Also available as an ebook from your favourite retailer.
‘The Australian Generations Oral History Project will be an important resource for historians of the future – and Australian Lives provides a fine introduction to it.’Jeff Sparrow
‘This project and all of its valuable and varied outputs should become a treasure trove for social, public, and oral historians for decades to come.’The Public Historian (40:4)
‘…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.’
In the e-version of this book each interview extract is hyperlinked to the oral history recording and can be heard in the voice of the narrator. The ebook is available from good ebook vendors including Apple (iBooks), Amazon (Kindle) and Kobo.
A new type of oral history book – Australian Lives
In this video oral historian Alistair Thomson introduces you to the Australian Lives ebook, which enables readers to be listeners to the hundreds of oral history extracts in the book, and which curates access into one of Australia’s largest online oral history collections. Al demonstrates the extraordinary technology that made the book possible and which brings oral histories alive on the page and in the archive.
Australian Lives – an online oral history resource for Australian history teaching
In this video Alistair Thomson (Professor of History, Monash University) introduces an extraordinary new resource for school and university teaching in Australian history and Australian studies. The Australian Lives ebook curates access into one of Australia’s largest online oral history collections, so that students can read – and listen – to 50 Australians born between 1920 and 1989 talking about their personal histories across the past century, in every corner of the country, from childhood through to old age, and ranging across themes such as migration, faith, place, work, play, family, love, sex or politics.
Anisa Puri and Alistair Thomson
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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