Tues 1 Oct Workshop 2

Title: Why Rock’n’Roll Matters

Bio: Mr Bernie Howitt

Bernie Howitt taught at secondary and tertiary level from 1976 to 2018. He has contributed widely to syllabus development in NSW and nationally, and written extensively. He has lectured at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, USA, on three occasions, and this esteemed institution has awarded Bernie an Honorary Doctorate.


It is 65 years since Bill Haley recorded Rock Around the Clock and ushered in a rapid period of significant social and cultural change. Whilst educational authorities often remain reluctant to acknowledge the role rock’n’roll has played in the post-WWII world, History teachers and students have been much more academically alert to its significance and value as a primary source. In this workshop, Bernie Howitt will take a broad brush and provide a range of specific examples that show why rock’n’roll should matter to History teachers. Those examples will help teachers discover primary sources that will enrich any classroom and enthuse students in their pursuit of historical understanding.

Title: China Update

Bio: Liz McGinnis

Liz has been teaching senior History since 1978 and attended her first HTAA conference in Canberra in 1983. The July holidays provided her an opportunity to take part in a History Teachers’ Professional Development tour of China. She is pleased to share insights gained from both the travel and the lectures given in country at Beijing Foreign Studies University.


The study of Chinese history is undergoing an understandable resurgence in Australian schools, both at Year 7 level with an Australian Curriculum depth study of Ancient China and at a senior level in several states’ Modern History courses. This presentation will emphasise insights gained from a recent History Teachers’ Professional Development tour of China, which included Beijing, Xian, Nanjing and Shanghai. Observations as a tourist, as well as knowledge gleaned from lectures given by academics at Beijing Foreign Studies University, will be discussed and shared.

Title: Local History Festival: how to create a student-led museum-style exhibition for community audiences.

Bios: Mrs Pru Raymond, Eileen McCabe, Liesl McPeake & Stephen Kay

Pru Raymond is HASS Coordinator at St Mary’s College, Adelaide. She is currently studying her Masters in Educational Leadership through ACU and teaches knitting workshops in her spare time. She is passionate about ecological sustainability, women’s stories and providing students with authentic audiences for their learning beyond the classroom.

Eileen McCabe is the Coordinator of Information Resources at St Mary’s College. She has a passion for the importance of story in our lives. Eileen teaches Research skills and Inquiry based learning, plans and co teaches History units with teachers, runs book club, assists students with choosing books to read and just loves her role in the Library!

Liesl McPeake teaches Senior History and HASS at St Marys College. Her passion for unlocking the ancient and recent past with students has not faded despite 23 years in the profession.

Stephen Kay teaches middle school HASS and Research Project at St Marys College, as well as being Sports Coordinator. He believes in a contextualised, contemporary approach to learning based on the philosophy that each person has an inherent curiosity in the natural and human-made world around us.


This workshop will explore how to create a museum-style exhibition task to share local history with the community.

St Mary’s College, the oldest Girl’s school in Adelaide, celebrated its 150th anniversary this year. In honour of this occasion, the College participated in the History Trust of South Australia’s Open House Weekend. Year 9 students were supported to curate an exhibition that explored the College’s origin story through interpreting a variety of primary and secondary sources including oral histories, archival material and other treasured school artefacts.

The session will begin with a walk-through of the curriculum and assessment design, including samples of completed tasks. Presenters will share relevant resources and strategies for recreating this unit at other sites, as well as their insights into how this task provided an authentic audience for student work and supported students with diverse learning needs.

Title: There’s no debate about it! The art of argument in the History classroom.

Bio: Elizabeth Allen

Elizabeth Allen taught History in Australian secondary schools for over twenty years. She is Assistant Director in the Community Engagement Team at the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA). Her team produce quality education resources and online content about Australia’s wartime history and are committed to sharing stories of veterans’ service.


There’s no debate about it! Debates are a great tool for engaging students, especially in the History classroom. Debates help students grasp essential critical thinking and presentation skills. Debates foster abstract thinking, develop techniques of persuasion, involve research, and encourage teamwork and cooperation.

