About Oral History Australia
Oral History Australia (OHA) is a volunteer-run, not-for-profit organisation committed to promoting the ethical practice of oral history in Australia and overseas. We recruit members through State associations that provide support and events.
OHA has a passion for recorded life stories, especially from people and groups who are under-represented in the historical record, and for the difference oral history can make to understanding and changing our world.
‘The oral history movement embraces a diverse range of practitioners who record and use oral history interviews, including family, community and professional historians, museum curators and archivists, media workers and journalists, teachers and academics in a variety of disciplines, from history to anthropology, sociology to health care, linguistics to communication studies. We share a passion for recorded life stories, especially from people and groups who are under-represented in the historical record, and for the difference oral history can make to understanding and changing our world.’
Alistair Thomson, President, Oral History Australia
Oral History Australia aims to:
- promote discussion and training on all aspects of the methodology and ethical practices of oral history as a discipline and a means of gathering and preserving social and cultural history
- foster preservation access and use of oral history collections
- support State and Territory Oral History associations
- provide a national voice on all aspects of oral history, and
- link Australian oral historians to the international oral history movement.
The Oral History Association of Australia was formed in 1978 and in 2013 was renamed Oral History Australia.
Read more about our history in Beth Robertson’s article: ‘Long Desperate Hours at the Typewriter: establishing the Oral History Association of Australia’.
Membership of Oral History Australia is comprised of the independently incorporated State and Territory associations of oral historians. The Northern Territory is affiliated with South Australia and the ACT with New South Wales.
All State Oral History Associations hold regular meetings, seminars and workshops and encourage members to lodge their work with libraries and archives for the benefit of researchers and to ensure preservation. Some states are able to provide recording equipment at very low rates to members.
Oral History Australia’s work is governed by a national committee drawn from representatives of our six State associations.
Oral History Australia publishes an open-access, online journal annually. The contents of the journal reflect the diversity and vitality of oral history practice in Australia and overseas.
Every two years Oral History Australia holds a national conference attracting attendees from throughout Australia and internationally.