First ever Commemorative History Symposium in memory of Dr Rex Stubbs OAM

A new Commemorative History Symposium will be held in September to recognise the great work of Dr Rex Stubbs OAM, a highly esteemed Mayor of Hawkesbury who was elected to Hawkesbury City Council in 1983 and held office for nearly 27 years which made him our longest serving Councillor.

Having served 10 terms as Mayor of Hawkesbury and one term as Deputy Mayor, Dr Stubbs was a truly dedicated member of our community who worked tirelessly to ensure that the Hawkesbury got a major cultural centre in Windsor, now called the Deerubbin Centre.

The Centre incorporates Hawkesbury Regional Gallery and Hawkesbury Library as well as the restored old Hawkesbury Hospital. Extending beyond the Centre and yet close by the cultural hub is the Hawkesbury Regional Museum in Howe Street, Windsor.

Dr Stubbs was well known for his support of the arts generally and for his love of history in particular, the Mayor of Hawkesbury, Councillor Kim Ford said.

“Council is funding and organising the inaugural Dr Rex Stubbs OAM Commemorative History Symposium to acknowledge his wonderful contribution and to also promote the study and appreciation of local history,” Mayor Ford said.

“The Hawkesbury has Rex to thank for his unfailing dedication to this major infrastructure project that has given us a strong cultural focus in our region that attracts visitors and residents alike for educational and cultural experiences.”

Dr Stubbs was an active member of a number of local groups, including Hawkesbury Historical Society, of which he was President from 1992 to 2010.

Following the passing of Dr Stubbs in 2010, Council resolved to remember his contribution by funding an annual cultural activity named after him to promote the study and appreciation of local history.

This originally took the form of a scholarship until 2015, when a review was undertaken to ensure that the program was effective in meeting expectations. As a result, the scholarship has now given way to the broader history-heritage event in the form of this history symposium, to be hosted by Council’s Cultural Services Branch.

Members of all Hawkesbury historical societies and heritage related groups, as well as those in the immediate local areawill be invited to attend, to network, share ideas, learn and enjoy in a day of talks and presentations on Saturday, 3 September.

Dolla Merrillees, Director of the Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences (formerly The Powerhouse Museum) will
deliver the keynote address. Dolla is widely published and brings scholarship, national and international partnerships to the position, as well as an emphasis on audiences and opening up opportunities for engagement, participation and access. The job of moving the facility from Ultimo to Parramatta will fall largely on her shoulders.

Other talks will include ‘Oral histories as the base for new projects and new audiences’, by Tim Carroll, and ‘Every migrant has a story’, by Judith Dunn OAM.

Tim Carroll has been the Director of Bankstown Youth Development Service (BYDS) since 1991, making him the longest serving arts worker in Western Sydney. Tim runs a multitude of contemporary arts based projects. He has initiated and edited various publications including The Bankstown Oral History Project.

Renowned historian, tour guide and author Judith Dunn is a past president and served on the Parramatta and District Historical Society Council for 23 years where she is also a Fellow. Her books include ‘The Parramatta Cemeteries’ series and ‘Colonial Ladies, Lovely, Lively & Lamentably Loose’. Judith is a Councillor of the Royal Australian Historical Society and one of their representatives on the Federation of Australian Historical Societies. In 2011 she was awarded an OAM for services to History and Heritage.