Historian to ‘revisit the frontier’ in public lecture

Published 12 September 2012

In a free public lecture at the University of New England, a visiting historian will examine the “frontier” life of her own forebears on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula.

Jill Roe AO is Professor Emerita in Modern History at Macquarie University in Sydney. The author of an award-winning biography of the Australian novelist Miles Franklin, she will also refer to the young Miles Franklin’s “frontier” experience growing up on the Southern Highlands of NSW in the late nineteenth century, and her portrayal of that experience in her novel All That Swagger (1936).

“Revisiting the frontier: from Miles Franklin’s Brindabella to South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula”, UNE’s Russel Ward Annual Lecture for 2012, will be at 6 pm on Wednesday 19 September. Everyone is welcome to this event, which will be in the A2 Lecture Theatre in UNE’s Arts Building.

A long-standing member of the Editorial Board of the Australian Dictionary of Biography, Professor Roe is currently working on aspects of the history of the Eyre Peninsula. “The lecture will deal mainly with the Eyre Peninsula, still a rather remote region, and its role as a frontier over time – with a particular reference to the past 100 years, concluding with the current extension of mining leases down the east coast of the peninsula,” she said.

The Russel Ward Annual Lecture, sponsored by UNE’s School of Humanities, honours the memory and legacy of Emeritus Professor Russel Braddock Ward, one of UNE’s most renowned scholars. Russel Ward taught at UNE from 1957, and was Deputy Chancellor of the University from 1981 to 1989. He was the author of a number of important books, including The Australian Legend (1958), A Nation for a Continent (1977) and Finding Australia (1987).