Western Australia

Event Report: ‘Tis the season to be jolly’ with Bill Bunbury

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OHWA General meeting held 1st December 2021 ‘Tis the season to be jolly’
Featuring Bill Bunbury and his Gems from the Air
A jolly night with OHWA members and friends was held on 1st December at the State Library of WA. This was the association’s last event for the 2021.

Bill Bunbury, our guest speaker for the evening, shared snippets from his vast library of oral history interviews. Some were comical, some serious, but all were worthy examples of the impact that hearing the voice of an interviewee sharing their stories can have. Listening to the emotions, the tones of the voice and the quality of the sound puts us figuratively next to the person being interviewed.

Many pertinent questions came from the audience about the interviewing techniques that Bill uses.

For example, how did Bill choose his guests? What about his choice of interviewing questions and how does he decide on a comfortable interviewing setting for the interviewee? What equipment does he use?
At the completion of the evening’s talk, Bill and his “techie” wife, Jenny, were thanked for sharing their passion and expertise for oral histories.

Congratulations were also extended to our illustrious guest speakers for the double success of their latest book Many Maps: Charting Two Cultures: First Nations Australians and European Settlers in Western Australia. They were awarded the Royal WA Historical Society’s Williams Lee Steere Prize 2021 and the Oral History Australia 2021 Book Award.

Bill and Jenny will return in February 2022 to share more details about the essence of making a good oral history interview and how these stories contribute to the recorded history of the State and Nation. As Bill said on the evening, “He is yet to meet an ordinary person” – all have unique life stories to tell.


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