A Natural Battleground with Dr Bobbie Oliver
Hear Dr Oliver discuss her book, A Natural Battleground: The Fight to Establish a Rail Heritage Centre at Western Australia's Midland Railway Workshops.
In this talk, Dr Oliver discusses the heritage importance of the site and how a rail heritage centre could not only tell the story of the Workshops and its people but also guard against the mistakes of its closure being repeated in the future.
The 4 March 2019 marked the 25th anniversary of the Workshops closing in 1994. In 2000, the State government appointed the Midland Redevelopment Authority with a 15-year tenure to re-develop the site. Between 2000 and 2006, Dr Bobbie Oliver of Curtin University headed two Australia Research Council-funded projects that collected, researched and wrote the history of the Workshops. Yet today, despite some construction such as a housing estate at the western end and the creation of streets, most of the main buildings remain vacant.
Once an industrial battleground between the employer and unions, the site is still a "natural battleground" over conflicting views about the use of the buildings.
Copies of her recent book, A Natural Battleground; the fight to establish a rail heritage centre at Western Australia’s Midland Railway Workshops will be available for purchase.
Please advise if you have any access requirements.
Tea/coffee will be available 15 minutes prior to the talk beginning.
About Dr Bobbie Oliver:
Bobbie Oliver is Honorary Research Fellow in History at The University of Western Australia. Prior to her retirement in 2018, she was Associate Professor of History at Curtin University. She is the author of several books on labour history and is co-editor of The Workshops. A history of the Midland Government Railway Workshops (UWA Press, 2006) which won the Premier’s Prize for Western Australian History. Her most recent book, A Natural Battleground. The fight to establish a rail heritage centre at Western Australia’s Midland Railway Workshops is published by Interventions, Melbourne.