Need a historian?

Are you writing a history, or need one written? Do you need help? 

Plenty of people write their own histories — particularly family history, local history, or the history of their organisation. The ‘detective work’ of history is a big part of the pleasure of such projects. However, sometimes people reach a point where they need help with particular aspects of their own history project, which is where I can step in.

I can assist with your current research by:
* doing research for you within appropriate archives, or
* helping you identify and collect research materials,
* suggesting fresh lines of historical enquiry, and additional resources to investigate,
* helping you to interpret or ‘make sense’ of historical documents, and
* suggesting ways of framing your research in a broader historical context so that you can ‘bring your history to life’.

I can also:
* comment on an existing history manuscript and offer suggestions for its development or completion,
* comment on an existing body of research and suggest how it can be structured into a coherent story/presentation/manuscript,
* make a Wikipedia page for your topic.
* or write an entire history manuscript for publication.

Just contact me. I will email you a PDF of a scale of fees.

Why should you choose me?

I am a Doctor, although I can’t write you a prescription. I hold a Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) in Australian cultural history, from La Trobe University (2005). During the seven long years I took to write my dissertation, I taught undergraduates, and studied critical, post-structural and post-modern theory and semiotics (the study of signs and their interpretation), which I used to help explain how people structure and talk about the world around them. My interest in cultural theories led to many long debates with my supervisor, a brilliant but quite conventional historian of British exploration in the Age of Enlightenment, Alan Frost. However, many of my mentors and role-models at La Trobe (including Rhys Isaac, Inga Clendinnen, and Greg Dening) were ethnographic historians, meaning that also I was exposed to cultural anthropology. I have always been interested in cultures other than my own, and from the point-of-view of ethnographic history, this includes all cultures from the past.

In essence, I bring a broad historical and cultural knowledge, strong research and writing skills, and a capacity for critical reflection, to any history project.

Prior to my PhD studies, I completed a Bachelor of Applied Science (1st Hons) (Charles Sturt University, 1997), majoring in cultural resource management, which included study in areas such as anthropology, archaeology, and Aboriginal studies. I minored in Ecology.

I am also a full professional member of the Professional Historians Association (Victoria), and subscribe to their standards and code of ethics.

I have experience in family history (I am third generation in a family of obsessive genealogists), local history, migrant history, researching historic objects, places and landscapes, and art history.

I have had journal papers, book chapters, essays and catalogue texts published by the Italian Historical Society Journal (Melbourne), Historic Environment (Australia ICOMOS), Journal of Pre-Raphaelite Studies (York University, Canada), the University of South Pacific (Art and Architecture of the Cook Islands), Southern Cross University (Heritage Landscapes — Understanding Place and Communities), Macquarie University Art Gallery, Albury Library-Museum, Benalla Art Gallery, Art Space Wodonga, Murray Art Museum Albury (MAMA), and Art Asia Pacific (New York).

I have consulted on council heritage studies for the Rural City of Wangaratta (the first thematic study of tobacco kilns), Albury City (case study for the Australian Heritage Commission’s Principal Australian History Themes project), Indigo Shire (history consultant for the Indigo Shire Conservation Study), and Jerilderie Shire (now Murrumbidgee — Main Street Heritage Study). I have just completed a project for the Benalla Migrant Camp Inc., constructing a Wikipedia page for this state-listed historic site.

I also have the occasional stint teaching at La Trobe University, including running the workshops for Introduction to Aboriginal Australia in 2017.

What fees do you charge?

For small jobs I will estimate how long it will take, and quote you either a fixed sum, or an hourly rate with an estimate of hours (hourly rates vary depending on the type of work). If I go over the estimated time, you will not be charged extra. If I complete the work in less than the allotted time, I will be honest and charge you less. You just can’t lose!

For larger jobs involving lengthy periods of work, I will negotiate a contract with staged payments. An initial deposit will be required just to help get work underway.

Some indicative fees (no GST is charged):
Academic tutoring — $40 per hour*
Proof-reading/line editing — $50 per hour
History research — $65 per hour**

*Tutoring in Beechworth or on-line via email or Skype
** Believe me — I want you to have value for money!

Why do I think history is important?

One of my favourite historians, Inga Clendinnen put it best (in her brilliant book Dancing with Strangers): ‘we humans proceed in a fog. By coming to see the fogs through which people in other times battled in the direction they hoped was forward, we may better be able to recognise and penetrate our own.’