Webinar Recording


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?  


Professor Lynette Russell

Lynette Russell is an Australian Research Council Laureate Professor at Monash University, in Melbourne. She is an anthropological historian specialising in Australian Aboriginal societies. She is the author of many books, most recently the award-wining Australia's First Naturalists: Indigenous Peoples’ Contribution to Early Zoology which was a collaboration with the acclaimed zoologist Penny Olsen. 

Webinar details 

Date: Friday 23 October 2020

Time: 12pm AEST (2-3pm AEDT)

Enquiries: engagement@hass.uq.edu.au  

Presented by The University of Queensland’s School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry.