Window in Time, a community oral history project: its challenges, shortcomings and lessons learnt

Vidonja Balanzategui, Bianka (2021) Window in Time, a community oral history project: its challenges, shortcomings and lessons learnt. Studies in Oral History, 43. pp. 214-217.

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Abstract

[Extract] Ingham in the Hinchinbrook Shire, North Queensland, is a small country town whose economy depends on the cultivation of sugar cane. Due to waves of Italian migration, it is referred to as ‘Little Italy’. In 1995 the first Australian Italian Festival (AIF) was held to celebrate the cultural diversity of the Hinchinbrook Shire. The festival has been held annually since, excepting 2020 due to COVID-19. While the festival’s focus is on the Italian culture, it recognises that there is a rich tradition of shared cultures including other immigrant nationalities and the traditional owners, the Warrgamay, Bandjin and Nywaigi peoples. In that spirit, the project, Window in Time, was instigated by the AIF in 1998 to capture the memories of elderly people who had a long connection with the district. The project was also designed to add to festival visitors’ experience. The story of this evolving project highlights the challenges faced by small communities seeking to record oral histories but lacking professional resources and funds. It also emphasises the need for amateur oral history initiatives to consider how these oral histories will be preserved for perpetuity.

Item ID: 69801
Item Type: Article (Scholarly Work)
ISSN: 0158-7366
Date Deposited: 01 Nov 2021 01:10
FoR Codes: 43 HISTORY, HERITAGE AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 4303 Historical studies > 430302 Australian history @ 50%
43 HISTORY, HERITAGE AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 4303 Historical studies > 430303 Biography @ 50%
SEO Codes: 13 CULTURE AND SOCIETY > 1307 Understanding past societies > 130703 Understanding Australia’s past @ 100%
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