Historians tell all: learn about region’s ‘hidden history’

Two experts tasked with unearthing missing chapters in Sunshine Coast history are ready to reveal their findings


Four soldiers from the Caloundra Artillery Camp in the Battery Hill area

Sunshine Coast Historians in Residence, Brian Rough and Dr Tony Brady will close the loop on their recent research that ranged from farming to the frontline.

They will share their fascinating accounts of the region’s hidden history with the community at two free seminars.

Both experts will present at Landsborough Museum on May 19 and Nambour Heritage Library on May 25, presenting on their research topics, agricultural practices in Glass House Mountains and the region during World War II.

Sunshine Coast Council Division 1 and Community Portfolio (Arts and Heritage) Councillor Rick Baberowski said that with the world changing so profoundly in terms of population, technology and environment, it was extremely valuable to examine and learn whatever lessons are possible from the past.

“Council’s annual Historian in Residence program enables us to delve into the gaps in our region’s history,” Cr Baberowski said.

“The research our historians undertake is not just about finding or reframing historical facts, it is about providing a potentially useful perspective to us now by describing the context of the time. 

“This can be genuinely exciting and means finding the connecting tissue between the people, culture, place, geography, economics and politics of the day.

“History is necessarily complex, and what is intriguing about both current research projects, is that they offer a perspective on how and why decisions were made that influenced our region’s development.

“This type of evidence-based research opens up important discussion and debate and can really help us better understand our options going forward.”

Each historian explored their research topic from a number of angles.

Dr Tony Brady’s first research delved into unearthing agricultural practices and the changes to mixed farming practices over time.

Bill Burgess standing next to a trailer load of pineapples ready to pack for the Golden Circle cannery 1950. Image Picture Sunshine Coast.

His second research topic examined the complexities of the geography surrounding the Glass House Mountains and its influence on cropping.

Dr Brady’s final topic examined how producers moved product to the market and farmers adapted to a changing world.

Brian Rough’s research project examined the Sunshine Coast during WWII.

His first research topic explored the role played by local government in co-ordinating civil defence and providing stability in an uncertain time.

The groundswell of motivated community groups and organisations who provided mutual support, encouraged resilience, and supported service personnel at home and abroad was the subject of his second topic.

Brian’s third research topic examined the strategic importance of the Sunshine Coast region in the wartime defence of South-East Queensland.

The free seminars include morning tea however, you must reserve your seat.

To book a place go to ‘What’s On’ at heritage.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au or phone 5420 8600.  

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.