& benefits
    dennis altman
    michelle arrow
    paul arthur
    carol bacchi
    ros bandt
    larissa behrendt
    mary besemeres
    richard broome
    chilla bulbeck
    anthony burke
    david carment
    david carter
    jock collins
    liz conor
    greg craven
    martin crotty
    denis cryle
    ann curthoys
    kate darian-smith
    lynette finch
    rae frances
    lucy frost
    stephen garton     heather goodall
    anna haebich
    dennis haskell
    anthony hassall
    jeannie herbert
    jenny hocking
    alison holland
    elizabeth jacka
    bruce johnson
    carol johnson
    mary kalantzis
    marilyn lake
    kateryna longley
    andrew mccann
    chris mcconville
    russell mcdougall
    philip mead
    clive moore
    nicole moore
    stephen muecke
    ffion murphy
    john murphy
    martin nakata
    garth nettheim
    karl neuenfeldt
    christine nicholls
    richard nile
    marguerite nolan
    wenche ommundsen
    darlene oxenham
    maureen perkins
    emily potter
    jan ryan
    kay saunders
    sean scalmer
    bruce scates
    kay schaffer
    joanne scott
    graham seal
    june senyard
    sue sheridan
    judith smart
    tom stannage
    daniela stehlik
    jenny strauss
    sian supski
    hsu-ming teo
    graham tulloch
    james walter
    richard waterhouse
    elizabeth webby
    gus worby
    clare wright

 participants: richard broome
 Richard Broome
Associate Professor in History
LaTrobe University

Oral History

I have extensive experience in doing and conducting oral history projects and mostly with marginalised groups. My early research in the links between race and sport was undertaken in 1978-80 through interviews with Aboriginal and white Australian boxers and their managers. Since then I have conducted interviews with immigrants to Victoria (1981-83), in Coburg for local history purposes (1984-86), with the 'showie' community for a book on Sideshow Alley (1995-97) and with Aboriginal people for my current ARC project (2001-2002).

All these have been conducted under ethical standards of the day. For my project I undertook a nine month consultation process with various Aboriginal communities across the state, before completing a rigorous process to gain ethics approval for the project at La Trobe University and for the ARC. Members of Aboriginal communities have the final say concerning interviews, the outcome of interviews, and the end material that will appear in the history that I am currently writing.

I have also read extensively in the problems of oral history research: the practicalities, the ethics and the strengths and limitations. I have also supervised students, both honours and postgraduate, who have used oral history research techniques.

Aboriginal History

My main research, and the research for which I am noted, has been in Aboriginal history. I am deeply committed to this historical area as I am interested in the history of a marginalised and stigmatised groups form their perspective. I (along with others) have tried to introduce a complexity into Aboriginal History and search for the agency of these people within the power structures of European Colonialism. Many of the perspectives I have gained within Aboriginal History will be important to employ in writing a history of those with disabilities.

To work in this field of Aboriginal History for over twenty years I have had to be sensitive to issues of the potential power of non-indigenous researchers studying indigenous history. In particular I have needed to be aware of the problems of representation concerning the historical lives of others, issues concerning the ownership of the past and history writing about the past, and the pitfalls of appearing to speak for others. However, this has to be balanced with two other aspects: being true to my integrity as a researcher, and the nature of history as both a truth-seeking discipline, and one reflexive about the final futility of knowing the past from fragments and the contemporary social constructions of the historian.

Local and Community History

My research for the history of Coburg involved me in community-based history as I worked closely with an organising committee of the City of Coburg (now Moreland) and the Coburg Historical Society. I have maintained these links especially with Society, advising their program of erecting plaques and other public memorials. I also liaised with members of clubs and societies in Coburg while writing the history, balancing their expectations with the overall needs of the history.

History and Heritage

I have taught a subject at La Trobe University over the last three years, which explores issues of the nature of, and differences/similarities of the discipline of history and the practice of heritage. So I am aware of the tensions and enrichments flowing between history and heritage by having read in the literature.

Track Record in Winning ARC Grants
I have only ever applied for one ARC grant as my research interests, as seen below, were adequately catered for by other grant sources. I was successful in this one application for a Large ARC grant for 2001-2003, the project being:

'A History of Aboriginal People in Victoria 1800-2000', funded at the level of $130,000 over three years. I used this money to employ two part-time researchers, one indigenous, and a transcriber, to commit 25 oral history interviews to text.

