Friday, 19 September 2008

RHSV / RSV Lecture - The Adventures of a historian in the International Arms Trade

 Speaker:    Dr Peter Yule
Price: $15 RHSV or RSV members - $20 non-members
Time: 6.00 pm refreshments 6.30 Lecture
Start Date: 25 September 2008
End Date: 25 September 2008

Address: Royal Society of Victoria, 9 Victoria Street
City: Melbourne

Bookings essential
Contact:

Phone: 9326 9288
Email: office@historyvictoria.org.au
URL: http://www.historyvictoria.org.au

Writing the history of the Collins Class Submarine project

The Australian navy has six Collins Class submarines, designed by the Swedish company
Kockums, and built at Port Adelaide between 1989 and 2003.

The construction of the Collins class submarines was Australia's largest and most
controversial military purchase. The submarine project was subjected to
an unprecedented level of media scrutiny and criticism, became highly politicised and
on several occasions faced the prospect of being abandoned.

Writing the history of the submarine project proved to be an interesting cultural
clash as I wandered through arms fairs, interviewed fanatical weapons experts and
waded through the container loads of documents generated by the project.

I was surprised by the conclusions I came to. The general public perception of the
submarine project is that it was a hugely expensive failure and that the submarines
are noisy 'dud subs'. The reality is very different. The submarines are not 'noisy as
a rock concert' but they do have a major defect which the media and the public have
never understood.

To reveal this defect will lay me open to massive retribution from international arms
dealers, but I promise to tell all at the RHSV/Royal Society lecture on 25
September.

Peter Yule is a Research Fellow of the History Department of the University of
Melbourne. He has written widely on medical, business and local history, with his
recent books including a biography of Sir Ian Potter and Steel, Spies and Spin: the
Collins Class Submarine Story. He is currently writing a biography of W.L. Baillieu.

Friday, 5 September 2008

RHSV Lecture - Summer in the Hills

Speaker: Andrea Inglis
When: Tuesday 9 September
Where: RHSV - 239 A'Beckett Street, Melbourne
Time: 5.15 pm coffee/tea 5.45 pm
LectureCost: Members Free Non Members $5.50

Australia’s colonial gentry found it fashionable to summer in the hills. Mountain resorts at Mount Macedon in Victoria, at Toowoomba in Queensland and in the Blue Mountains and Southern Highlands of New South Wales and the Adelaide Hills of South Australia, offered a cooler climate, curative mountain air, exotic gardens and a place for high society to gather.

Andrea Inglis takes a close look at these antipodean hill stations, which had their Imperial or Anglo-Indian antecedents and yet a character of their own. She opens a window on a style of life that was distinctive in its aesthetics and its ideas about health and the Australian bush.

Andrea Inglis is an historian with an interest in Australian social history, in particular the recreation and leisure pursuits of colonists in the nineteenth century. She has a Doctorate in history from the University of Melbourne and is the author of Beside the Seaside, a history of the early seaside resorts of Victoria, published in 1999 and Summer in the Hills: The Nineteenth-Century Mountain Resort in Australia published in 2008. Andrea has been a teacher and currently works in educational research.