South Australia’s History Festival program now out!

April 2019


South Australia’s History Festival program now out!

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South Australians are encouraged to Discover a Different Story about their history at the 16th annual History Festival running from Saturday 27 April to Friday 31 May 2019. With almost 700 events across the state, over 400 organisations involved, and almost a third of the events happening in regional areas there is a piece of history for everyone to enjoy.

The History Festival is one of South Australia’s largest community events and promotes the state’s wonderful collections, places and stories through an amazing range of history related activities. The Festival, which began in 2004 as SA History Week, has grown each year; eventually becoming the month-long festival which attracts over 400 different event organisers from all around South Australia.

The Honourable John Gardner, Minister for Education, has been a believer of the History Festival for many years now, and appreciates the critical role an appreciation of history plays in any society. He says about the festival, “History plays such an important role in our lives, offering us a wonderful insight into our relationship with people and places. I hope that this year’s History Festival can inspire and educate our young people and their families though the broad range of guided tours, talks and exhibitions on offer.”

History Trust CEO Greg Mackie said, “We are into our 16th year of bringing the History Festival to the people of South Australia. Our program includes many niche events and we are encouraging everyone to go and discover a different story, especially those who haven’t experienced the festival before.”

“This year we have events celebrating the 125th anniversary of South Australian Women becoming the first in Australia to win the right to vote and stand for parliament. As well as events celebrating the Epic Flight Centenary, which signifies the 100th anniversary of Sir Ross and Keith Smith being the first to fly from England to Australia in 1919,” Mr Mackie concluded.

This year’s festival will be held in every corner of the state. From Bordertown to Port Lincoln, Penola to the Fleurieu Peninsula, and all the way north to Farina. The events include activities ranging from tours, talks, walks, exhibitions, kids’ events, concerts, dinners and more across metropolitan Adelaide and regional areas.

A small taste of the many History Festival events on offer:

  • Open Doors– The first three days of History Festival brings back Open Doors, which is your chance to get behind the facades of some heritage gems with tours, open days, talks and more. (Around South Australia, 27 – 29 April, continuing into May). Notable buildings include:
  • Government House Open Day (Sun 26 May).
  • Tours of the ABC building, Collinswood (2, 10, 16, 23 & 31 May).
  • Freemasons Lodge tours, North Terrace (Sat 27 & Sun 28 Apr).
  • Queen’s Theatre Tours (Sun 28 Apr).
  • West Terrace Cemetery by Night Tour - Light, sound and live action combine to tell the stories of those interred in the West Terrace Cemetery. (3, 17, and 31 May).
  • When Smalls Were Large: 150 Years of Women’s Underwear – The Migration Museum presents this workshop about the changes in women’s fashion and underwear, and how it reflects the changing role of women in society. (7 May).
  • Grave Matters: Stories Behind the Stones in Port Augusta – Spend your evening walking through Port Augusta Cemetery sharing mishaps and adventures of everyday people of Port Augusta. (2 and 7 May).
  • Historical Walk through Warriparinga with a Taste of Native Foods – Visitors can learn about Kaurna culture and plants used for traditional food and medicine, and enjoy a taste of native bush foods. (18, 23, and 28 May).
  • Kunyi June Anne McInerney: My Paintings Speak For Me, Hahndorf Academy – Learn how Kunyi draws on childhood experiences as a member of the Stolen Generations in the Oodnadatta Children’s Home during the 1950s. (10 May - 30 June).
  • Port Oyster Tales & Bubbles - Hear tales of native oysters stored in the Port River to supply oyster saloons, being pilfered and banned, and now being restored to the river, wine and tastings included to excite all the senses. (Sat 4 & Thu 16 May).
  • Whispering Walls: If the Walls Had Ears - Audience members weave in and out of historic buildings to discover the tales of Nairne. Theatre performance incorporating live performance and multimedia (presented by Ink Pot Arts). (18, 25 & 26 May).

Special Anniversaries:

  • 125 years since women won the right to vote in general elections, and to stand as members of Parliament (Events listed in front of program).
  • Epic Flight Centenary – 100 years ago Sir Ross and Keith Smith were the first to fly from England to Australia in 1919 (events listed in front of program).
  • St Mary’s College turns 150 years in 2019, 150 Years of Empowering Young Women: Our Origin Story (27 April).
  • 2019 is St Peter’s Cathedral’s 150th anniversary.
  • 2019 is the UN’s International Year of Indigenous Languages.

This year’s program will be launched on Friday 5 April by the Hon. John Gardner, Minister for Education, at the Torrens Parade Ground. The program will then be available in The Advertiser on Saturday 6 April.

South Australia’s History Festival runs 27 April to 31 May 2019
Follow us on: @historyfestival #SAHistoryFest

For media enquiries:
Darcy Trebilco, 0423 617 802 or
Belinda Petersen, 0402 358 000