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.

Peter Davies has had a research interest in the archaeology of Australia and the ancient Near East for more than fifteen years. He is the author of Henry’s mill: the historical archaeology of a forest community (Archaeopress, 2006). He currently teaches archaeology at La Trobe University in Melbourne.

Brienne Callahan holds an MA in Global Media Communication from the University of Melbourne. Whilst her research generally focuses on gender, politics and elections, she retains a soft spot in her heart for history and North Carlton.

Lyn Payne has a Bachelor of Arts (Hons), Diploma in Education, Master of Educational Studies and Master of Arts (Public History). She has been a teacher of history in secondary schools and was an educator in schools programs and public education at Museum Victoria for over ten years. She has an ongoing interest in the history of education in Victoria, in local and community histories and in cultural heritage.

Victoria Haskins is a lecturer in Australian history at the University of Newcastle. A former curator at the National Museum of Australia, she is a cultural historian utilising a range of sources including material culture and visual representations as well as the traditional archive.

Robyn Ballinger has been writing and researching histories on regional Victoria for the past ten years. She is currently building on her interest in how the dynamic forces of culture and nature inform attitudes toward water use as a PhD candidate in the School of Historical Studies at the University of Melbourne.

Belinda Robson is the author of Recovering art: a history of the Cunningham Dax Collection (2006) and holds a PhD in History from the University of Melbourne. Her doctoral thesis was a biography of Eric Cunningham Dax and she has published several articles on the Cunningham Dax Collection and on the role of Dax in reforming mental health services in Victoria. She has also worked in social research and policy in government and non-government sectors.

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