William Strutt, ‘Bushfire sketch’, oil on artist board, c 1851
Main entry, Swanston St
The bushfires that ravaged Victoria on 7 February 2009 claimed the lives of 173 people and destroyed more than 2000 homes.
Five years on, Melbourne curator Liza Dale-Hallett and historian Robert Kenny reflect on Black Saturday and how the devastating event continues to shape their personal and professional lives.
Robert Kenny lost his home on that tragic day. When writing about his experiences in his 2013 book, Gardens of fire: an investigative memoir (UWAP), he wove his own story into a broader history of the relationship between settler Australians and fire.
Working closely with communities in the wake of the Black Saturday bushfires, Liza Dale-Hallett has led the development of the Victorian Bushfires Collection at Museum Victoria.
In this discussion, Liza and Robert consider the role of history and memory in the way we make sense of such traumatic events, and the role historians are playing in the recovery phase.
Making Public Histories
This talk is part of the Making Public Histories seminar series, exploring the making of history and heritage in contemporary society. Presented in partnership with the History Council of Victoria and Monash University Institute for Public History.