History Trust of South Australia announces opening latest round of grants to support research, promotion and sharing of South Australia’s history

History Trust of South Australia’s annual grants program is now open with more than $70,000 available as part of the South Australian History Fund grants program.

The South Australian History Fund supports community and individual projects, publications and research that contribute to the knowledge, understanding and sharing of South Australia’s rich history, by providing up to $5,000 from a total grant fund of about $70,000 annually.

Previous recipients include the Adelaide Holocaust Museum and Steiner Education Centre, Port Adelaide branch of the National Trust, authors John Berger and Carol Grbich as well as Adelaide historian Professor Kay Whitehead.

History Trust of South Australia CEO Greg Mackie OAM says the History Trust is dedicated to building the evidence of our state’s rich and fascinating past and making it accessible to all.

“Supporting the extensive community history network and researchers to explore and present South Australia’s unique stories is at the heart of the South Australian History Fund and is a key aspect of the History Trust of South Australia ‘giving the past a future – now!’”, he said. 

In addition to the South Australian History Fund, the History Trust also manages the Museums and Collections grant program. Together, these programs progressively add to knowledge of, and support research into, South Australia’s history.

The MaC fund supports museums and collecting organisations who participate in the History Trust’s Museums and Collections Standards and Funding Program with grants available of up to $20,000 from a total grant fund of around $300,000 each year.

Grant applications for the South Australian History Fund are open from now until midnight on Sunday 5 September. Visit history.sa.gov.au/grants for more information.

New Land, New Hope – latest exhibition at the Migration Museum commemorates thirty years of settlement by refugees from the Horn of Africa

“You make a choice: it is better for me to die walking or die standing still?”

In the 1990s, the first group of refugees from the Horn of Africa region arrived in South Australia. They had fled for their lives from Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia and South Sudan. They chose life over death, opportunity over poverty and freedom over oppression. They took the ultimate risk and survived.

New Land, New Hope, curated by the Australian Refugee Association and presented by the Migration Museum, shares the remarkable personal stories of some of those refugees. It celebrates their contributions to the rich fabric of life in South Australia and shows how a helping hand can completely transform someone’s life.

Migration Museum Director Mandy Paul says the Migration Museum is proud to have worked with the Australian Refugee Association to present this important exhibition.  “The stories in this exhibition are powerful reminders of the courage it takes to start anew, and the persistence it takes to settle into a new land. But above all, they are stories of hope.

Australian Refugee Association (ARA) CEO Deb Stringer says that over its 45-year history, ARA has helped more than 20,000 refugees, migrants and their families build a new life with opportunities to learn, work and grow. ARA is delighted to have worked with the Horn of Africa communities and Migration Museum on this project. “This exhibition highlights and celebrates the achievements of the Horn of Africa communities, serving as a reminder of the resilience and courage that refugees from the Horn of Africa have shown and bring to the Australian community.”

New Land, New Hope is open until 28 February 2021 at the Migration Museum.

What: New Land, New Hope exhibition at the Migration Museum
Where: 82 Kintore Avenue, Adelaide
10am to 5pm daily
When: 23 December 2021 to 28 February 2021

Entry is free of charge.

Interviews are available with Mandy Paul, Director, Migration Museum and Deb Stringer, CEO, Australian Refugee Association

10 things to do on your last 10 days of summer holidays!

1.Play catch up with our Talking History videos

Unfortunately in a COVID world, we can’t currently host in-person lectures – but that doesn’t mean we can’t host them online! Head over to our YouTube channel to learn about all things history. Hear the tales of the first woman to circumnavigate the globe, or delve into the dark world of deaths on the cricket field. There’s plenty on offer for all tastes and interests.

But sorry – it’s BYO cheese plater.


2. Find your Holden Hero!

The National Motor Museum is chock-a-block full of concept and classic Holden cars. Perfect for any car enthusiast? Definitely. Perfect for those that just like to look at really cool things? Absolutely. I mean:


And he has friends too! These one of a kind gems are up at Birdwood just waiting for you to come visit.

More info

3. Discover the stories of new Australians

What would you do to save your life and the lives of your family? The exhibition New Land, New Hope tells the stories of refugees coming to Australia from the Horn of Africa region, escaping from a life of oppression to experience the freedom of Australia.

On now at the Migration Museum until the end of February.

More info

4. Join the Cat-Catcher’s club

Cats! On the loose! In the Museum!

The ships’ cats have jumped overboard and are running amok at the SA Maritime Museum. Get down to the Port to see if you can find all the furtive felines that have hidden themselves among the collection. Grab your guide, take your journey and return to the desk to reveal the secret hiding spots and receive your Cat-Catcher’s badge.

Best part is if you bring your favourite toy along as your partner in detective-ing, you (and the toy) get in for free.

Download your guide

5. Try your hand at cross-stitch craftivism

Our team at the Centre of Democracy want to know what would you change about the year 2020? What is the most important thing you think the world needs now?

We bet the list is quite long!

We want to know what you think – through cross stitch. Head to the Centre of Democracy and grab a free cross stitch kit to share your thoughts.

6. Visit the Working Together Art Exhibition

Feast your eyes on the exquisite paintings from current and deceased artists of Iltja Ntjarra Many Hands Art Centre in Mparntwe. By using paint, artists of the Hermannsburg School are creating pieces that express their connection to the land.

All art is done with the same traditions of Albert Namatjira – their grandfather and relative.

The best part is if you love them, you can buy them! All artworks are for sale from now until the end of February.

