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    Oral History Victoria Advanced Workshop: Conducting Oral History Interviews on sensitive or painful subjects

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    Event description

    Interviews on topics such as war, natural disaster, illness or violence are likely to be challenging for the interviewee and the interviewer. But any oral history interview can trigger difficult and painful remembering and will require an appropriate response and appropriate preparation in the first place. This OHV online Advanced Workshop by two of Australia’s most experienced oral history trainers will consider: the personal and ethical responsibilities of the oral historian; the range of ways in which interviews might generate difficult or painful remembering; minimising risk in project planning and communication; issues and approaches for interviewing on sensitive subjects and responding to difficult remembering; the safety of the interviewee and interviewer; and responsibilities and options after the interview.

    Participants in this advanced workshop must have interview experience or have participated in an OHV Oral History Beginners workshop. You will be encouraged to bring relevant examples from your own oral history practice for discussion. In 2023 this course was full booked with a long waiting list, so don’t delay your registration.


    Sarah Rood is a professional consulting historian who has been working in the field for the past 20 years. She has seen the uses and applications of oral history change drastically. Motivated by a desire to help communicate the past and to help connect individuals and communities with history and identity Sarah has recorded countless oral history interviews. Firmly believing that everyone has a story to tell, Sarah aims to work with people to record their stories in a way that both documents their experiences and ensures that (with permission) it can be accessed by others in the future. The interplay between the tangible and the intangible and how this plays out in oral history is a constant source of intrigue for Sarah. In recent years Sarah’s focus has also turned to the way story gathering and storytelling can be applied to drive change.

    Alistair Thomson, Emeritus Professor of History and national award-winning teacher, taught his first oral history workshop in 1985 at the Wangaratta Centre for Continuing Education and has been teaching oral history in both community and academic settings ever since. Al is currently President of Oral History Australia. His oral history books include: Anzac Memories: Living with the Legend (1994), The Oral History Reader (2016), Ten Pound Poms: Australia’s Invisible Migrants (2005), Moving Stories: an intimate history of four women across two countries (2011), Oral History and Photography (2011), and Australian Lives: An Intimate History (2017). Al is currently leading a research project about the history of fathering in Australia and co-editing The Bloomsbury Oral History Handbook. For further information about the course, contact:

    PLEASE NOTE: Tickets for OHV training are first made available to OHV members, and then to non-members a week later (insert date). OHV members also benefit reduced rates for registrations. For more details on OHV membership visit.

    OHV reserves the right to cancel this training session if registrations are below a minimum required and under other unforeseen circumstances. In the event of a cancelation, a refund will be provided.

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