Talk / Dr Lisa Murray: re-assessing colonial imperialism. The Jim Kerr Address on the International Day for Monuments & Sites, 18 April

Dr. Lisa Murray
  • The Jim Kerr Address on the International Day for Monuments & Sites, 18 April 2018, Sydney

Presented by Australia ICOMOS in association with the Sydney Opera House and the Heritage Council of NSW.

The 2018 guest speaker is Professional Historian Dr Lisa Murray, whose talk is titled Monuments and Memories: re-assessing colonial imperialism.

Public monuments and memorials have been a vital form of commemoration that have shaped our collective memory and understanding of history for generations. Monuments have been erected by governments and institutions, private citizens through public subscriptions, and by individuals. They function to reinforce power and privilege, shaping public narratives. Memorials help people to remember, but at the same time they also assist in the art of forgetting. The meaning and social values of monuments are never static. Monuments take on layers of meaning through interpretation, cultural practices, re-inscribing and protest. The broadening of historiography in the late 20th century has allowed many groups of people to challenge the dominant colonial imperial narratives and to add other voices to the historical dialogue.

This lecture will reflect upon how the social values of monuments evolve and the challenges in addressing conflicting memories, both European and Aboriginal social values, in our public monuments.

Dr Lisa Murray is a Professional Historian. With over 15 years of experience in the field of public history, Lisa is passionate about making history accessible to the public. Lisa is the award-winning author of planning histories and a regular contributor to debates around public history, including being a speaker at TEDxSydney in 2013. Her most recent books are Sydney Cemeteries: A Field Guide (NewSouth Publishing, 2016), which won a National Trust Heritage Award, and Our City: 175 Years in 175 Objects, an expansive catalogue that accompanied an anniversary exhibition at Sydney Town Hall in 2017. Lisa is currently writing a history of Australian Cemeteries, to be published by the National Library of Australia. Other research interests include history in the digital age; sensory urbanism; history and creative practice; landscapes and memory; the Dictionary of Sydney; Sydney music; and Sydney cookery books.

MC for the event will be Laura Matarese, who is the Planning and Heritage Policy Officer at the Sydney Opera House. Prior to joining the House, she was a heritage consultant in Australia (2007-2014) and most recently worked at the Getty Conservation Institute, Los Angeles, in the Conserving Modern Architecture Initiative on the Eames House, Salk Institute and education and training projects (2014-2018). Laura was awarded a US/ICOMOS internship at the Presidio Trust, San Francisco (2013). She holds a master’s degree in heritage conservation from the University of Sydney and is a member of ICOMOS’ International Scientific Committee for Twentieth Century Heritage.

Date, Time & Place: Wednesday 18 April 2018, 5.30 for 6.00pm start, Utzon Room, Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point, Sydney 2000


This event is proudly sponsored by: