Monash University Publishing: Advancing knowledge

Australian Lives: An Intimate History

By Anisa Puri and Alistair Thomson


To be launched by David Astle, columnist and crossword-maker, at the Royal Historical Society of Victoria.
When: Monday 22 May 2017, 6pm–7.30pm
Where: Royal Historical Society of Victoria, 239 A'Beckett Street, Melbourne
Cost: Free event, but please register here.

To be launched by Professor Frank Bongiorno at the National Library of Australia.
When: Wednesday 31 May 2017, 6pm
Where: Conference Room, National Library of Australia, Canberra
Cost: Free event, but please book on 02 6262 1424 or here.
Book signing to follow.

To be launched by Lisa Murray, City Historian, City of Sydney, with MC Clare Monagle.
When: Saturday 17 June 2017, 4pm for 4.30pm
Where: Gleebooks, 49 Glebe Point Road, Glebe, NSW
Cost: Free event, but please RSVP to Gleebooks.


‘…a valuable resource for anyone interested in the personal and social history of our country.’ Max Oliver,  Books+Publishing

‘Life is long. When you’re forty-eight, there’s been a lot of stuff that’s happened (laughs). It’s got elements of comedy and there are elements of heartache and drama and thriller and it’s got so many things in it.’ Rhonda King, born 1965

‘I really like the idea that in maybe a hundred years someone could listen and hear about my life to learn about what living in 2012 or 2013 was like. Think that’s really cool.’ Adam Farrow-Palmer, born 1988

Australian Lives: An Intimate History illuminates Australian life across the 20th and into the 21st century: how Australian people have been shaped by the forces and expectations of contemporary history and how, in turn, they have made their lives and created Australian society. From oral history interviews with Australians born between 1920 and 1989, fifty narrators reflect on their diverse experiences as children and teenagers, in midlife and in old age, about faith, migration, work and play, aspiration and activism, memory and identity, pain and happiness. In Australian Lives you can read and in the e-version of the book listen to the comedy, heartache and drama of ordinary Australians’ extraordinary lives. As our interviewee Kim Bear (born 1959) explains, ‘Stories are a great way to inform people about what it is to be human. Even if you say one thing that resonates … there’s that connection made.’

About the authors

Anisa Puri is a professional historian and a PhD candidate in the School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies at Monash University. Her work explores oral history and memory, Australian social and cultural history, and the intersection between oral history and digital technology. She is also the President of Oral History NSW.

Alistair Thomson is Professor of History at Monash University. His books include: Ten Pound Poms (2005, with Jim Hammerton), Moving Stories: An Intimate History of Four Women across Two Countries (2011), Oral History and Photography (2011, with Alexander Freund), Anzac Memories (2013), and The Oral History Reader (2016, with Robert Perks).

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