Collecting Passions and Pitfalls

Talking History – Collecting Passions and Potential Pitfalls

Five of South Australia’s esteemed historians, curators and academics will discuss the nuances of collecting in contexts both personal and for museums. Let us ponder the question “why, how and what do we collect?”

Date: Tuesday 20 June
Time: 6pm – 8pm
Location: UniSA City West Campus,
The Bradley Forum, Hawke Building,
50-55 North Terrace, Adelaide 5000

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Panelists will dive into the joyous side of collecting and its many benefits to our society, but also its more sinister history of theft and deception. Hear from the people who actively preserve SA’s history through the collection of not only precious objects, but also stories, art and the written word.

This is an interactive event with a Q&A at the end. Gourmet canapés and liquid refreshment will be offered upon arrival.

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Dr Jared Thomas is a Nukunu person of the Southern Flinders Ranges and the Research Fellow Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Material Culture and Art at the South Australian Museum and the University of South Australia. He is also the highly regarded author of critically acclaimed books for children and young adults.

Adrian Franklin trained in social anthropology in the UK and has held Professorial positions in the UK, Europe and Australia. His research interests include contemporary social theory; more-than-human studies; urban studies; loneliness studies; art museums and art publics; festivals; design; mobilities and tourism; creativity and collecting.  Recent books include Collecting the Twentieth Century (University of New South Wales Press and Powerhouse Museum); Retro: A Guide to the Mid-Twentieth Century Design Revival (Bloomsbury) City Life (Sage) The Making of MONA (Penguin); Anti-museum (Routledge).  He was a Panellist and later a Co-Host on ABC TV’s Collectors (2005-2011) and is a keen collector of the twentieth century.  He is Editor of The Routledge International Handbook of More-than-Human Studies (forthcoming 2023) and is currently researching the making of the extraordinary new London Museum at West Smithfield.

Mandy Paul is Head of Collections at the History Trust of South Australia, responsible for the management and development of the State History Collection. Understanding and sharing complex and contested histories is a thread running through her career, informing her work over three decades as a social history curator, museum director and collection manager, and as a consultant historian on native title claims in jurisdictions across Australia. Mandy holds post-graduate qualifications in history and museum studies and has published widely on Australian social history, museology and the intersection of history and law in native title. She is currently a Partner Investigator on two ARC Linkage projects: ‘Reconciling with the Frontier: Accounting for Colonial Conflict’ and ‘LGBTQ Migrations: Life Story Narratives in the South Australian GLAM Sector’. Mandy is also a Visiting Research Fellow in the School of Humanities at the University of Adelaide, a member of the State Records Council of South Australia, and a member of the Flinders University College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences Industry Advisory Board.

Corinne Ball, Senior Curator at the History Trust of South Australia, is entrusted with the care and management of the State History Collection. She has produced many exhibitions drawing on these collections to tell rich stories about South Australia. One such story, from the Migration Museum’s time as a Destitute Asylum, resulted in her researching and publishing the book Three-ring circus about the dramatic and tragic life of Mabel Worley.


Dr Kiera Lindsey is South Australia’s History Advocate – the History Trust of SA’s principal public spokesperson on South Australian history. In this capacity, Kiera undertakes research, advocacy and outreach to historical organisations, individual practitioners and the broader community, while also working with urban and regional communities & other groups to increase appreciation of our distinctive history. Kiera is an award-winning historian who has been enthusiastically exploring historical ideas and deepening our interest in and understandings of the past, via books and articles, radio and podcasts, film and television, teaching and talking for over twenty years.