Kultur & Literatur

Traces Edition 10, 2020

Traces magazine delves deep into Australia’s history, from ancient Indigenous heritage to colonial times,convicts, local history, antiques and artefacts, family genealogy and more!

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2 Min.
welcome to the 10th edition of traces!

As summer draws to a close, many of our readers will be taking stock after a catastrophic season of bushfires that has laid waste to huge swaths of the country. The Traces team was devastated by the unfolding destruction, and our thoughts are with any of our readers who lost a loved one, a property, a home or a way of life. The silver lining behind this very dark cloud has been the outpouring of support from Australians near and far. While communities, charities and volunteers rally to get towns and businesses back up and running, Australia’s precious heritage has not been forgotten. Indigenous communities and archaeologists fear that thousands of historic Aboriginal sites and artefacts have been damaged or destroyed by the bushfires, including ancient rock art at Carnarvon Gorge…

1 Min.
letters to the editor

‘Cranky Bella’ in edition 9 of Traces was a great read! I love reading about Australia’s female criminals, in particular, as they often seem to be brazen, cunning and desperate. Full of character for us historians! Hard times, no doubt, but fascinating stories came out of this era. Can’t wait to read about the next crim! Francis Leatherman Dr Kate Bagnall’s article on researching Chinese families in colonial Australia really captured my attention last edition. I was really interested to learn about Chinese Australians at this time, as I have Chinese ancestors who settled in Bendigo. They must have been so brave to enter this new world as a minority community, and I am so proud to have this heritage. Dr Bagnall gave a wonderful insight into her research. Thanks for sharing. Rebecca…

3 Min.
heritage news

Research funding for Australian society, history and culture The Morrison Government is funding a new research program to recognise the importance of research into Australian society, history and culture. Minister for Education Dan Tehan announced $12 million for academics to pursue research on Australian issues, focusing on Australian culture, society and history. ‘The scheme will look at the way in which we live today, and how the past has contributed to Australian society and culture, including how our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history and culture is understood, and has impacted modern Australian society. ‘We hope this new initiative will bring a greater understanding of our Australian Indigenous history, our heritage and the success of multiculturalism.’ Treasures of the Natural World landing in Melbourne Some of the world’s biggest, rarest, oldest, strangest and most fascinating treasures…

1 Min.
what’s that thingamajig?

This wooden snake-catching stick was used by Commonwealth Serum Laboratories (CSL) Ltd., in Parkville, Victoria, in the 1920s. It was used by CSL to safely grip the back of the snake’s head without injuring the animal so that it could be milked for venom. The company used the venom to produce antivenoms that could treat victims of poisonous bites. CSL was established in Australia in 1916 to provide health products, including vaccines, insulin and penicillin, to a nation isolated by war. The snake-catching stick has a wooden handle, a metal trigger and a metal rod that is spring-tensioned and runs along the handle. There is a trigger-release mechanism located at the handle, and the other end features metal ‘jaws’ that snap shut, trapping the snake.…

3 Min.
department of lands building, sydney

THEN Located on Bridge Street in the Sydney CBD, this stately building was constructed in 1877 for the New South Wales Department of Lands, and was used as the organisation’s administrative head office. The Department played an especially significant role during the rapid expansion of settlement during the late 1800s. The three-storey building was designed by colonial architect James Barnet and built in two stages – the first between 1876 and 1881, and the second between 1888 and 1892 under colonial architect Walter Vernon’s supervision. The builder, John Young, was the first person in Sydney to build with ferro-cement – concrete slabs reinforced with metal mesh or rods. At the time of its construction, the Department of Lands building boasted the latest office technology and features, including spiral stairs, speaking tubes, pneumatic…

4 Min.
australia’s floating jails

There is a classic narrative in Australia that convicts spent their days in penal colonies like Port Arthur and Norfolk Island, which struck fear into the hearts of convicts and settlers alike. But what many people don’t know is that many convicts weren’t even lucky enough to end up there. With prisons overflowing and convicts continuing to be transported to the colonies, former seagoing vessels were quickly modified to accommodate inmates. To understand why these vessels were used in the colonies, it’s important to gain an understanding of what life was like in the United Kingdom in the 18th century. Prisons in Britain were dangerously overcrowded, and after the American Revolutionary War prevented Britain from transporting any more criminals off shore to the United States, British officials were stuck – where…