Colonialism and its Aftermath

National Trust

Servicing The Grand House In The Convict Era

clarendon house

Clarendon has been described as one of the great Regency houses of colonial Australia. Built on the banks of the South Esk River for James Cox in 1838 the house is now in the ownership of the National Trust (Tasmania). Although its architectural history has been the subject of several studies little is known about the domestic and estate servants employed on the property and their relationship with the Cox family.

The aim of this project is to identify the men and women who worked on the Clarendon estate during the convict era. It will employ a variety of different records including census, muster returns, bench books and convict department description and offence registers. The purpose of the project will be to write a thesis that seeks to populate the service and working areas of one of Australia's most famous colonial houses.

From ‘Home Hill’ to the Nation: Dame Enid Lyons as Pioneering Broadcaster

Dame Enid Lyons (1897-1981), the first woman to be elected to the House of Representatives, was also the wife of the Prime Minister, Joe Lyons (1879-1939). Dame Enid was Joe’s greatest asset, a popular public speaker and Australia’s best-known woman of her day. She was the first prime minister’s wife to engage directly in a public political career, campaigning actively on his behalf, including in the 1931 election which brought him to office as Prime Minister. She was an adept communicator and effectively used the media, both print and broadcast, to further her husband’s political ambitions and later to further her own political career. When travelling with Joe or on her own, she gave public speeches and broadcasts on such topics as women’s rights, buying Australian goods, and defence. The family’s weatherboard house in Devonport, built in 1916, was the home Enid loved. ‘Home Hill’ was gifted to the Australian people by Dame Enid and is now a house museum owned by Devonport City Council and managed by the National Trust of Tasmania.

This project offers an Honours student the exciting opportunity to research how one of Australia’s most influential women used the media to lobby for political and social reform. It will also involve the production of audio material that will bring Dame Enid Lyon’s voice back into her beloved ‘Home Hill’ and will allow visitors to gain an insight into Dame Enid Lyons, pioneering broadcaster.