History month soars in SA

The South Australian History Festival runs from 27 April to 31 May, with highlights including the launch of a new edition of Sir Ross Smith’s account of his epic 1919 flight from England to Australia, and an exhibition exploring the personal stories of returned local soldiers.

Edited by Professor Peter Monteath, the new version of 14000 Miles Through the Air will be launched by Sir Angus Houston at a free event on Monday 20 May at the Torrens Parade Ground. Sir Houston has served in senior leadership roles including Chief of Air Force in the Royal Australian Air Force and Chief of the Defence Force, and provided the foreword to the book.

Flinders University PhD candidate Sandra Kearney also has a History Festival event scheduled. She is curating a new exhibition based on her thesis for the Unley Museum, which will provide fascinating insights into the local history of those who went to war. The free public launch of Life. Unley’s Own Returning Home on 9 May explores the personal stories of soldiers within the 27th Australian Infantry Battalion, as they returned home to lives in Unley after serving on the front during the Great War.

Meanwhile, Dr Gillian Dooley’s talk last year for the History Trust of Australia ‘Matthew Flinders and his Friends’, was uploaded on the Trust’s website as part of a suite of diverse historical talks to share during the Festival – including one from Dr Alice Gorman on what space junk says about humans.

Dr Samantha Battams has already launched her new book on notorious serial killer ‘Black Widow’ Martha Needle, at a History Festival event on Sunday 28 April.

Find out what else is happening at the History Festival this month.

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