DVA’s Great Debates series engages students in a number of topics related to Australia’s wartime history, including conscription during the First World War and the development of the Anzac legend. The activities employ an inquiry-based learning approach. Students are not given synthesised information but rather they are provided with primary and secondary sources to investigate the topic from the perspective of an historical figure.

We will explore a range of activities you can use in your History classroom to get your students developing and delivering strong and well-supported arguments.

Title: Australia’s Worst Maritime Disaster-Montevideo Maru.

Bio: Mrs Margaret Henderson

Mrs Margaret Henderson is a retired teacher who has taught at public and private schools in South Australia, Canada, USA, and Malaysia. She is currently a Volunteer in LAP programmes in various South Australian schools. Margaret is the Author of three books and the editor of several books about PNG.


On 27th June 1942, the Japanese POW ship Montevideo Maru sailed from Rabaul PNG for Japan. Its ‘cargo’ was more than 200 Australian civilians and 845 Australian military personnel (including a Salvation Army Band). The ship was sunk by an American submarine off Luzon with the loss of all on board apart from a few of the Japanese crew. This is the largest ever Australian maritime disaster but is virtually unknown.

The presentation will consist of a short introduction followed by the screening of parts of a DVD of the ceremony of the unveiling of a memorial for the Montevideo Maru in the grounds of the Australian War Memorial. The principal speakers include Dame Quentin Brice, Peter Garrett MP, Margaret Henderson (a co-presenter of this presentation) and Norm Furness.

Title: Making links in year 9 and 10 History: William Cooper, micro and macro.

Bio: Dr Stephen Powell

Stephen is in his sixth year of teaching History and English at Merici College, Canberra. His PhD was in 20th century history and he worked in environmental and international policy before entering the teaching profession. Stephen is an alumnus of the Gandel Holocaust Studies Program for Australian Educators and has presented at NSW and national HTA conferences.


How confident are teachers that we can adequately introduce Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander experiences to high school students? How confident are we when it comes to the history of the Holocaust? Do our students gain enough of an overview of major events and trends? These topics can seem difficult to teach well. This presentation looks at this challenge from a ‘micro’ and ‘macro’ level. The life story of Aboriginal elder William Cooper and his protest against Kristallnacht in Nazi Germany in 1938 has come to light in recent years. A classroom-based study of Cooper provides an opportunity for us to enrich the appreciation of year 9 or 10 students of 20th-century notions of civics, rights and freedoms, global war and genocide. The way we do so can draw natural, rather than forced, links to historical skills such as evidence, cause and effect, continuity and change, perspectives and empathy.

Title: Under the Lino: A Collaborative Community History Project

Bio: Mrs Caylie Jeffery

Caylie Jeffery is a Brisbane writer, educator and facilitator, who runs the Under the Lino Collaborative Community History Project. Caylie’s workshops and speaking engagements connect generations and communities, using historical storytelling, letter-writing, journaling, face-to-face interviews, internet and traditional research techniques, and natural curiosity.


Under the Lino is a Brisbane-based community research project revolving around 1940s bankbooks and money that Brisbane writer, Caylie Jeffery, found underneath the lino flooring of her Federation Queenslander. After sharing her discovery on social media, a comprehensive search for the owners of the documents ensued, and as a result, hundreds of amateur detectives have unearthed local mysteries and stories that have turned Queensland into a fascinating library of underground stories! As a direct result, thousands of people have now joined a social media movement to discover stories behind people, places and events, using a mixture of online, traditional and face-to-face research techniques.

Caylie’s presentation not only shares the journey of the Under the Lino Project, she outlines the huge community benefits of multi-media communication and engagement, providing platforms for educators, students and historians of all levels to develop their own research techniques and commit to projects of local historical significance.

The Under the Lino Project has recently been nominated for the 2019 John Oxley Library Community History Award, and the book Caylie has written about the project has been nominated for the Qld Premier’s Literary Awards, in three categories.