Other Grants Won (1981-2003)

AIATSIS (with Corinne Manning A Biography of Alick Jackomos $39,000, 2003

AIATSIS (with Corinne Manning) a History of Aboriginal Transitional Housing in Victoria $18,000, 2001

ATSIC two commissions of $2,000 each to create an educational brochure, first edition 1990 and a completely revised edition in 2002

Worksafe Australia (with Fergus Robinson) An Occupational Health and Safety History of the Snowy Mountains Scheme $78,000, 1994-1996

Royal Commission Aboriginal Deaths in Custody to research and write a background paper for the Royal Commissioners on the History of Aboriginal Europeans relations in Victoria $4,000, 1992

Coburg City Council to write a history of the local government area of Coburg $65,000, 1984-1986

Sesquicentenary Authority of Victoria, to write one of a three-volume history of the state, 1981-1984, $120,000

I have also done minor consultancies for Museum Victoria, the national Museum of Australia, and Flinders University, at a sum of $5,000

Total grants= $ 463,000
All Refereed Publications in the Past Five Years

Broome, R. with Alick Jackomos, Sideshow Alley, Allen and Unwin, Sydney, 1998.

Chapters in Books/Conference Publications

Broome, R. 'Unending Change' new chapter of R. Broome, Coburg Between Two Creeks, Moreland City Council and Coburg Historical Society, revised and updated 2nd edition, 2001, pp. 337-61.

Broome, R. 'The Australian Reaction to Jack Johnson, Black Pugilist, 1907-9', reprinted in abridged form in David Headon (ed.), The Best Ever Australian Sports Writing. A 200 Year Collection, Black Inc., Melbourne, 2001, pp. 532-45.

Broome, R. '“No One Thinks of Us'. The Framlingham Aboriginal Community in the Great Depression', Through Depression and War. The United States and Australia, P. Bastien and R. Bell (eds), Australian and American Fulbright Commission & Australian and New Zealand American Studies Association, 2002, pp. 62-81.

Broome, R. “Aborigines under Seige', new chapter of R. Broome, Aboriginal Australians. Black Responses to White Dominance, 1788-2001, Sydney, Allen and Unwin, revised and updated 3rd edition, 2002, pp. 244-287.

Broome, R. 'The Statistics of Frontier Conflict', in Bain Attwood and S. G. Foster, Frontier Conflict. The Australian Experience, National Museum of Australia, Canberra, 2003, pp. 88-97.


Broome, R. 'Theatres of Power: Tent Boxing 1910-1970', Aboriginal History, 20:1-23, 1996 (issued 1998).

Broome, R. 'Windows on Other Worlds. The Rise and Fall of Sideshow Alley' Australian Historical Studies, vol. 30, no.112: 1-22, April 1999.

Broome, R. 'Seeking Mulga Fred', Aboriginal History, no. 22: 1-23, 1998 (issued 2000).

Ten Best Career Publications

Broome, R. Aboriginal Australians: Black Response to White Dominance, 1788-1980, Sydney, George Allen and Unwin, first edition 1982, enlarged and updated second edition 1994, and enlarged and updated third edition 2002.

Broome, R. The Victorians: Arriving, Sydney, Fairfax, Syme & Weldon, 1984.

Broome, R. Coburg. Between Two Creeks, Melbourne, Lothian, 1987, enlarged and updated second edition 2001.

Broome, R. with Alick Jackomos, Sideshow Alley, Allen and Unwin, Sydney, 1998 (to be re-issued by API Network forthcoming).

Chapters in Books

Broome, R. 'The Australian Reaction to Jack Johnson, Black Pugilist, 1907-9'. In R. Cashman and M. McKernan, eds. Sport in History, St. Lucia, University of Queensland Press, 1979, pp. 343-64, reprinted in abridged form on David Headon (ed.), The Best Ever Australian Sports Writing. A 200 Year Collection, Black Inc., Melbourne, 2001, pp. 532-45

Broome, R. 'The Struggle for Australia. Aboriginal-European Warfare 1770-1930'. In M. McKernan and M. Browne, eds, Australia: Two Centuries of War and Peace, Canberra, Australian War Memorial, 1988, pp. 92-120.

Broome, R. 'Historians, Aborigines and Australia. Writing the National Past'. In B. Attwood (ed.), In the Age of Mabo. History, Aborigines and Australia, Sydney, Allen and Unwin, 1996, pp. 54-72.

Refereed Articles

Broome, R. 'Professional Aboriginal Boxers in Eastern Australia, 1930-1979', Aboriginal History 4(1): 49-71, 1980.

Broome, R. 'Aboriginal Workers on South-Eastern Frontiers', Australian Historical Studies, 103: 202-220, 1994.

Broome, R. 'Seeking Mulga Fred', Aboriginal History, no. 22: 1-23, 1998 (issued 2000).
I am on study leave for a year but prior to that I supervised five PhD students and 3 MA students. Two submitted at the end of last year and both have passed successfully.
I teach in a heritage and landscapes subject based on Australian material and also in Aboriginal history.

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This report has been make possible due to the generous support
of the Australian Research Council, and Curtin University of Technology

Richard Broome
email: [email protected]
website: click here

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