Memories and Narratives, an ongoing reflection

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesContribution to workshop, seminar, course


Nearly twenty years ago I published a book that documented a journey I had been on for over a decade. The book was A Little Bird Told Me: Family Secrets, Necessary Lives. This monograph represented a journey of discovery where I located my Aboriginal ancestors and answered a number of questions that had dogged my family for generations. Along the way, I discovered a story of secrets and lies, of madness, and refuge. In this talk, I will reflect on this book nearly 20 years later with a focus on the importance of women as the keepers and tellers of family stories. In so doing I will consider the reasons why I wrote the book, what impact it had at the time and its ongoing influence. I hope that these reflections might have something to say to other family historians, and I want to think about the possibilities for family history being considered capital H History too. Finally, I want to question whether there are there some family secrets and necessary lies that should never be told?
Period23 Oct 2020
Event typeSeminar
LocationBrisbane, Australia, Queensland
Degree of RecognitionNational