2016 History Conference

This year our theme was: Sex, crime and politics – Castlereagh connections, which stirred and intrigued the minds of us all.

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Date: 12 March 2016
Venue: Bonynge Concert Hall, Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre, 597 High Street Penrith


We welcome Associate Professor Grace Karskens as our keynote speaker to talk about the complex family relationships that defined Castlereagh from the early years.A big surprise was the lovely bunch of native flowers as a thank you for being our keynote speaker on her birthday!!!


Craig Bratby examined the family connections that tied bushranger John Vane to Castlereagh. He has recently published John Vane: biography of a bushranger, now in its 2nd edition.


Graham Wilcox has recently published a book (The struggle for unity) about Sir Arthur Rutledge from Castlereagh who, as Queensland attorney-general, brought Queensland into the Australian federation.


Librarian and researcher Ann-Maree Bonner explained the value of the local records held in the Research Room for local and family history research. She gave some interesting examples of land ownership for Princes Farm and the Dude Ranch.



Again this year we acknowledged the soldiers who ‘made the supreme sacrifice’ in 1916. And Lorraine Stacker closed the conference with a look back on the 15 years of history conferences held by Penrith City Library

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A big thank you to all participants, the stallholders, Penrith Library staff, the speakers, and to Deputy Mayor Councillor Ross Fowler OAM for opening the conference.


Conference proceedings are available on CDROM for $15.                                                     Contact research.services@penrith.city to order.

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