Sonia Jennings is a professional historian and partner in Living Histories. Her history work has covered diverse areas including fashion, artistic culture, nursing, government and sport. Sonia and partner Mary Sheehan are currently working on a history of the Australian Federation of Air Pilots. Sonia is the Victorian representative on the Australian Council of Professional Historians Associations.

Sarah Mirams is a PhD candidate at Monash University, Gippsland Campus.

Valerie Lovejoy is a PhD student in the School of Historical and European Studies at La Trobe University. She lives in Bendigo and has a particular interest in Victorian regional history. She is the author of Mapmakers of Fortuna: A History of the Army Survey Regiment. Valerie’s PhD thesis is a study of nineteenth-century Chinese immigrants to the Bendigo goldfield.

Benjamin Mountford has studied Public History and Education at the University of Melbourne and the University of Western Australia. His research interests include Chinese-Australian history, crime and punishment in colonial Australia, urban history and museology. He has held research, education and public access positions at Melbourne Museum, The Western Australian Museum and the Cultural Heritage Unit at the University of Melbourne. He is currently writing a fourth year history dissertation on Fook Shing, a Chinese detective in colonial Victoria.

Keir Reeves is an Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow at the Cultural Heritage Unit in the History Department at the University of Melbourne. His doctoral dissertation was on the Chinese on the Mount Alexander diggings. He has recently been awarded an Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship to undertake research into the history and cultural landscapes of central Victoria and to consider the international significance of the region in terms of its heritage values.

Lee-Ann Monk is an Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow (Industry) in the History Program at La Trobe University, where she is researching the history of Kew Cottages (Kew Residential Services) as part of an interdisciplinary research team funded by an ARC-Linkage Grant with the Victorian Department of Human Services. Lee-Ann is writing a book on the history of Kew Cottages from its beginnings as the first specialised institution for people with intellectual disability in Australia to its imminent closure.

Karin Derkley is completing a Masters Preliminary at La Trobe University where she intends writing her thesis on the migration of the artist John Glover to Van Diemen’s Land in 1831. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from RMIT University and has worked for many years as a journalist.

Ruth Dwyer is a freelance researcher and occasional author with a previous involvement in education. As a researcher her main interests are in the Australian decorative arts, the non-British population in nineteenth-century Victoria, and the history of Hawthorn, the suburb in which she lives. Papers concerning the arts have appeared in The World of Antiques & Art, and especially in Australiana, a journal published quarterly in New South Wales.

Dawn Peel lives and works in Colac. She has had articles published on the history of old age, housing and the elderly, Federation, soldier settlement, the home front during the Second World War and the role of death in community formation. While Colac’s history is drawn on in all of these, it is always used to illuminate wider historical themes and to demonstrate the potential and broad relevance of local history in this regard.

Jenny Carter is a genealogist, family historian and teacher who visits PROV’s reading rooms once a week, sometimes more often when working on a research project. The idea for the present article came about during a visit in early 2007 when she was looking through the Chief Secretary’s Department files for information on which to base a talk on researching family history. Fascinated by a group of letters that caught her eye, Jenny soon found herself discovering what credentials were needed when applying for a government position in mid-nineteenth-century Victoria.

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