Experts to lead community on immersive tour of Great Southern history

Sarah MakseAlbany Advertiser
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Historian Malcolm Traill at the Albany Town Hall.
Camera IconHistorian Malcolm Traill at the Albany Town Hall. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser

A first of its kind immersive history event is coming to Albany next week to take the community on a journey through hidden stories of the past from across the Great Southern.

Six historians and archaeologists will share their expertise at the Great Southern, Great History event on October 9, delivered by Friends of UWA Albany with proceeds supporting local students.

After a morning of talks, participants will be taken on two interactive tours of the first European settlement on Parade Street and Albany Town Hall.

Organiser Malcolm Traill said he was excited to have Notre Dame University’s Dr Shane Burke leading the tour of Parade Street and sharing his research into WA’s oldest colonial building at the site using a ground-penetrating radar.

Mr Traill said he hoped to see the community history day become a biennial event.

“There is always something new to be found, always something that is hidden under a stone somewhere and you just need to turn it up,” he said.

“You never know, we might stumble across something or we may inspire someone to do some citizen history and do their own investigating.

“It’s a first for Albany and we hope it is the first of many.”

Notre Dame honours student Lauren Tomlinson will share her research into symbols, artefacts and artwork at the Albany Convict Gaol, which contains the oldest Aboriginal cell art in Australia.

Julie Gunn will speak about the life of pioneer Hookum Chan, one of the first Indians to arrive in WA in the 1830s who became one of the State’s first furniture makers and woodworkers.

Dr Sarah Drummond will delve into the salmon fishing industry in the Great Southern, Miriam Crandell will explore the utopian suffragist settlement scheme proposed for Denmark, and Kirsten Beidatsch will examine historical murders in the Great Southern.

Tickets can be purchased at the UWA Albany building or online at

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