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Request for funding ANARE Club Oral History Project
I am keen to initiate an oral history project of ANARE members. The project would be initially aimed at those who worked in the Antarctic and subantarctic in the 1950s and 60s, simply because we are losing that history as ANARE members age and become cognitively impaired or die. With time the project should be expanded to include more recent expeditioners, thus providing a more complete overview of ANARE men and women from a broad range of occupations and stations.
The project would act to:
- Preserve Australian Antarctic history
- Increase awareness of ANARE expeditioners and their contribution to Australian Antarctic history and affairs through education and utilisation of information by community groups and schools
- Increase involvement and identity of ANARE expeditioners with the club.
I am particularly interested in including components on:
- Personal reflections and practical aspects of living in a small isolated community in a remote location
- Communication and maintenance of relationships back home. I am particularly keen to record perspectives of family ‘left behind’, an area that, to my knowledge, has not been previously documented in detail
- The impact of women expeditioners on the Antarctic community from the perspective of both male and female expeditioners
- Midwinter and other social events –areas which have been poorly documented in the past, but are a vital part of the ‘fabric’ of Antarctic expeditions
- Recollections of Dr Phil Law.
The project aims to examine a diverse group of participants from a broad spectrum of time. I also believe that by using ex ANARE expeditioners with prior Antarctic experience to conduct the interviews, in preference to professional oral history interviewers, we will achieve greater depth of information and more honest appraisal of various experiences from the interviewed subjects than has been previously achieved.
I have spoken to the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery for initial discussions and they feel the idea has merit and would be interested in accessing the information for use in their permanent (and popular) Antarctic exhibition ‘Islands to Ice’. In addition the Antarctic Tasmania Midwinter Festival, organisers of the upcoming Australasian Antarctic Expedition (AAE) Centenary (2011/12) celebrations and Australian Antarctic Division have expressed interest in utilising information gained from the project.
Project Outline: Time frame: 18 months Budget: $11,500 ($2000 of which has already been approved)
Generate copies of the recording and transcripts for use of the ANARE Club and other interested community groups
Develop ‘picture boards’ with photos and excerpts of transcriptions for visual displays for use of the ANARE Club and other interested community groups e.g. display or presentations at our various midwinter dinners, in schools, libraries, aged care centres, U3A or part of the AAE centenary celebrations.
1. Develop a list of structured questions to ensure some degree of consistency, anything else interesting is a bonus!
2. Liaise with the Oral History Association of Australia to ensure the standard questions are appropriate and fulfil our stated needs. (they have indicated they are willing to assist with this)
3. Advertise for a pool of ANARE volunteers who can participate in a workshop on interview techniques. (five potential interviewers have already been identified)
4. Identify members who would be interested in being interviewed through personal contact and advertisement in the ANARE Club journal and website. (aim minimum number 25 participants)
Project Budget: We believe we can complete the ANARE oral history project as described for $11,500 if we utilise ANARE members to workshop and then interview on a volunteer basis. Costs would include:
· Digital recorder and 2 portable microphones $1000
· Transcription of recording difficult to estimate...say $100-$200 each? I have been told that 1 hour of recording is around 3 hours typing. We could access professional transcribing services, advertise for local secretarial staff etc who wants to earn extra money or canvass ANARE Club members in a paid or volunteer capacity.
· Travel costs for petrol to country locations for interviewers
· Manufacture of posters with photographs and transcribed information $150 -$200 each
I would like a pilot program to be initiated in Tasmania. There are several reasons for this:
· The project had already been discussed with a number of local ANARE expeditioners and has broad support
· I have applied for part funding through the Tasmanian Community Grants Scheme which has a specific focus on benefit to the Tasmanian Community
· I am based in Tasmania and am in a better position to initiate and ensure successful completion of the project.
The project would then be extended nationally in the future if there is sufficient interest. Brett Free is interested in co-ordinating a similar project in Victoria, and I am sure there are members from other states who would be keen to participate as well. The presidents of each state branch could canvass their state members to see if there is sufficient interest. I envisage that digital recording equipment could be passed between the various state programs to further minimise costs.
I have already approached the National Council of the ANARE Club, and they have generously agreed to contribute $2000 towards the project. This is very important from my perspective as it provides sufficient seed funding to at least get the project started.
Ideally I would like the Tas Branch of the ANARE Club to contribute $500 towards project costs.
I have also requested funding through the Tasmanian Community Grants Scheme.They give preference to organisations that invest an amount of their own money (a demonstration of commitment and belief), are local (e.g. TAS branch of the ANARE Club) and who can demonstrate community benefit. Please note that there is no guarantee that I will be successful with our community grant request, and we may need to look at other options for financial support.
I would like to discuss this issue further at the Tas Branch AGM on the 27th September, 2010. Please email or ring me prior to the meeting if you have any suggestions or comments about the proposed project.
ANARE Club Member M98, Q00.