social history, from tales about century-old houses and country towns, to heritage gardens and the biographies of our famous (and infamous) citizens.

Inside History. What do we do?
  • highlights and promotes Australia and New Zealand’s diverse history, to help readers interested in discovering their family’s past
  • provides a platform for historical organisations, societies, bookshops and anyone involved in history to showcase their work, collections and events to a national audience
  • provides a place to share the uplifting, fascinating and bittersweet tales that make Australia and New Zealand what it is today. 
Our contributors. What are we looking for?
Inside History is open to a wide range of writers throughout Australia and New Zealand. We encourage historians and genealogists to contact us if they are interested in contributing an article, book or website review, interview or images appropriate to Inside History. If you have a great story that needs to be told, or practical advice that will help our readers in tracing, preserving and documenting their family history, we want to hear from you.

Generally articles need to be:
  • around 1000-1200 words in length, although this can vary depending on the subject
  • chatty and informal, with accurate and engaging content. References need to be included as endnotes if any archival records are quoted
  • supplied with high-res images or suggested images, if possible.

Articles will be edited for house style, length and clarity if need be but always in consultation with the writer.

Please contact our editor, Cassie Mercer on 0408 004090 or via email on, if you would like to discuss your work in more detail. We'd love to hear from you.

We look forward to working with you and seeing your research published in Inside History!

Happy researching!
The Inside History magazine team
Explore your past, enrich your future

Sunday, October 24, 2010

How can I subscribe to Inside History Magazine?

Our doors are now open and we're selling subscriptions and single issues to our lovely new readers.

Single issues are $10.50 [plus $2 p&p], or we have two subscription plans:
  • $31.50 for 6 months [3 issues], or
  • $63 for 12 months [6 issues]
  • Subscriptions are available to libraries and societies by invoice
  • Subscribers get FREE postage for each issue - usually $2 p&p.

Order online,, or you can also call on 02 9590 9600 or email us to book direct, if you prefer to talk to us.

Or pick up a copy from your local newsagent nationally - click here to find out where.

Any queries can be emailed to or call 02 9590 9600 with questions! We'd love to hear from you!

Happy reading!
The Inside History magazine team
Explore your past, enrich your future


All figures above are inclusive of GST