Oral history training

Types of training

Oral history training is available in a number of educational settings including:

  • universities – at an undergraduate or postgraduate level
  • accredited training – through the Australian Vocational Education Training (VET) sector
  • workshop and seminars – offered by Oral History Australia (OHA) State associations.

Skills and experience matter

Since oral history research at times involves individuals dealing with painful or sensitive subjects, OHA strongly recommends that those practising oral history are trained in oral history interviewing techniques and understand the ethics involved in the interviewer/interviewee relationship.

If you are considering opting for private sector training, please check the credentials of the trainer involved to ensure they have the appropriate skills and experience.

Oral history interviewer conducting interview

Students in an oral history vocational training course. Image credit: Elaine Rabbitt.

University of New England

The University of New England (UNE) in Armidale, New South Wales, has taught oral history since the early 1980s.

The specific oral history unit –  HIST376 (at undergraduate level) and HIST476 (at postgraduate level) – is part of a suite of applied history units that are available to internal and external students.

For further information contact Janis Wilton: jwilton@une.edu.au

University of New England website: www.une.edu.au/

University of South Australia

The University of South Australia offers a 13 week course, Oral History Workshop (HUMS 3044), every year in the second semester, both internally and externally.

It is offered as part of a history major in the Bachelor of Arts: Indigenous Cultures and Australian Society, but anyone can enrol even if they are not enrolled in a program.

For further information contact Sue Anderson: sue.anderson@unisa.edu.au

University of South Australia website: www.unisa.edu.au

University of Tasmania

The University of Tasmania runs an oral history unit as part of its Diploma of Family History, which is fully online.

Find out more about the diploma at: www.utas.edu.au/arts-law-education/study/diploma-of-family-history

University of Tasmania website: www.utas.edu.au/

Australian Vocational Education Training

Each year Oral History Western Australia runs nationally accredited oral history training courses through the Australian Vocational Education Training (VET) sector.

The workshops provide an opportunity for participants to immerse themselves in the practicalities of oral history and gain nationally recognised certification. This is a stepping stone for further learning and possible employment opportunities.

The training is delivered by Dr Elaine Rabbitt and Doug Ayre. Elaine has developed the oral history training package for AHCILM404 Record and Document Community History, drawn from the wealth of oral history teaching materials that are available in Australia and overseas. The course is an elective for Certificate III & IV Screen & Media.

The workshops are generally held in Perth and Broome, but have also been held in Sydney and online. They are intended for beginners, intermediate and advanced students and those wanting to gain an oral history qualification.

For further information about this training contact Elaine Rabbitt: elaine.rabbitt@gme.com.au

OHA State associations

OHA State associations run a range of introductory and advanced training workshops and seminars designed to promote oral history best practice and provide opportunities for practitioners to broaden and deepen their skills.

Events are promoted through the State association websites, social media and newsletters.

Go to the events pages of:

OHA resources

This website contains a range of information to assist those learning oral history practice. Sections of particular interest include:


OHA recommends the Oral History Handbook by Beth Robertson, which is available through our association covering South Australia and the Northern Territory.

For further information and to order go to:

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