New quest to unearth region’s hidden history
  • Tuesday 15 November 2022
Historians in residence round 2

From farms to the front line, some epic missing chapters in Sunshine Coast history are about to be uncovered.

Two new historians have settled into their research base at Bankfoot House Heritage Precinct and the Sunshine Coast Heritage Library, ready to explore – and reveal - more of the region’s hidden history.

Their findings are expected to be shared with the public next May.

Council’s Historian in Residence program enters its second year, with Dr Tony Brady and Brian Rough at the helm.

Dr Brady is studying ‘The Development of Agriculture in the Landsborough Region since 1868’, while Brian Rough’s topic of research is ‘Breaking through the clouds of war: living through World War II on the Sunshine Coast’.

Sunshine Coast Council’s Community Portfolio Councillor Rick Baberowski said this important program offered the historians the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in a research project and seek out primary sources where they still exist.

“Through their topics, we expect both historians will reveal, document, and showcase significant aspects of the region’s history and heritage that may otherwise be lost,” Cr Baberowski said.

“Both historians will seek input from a diverse range of individuals and community groups.

“We are fortunate to have the resources through the levy to commission professional historians with the skills and experience to undertake comprehensive formal desktop research in addition to capturing narratives from lived experience wherever possible, which is the industry standard approach required if we are to better understand our heritage from different and more complete perspectives.”

Council will host community sharing sessions in February 2023, with final research outcomes presented to the public in a series of talks in May.

Dr Brady said his topic ‘The Development of Agriculture in the Landsborough Region since 1868’ focused on unearthing agrarian practices at Bankfoot House.

“I’ll be looking at the physiographical challenges of farming the Glass House Mountains Region and the challenges and changes in getting that produce to market,” Dr Brady said.

Brian Rough said his research focus ‘Breaking through the clouds of war: living through World War II on the Sunshine Coast’, looked at the civic response to war.

“I’ll be connecting oral histories with civic records and documents to develop a rich narrative of how the local community experienced the war years,” Mr Rough said.

“While personal accounts of the war exist, there is a gap in the documented history regarding the role of local government and community organisations on the Coast.”

To follow the program or to review the outcomes from previous historians Dr Ray Kerkhove and Kate Kirby, visit council’s heritage website

This project is supported by the Sunshine Coast Arts and Heritage Levy.

The Levy, which is charged to every rateable property, is used to document, research, conserve, protect, promote and provide access to those tangible and intangible items, places, facilities and events that define the stories, history and values of the people, communities and culture of the Sunshine Coast.