Helen Stagg presents July’s Talking History – Harnessing the River Murray, a Journey of Discovery: Archives and Voices from the Past.
Helen’s paper takes a journey through her research for the book, Harnessing the River Murray: stories of the people who built Locks 1 to 9, 1915-1935.
Helen will share the genesis of the book and her motivation to record the stories of those involved in South Australia’s share of locking the River, to reveal the experiences of people who did not get the chance to author their own story. Her presentation will give background to the River Murray Scheme and stages of lock building. Helen will explore some of the challenges of discovering the names of the workers and discuss some of the documentary evidence. A valuable adjunct to this was her discovery of a metaphorical time capsule which gave a rare and valuable perspective, an up-close and personal insight into the past.
Helen’s book, Harnessing the River Murray: stories of the people who built Locks 1 to 9, 1915-1935, will be available for purchase on the night for $44.95. Cash sales only.
This free public lecture is part of History Trust of South Australia’s Talking History series.
Doors open at 5.15pm. Lecture commences at 5.30pm. Book online here.
Parking available on Torrens Parade Ground, off Victoria Drive. Light refreshments will be provided. Wine sponsor – O’Leary Walker Wines.
Helen Stagg grew up in Mildura, Victoria and graduated from the University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Arts, (History and Philosophy) followed by a Diploma of Education. She taught high school history in Melbourne and Hamilton before taking time off to raise three children.
In 2010, Helen obtained her Masters in History from the University of New England followed by the publication of Harnessing the River Murray: stories of the people who built Locks 1-9, 1915 to 1935, launched on the occasion of the centenary of locking the river in 2015. This book unfolds the history of the ordinary workers and the women and children who accompanied them on the lock construction, and combined extensive research at the State Records of SA and oral history. Helen’s main interests are Australian History and she is particularly interested in the history of minority groups.