Monday, January 31, 2011

Ballets Russes :: The Art of Costume

One of the world’s richest collections of costumes from the famed Ballets Russes resides at the National Gallery of Australia and its now on display. Through 140 costumes from 34 productions from 1909 to 1939, the vivid and innovative dance design of the early 20th century will be brought to life on the 100th anniversary of the Ballets Russes.

When: 10th December '10 - 20th March '11
Times: Open 10.00 am – 5.00 pm every day | 7.00 pm viewings Saturday
Where: National Gallery of Australia, Parkes Place, Canberra, Australia

Want more information? Go to National Gallery of Australia.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Solving a family puzzle from 1788

With Australia Day fast approaching, our thoughts here are turning to the invitation from Twigs of Yore to post details of the earliest piece of documentation we have about an ancestor in Australia. 

We've put our thinking caps on (as my nan says) and remembered that the earliest document my family has is on our ancestor William Aldridge. He arrived in New South Wales in 1791 as a convict sentenced to transportation for seven years. My cousin, Neil Hall, discovered William's original trial document at the London Metropolitan Archives. It was sitting in a musty box in the archives' office in central London, and our guess is it hadn't been looked at for decades, maybe even a century or two. The document was dated 12 September 1788, and stated that William was tried and convicted of stealing a linen sheet "with force and arms". He spent two years on the hulk Justitia at Woolwich before being transported. 

Finding the original document was a breakthrough in our family research, as details of William's crime had eluded us for years! 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Inside History in newsagents nationally!

Want to know where you can find Inside History magazine Issue # 2 on sale, across all states and territories of Australia?

Find out which newsagents are stocking us in your state - click here to find your local stockist.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

To La Perouse we went

Standing on the La Perouse peninsula and looking at Botany Bay, you are reminded of the beauty of nature and we were left wondering why more people don't explore this historically rich corner of Sydney.

The original owners of the land were the aboriginal Kameygal people, and their proximity to the coast meant that they enjoyed a plentiful supply of fish. It was fish and chips, a love of history and the Australian beach that took us to La Perouse, in Sydney's eastern suburbs.

Bare Island, La Perouse | Source: Inside History

Sandstone mural, Bare Island | Source: Inside History

One of the most interesting and yet beautiful parts of La Perouse is Bare Island and its 19th-century fortification in the Botany Bay National Park. The Bare Island fortification was built in 1885 to protect Sydney's Botany Bay from a feared Russian invasion. The fort is usually closed to the public but you are able to walk around the island, depending on the tide, and take in the views of the island and the surrounding beautiful beaches of Botany Bay. Entry by guided tours are available on Sundays at 1:30, 2:30. 3:30pm and you can buy tickets at Laperouse Museum, call on 02 9247 5033.

Old and new Botany | Source: Inside History

As we stood above the grave of Claude Francois Joseph Receveur, we realised just how much Botany Bay must have changed since the arrival of the First Fleet and Europeans to Australia. Pere Receveur was one of two chaplains in the French Laperouse expedition that arrived just a few days after the First Fleet in January 1788. He passed away on 17th February 1788, before his French navigator Captain Laperouse left Botany Bay and disappeared in the South Pacific. Traditionally visiting French ships lay a wreath on the grave and a mass is held annually. The 2011 Receveur Anniversary Mass will be held at La Perouse on 20th February. The NSW Governor, Professor Marie Bashir, will be in attendance.

Macquarie Watchtower | Source: Inside History

For more images, check out Inside History magazine's flickr.

How do I get there? Unfortunately, the trams don't run as they once did from Randwick but the buses - L94, 392, 394, 399 - still do and it's an easy drive from Sydney's airport or CBD. Check Sydney Buses route finder for details or use google maps for driving directions.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Immigration Nation: The Secret History of Us

Showing on SBS1 at 8:30pm on Sunday, 9th January

Inside History magazine is looking forward to the SBS documentary, Immigration Nation: The Secret History of Us, the untold story behind Australia’s multicultural mix.

Immigration Nation is a three part series revealing how the present day Australian multicultural society was built. The documentary describes Australia's recent social history using interviews with eminent historians and the testimony of eyewitnesses - many of whom have never told their stories before. The series explores our recent past and explains Australia’s untold immigration story; a century long struggle to overcome the White Australia Policy that resulted in one of the world’s most multicultural nations.

The show also comes with an online resource centre, created in association with The Chocolate Liberation Front, featuring statistics on immigration, profiles of key politicians and contributors, and the ability for audiences to delve into the SBS archives to find out how Australia’s views on immigration have changed in the past 30 years.

The series kicks off on SBS1 at 8:30pm on Sunday, 9th January.