More info

7. Gander at the Garage Girls

Step into the world of Alice Anderson and her ‘garage girls’. Popular with all visitors, the Alice Anderson Motor Service exhibition will take you back to the early 1900s and show you what it was like to run an all-women business in an all-men world.

Alice’s aim was to make garage work a profession for women as well as men – visit the Museum to learn her story!

More info

8. Spend your day in the Port

Did you know that there is not one, not two, but THREE Museums on Lipson Street in Port Adelaide? The Maritime, Railway and Aviation Museum take up large chunk of the Port and tell the stories of the area including who lived there, what they did for work, and what it was like to be a Portonian back in the late 19th century.

And if you visit one, you get 25% off your tickets to the other two – PLUS the clipper ship City of Adelaideas well.

Can’t do much better than that.

More info

9. Learn about being deaf in SA

See what it’s like to walk a mile in the shoes of a deaf person. Learn what it’s like to live without hearing and experience firsthand the unique culture created by the deaf community in South Australia.

On now until the end of March.

More info

10. Track your family’s journey to Oz

Everyone’s got a story about where they came from and how they got to where you are today – do you know yours?

If not – let us help! Use our research guide and Passengers in History database to discover your families past and learn about your own personal history.

Start your search

New immersive exhibition ‘Windjammers’ to open at the South Australian Maritime Museum

Immerse yourself in the newest permanent exhibition to be installed at the South Australian Maritime Museum, Windjammers, open from 25 January 2021.

The exhibition is an interactive cinema experience taking visitors back to the age of sail to experience life on board a windjammer, the large commercial sailing ships that sailed between Australia and the Finnish Baltic, delivering South Australian grain to Europe and beyond from the 1880s until the final grain race in 1949.

South Australia was the go-to destination for grain in the early 20th century and the exhibition explores the lives of the young crew who sailed these large ships across the world’s oceans.

Each summer, small crews of 25-30 sailors would make the tumultuous journey from the Aland Islands, in the Finnish Baltic, to SA, passing through the seas of Cape Horn. These 90-metre-long ships of iron and steel would ride waves that loomed like walls of water, up to 50-feet high.

Discover a rich collection of objects including 13-year-old windjammer Alan Rogerson’s sea chest and shipwright’s tools, the massive ships wheel from the Hougomont which limped into Port Adelaide after being dismasted in a squall off Western Australia and Lance Potter’s woolen greatcoat along with a small bottle of water he collected while rounding Cape Horn.

Marvel at the lights of the Aurora Australis, endure bitter cold and constant damp in a Cape Horn storm and celebrate the crossing of the line as the ship sails through the calmer waters of the equator.

Delve deeper and watch a selection of short films and interviews, or discover journals and photographs of the men who sailed the windjammers. This plus much more awaits you at the new Windjammers exhibition at the South Australian Maritime Museum, opening 25 January 2021.

The Windjammers immersive experience was developed by the South Australian Maritime Museum in collaboration with the University of New South Wales Centre for iCinema.

Interviews are available with Dr Adam Paterson, Curator SA Maritime Museum and Dr Andrew Yip (University of Coventry, formerly UNSW)

What: Windjammers

Where: South Australian Maritime Museum, Lipson Street, Port Adelaide, South Australia

When: Opens 25 January 2021

Entry: Museum Admission – Adult: $15.00 | Concession: $9.00 | Child: $6.00 | Family $34.50 (Cashless only)

Contact: 08 8207 6255 / maritime@history.sa.gov.au

More information: https://maritime.history.sa.gov.au/events/windjammers/

The History Trust of South Australia’s Power Station is Live!

A desire to reduce its environmental footprint has led to the History Trust of South Australia flicking the switch to solar energy with a major $550,000 investment in renewable energy infrastructure, turned on this month at its National Motor Museum Birdwood site.

The National Motor Museum, containing Australia’s most valuable heritage vehicle collection, previously consumed around 1,140kw of energy per day. The new 300kw rooftop solar system’s 1100 solar panels will generate a full return on investment within only five years, saving more than $108,000 every year, and almost $2.4m within the first twenty-five years.

“The History Trust needs to reduce our carbon footprint, especially at the National Motor Museum,” said History Trust of South Australia CEO Greg Mackie OAM.

“This initiative is a no-brainer way to promote renewable energy and to help reduce the broader use of fossil fuels and their contribution to global warming.

“Over the past four years, we’ve sought new ways to grow our income and reduce our operational costs, so the History Trust can deliver initiatives such as this, knowing that careful financial management can improve our long-term impact.”

Energy consumption in museums is always high, with temperature and humidity controls needed 24 hours a day — even when museums are closed — to protect valuable historical collections. The National Motor Museum will now generate enough electricity to power its facilities, and deliver surplus power back to the electricity grid, providing long-term sustainability and value for money.

Education Minister and Minister for the History Trust, Hon. John Gardner MP said the initiative is an important new exemplar of how the state’s buildings and infrastructure can support renewable energy and deliver sustainable outcomes, while protecting South Australia and Australia’s valuable cultural heritage.

“I congratulate Greg Mackie and The History Trust, on delivering this significant and valuable investment. Mackie’s careful fiscal management and understanding of the emerging and future needs to contain costs have resulted in a positive outcome for the museum, the environment and ultimately our state”.

The History Trust will explore additional sustainability efforts, including converting to LED lighting and the replacement of ageing inefficient climate control systems up at the National Motor Museum to support long-term environmental and financial sustainability.