Seeking an Oral History Interviewer

Update August 2021: Thanks for your interest, this position has now been filled.

I am looking for an experienced oral historian to join me as a second interviewer for my ARC DECRA project, Australian Design, Trades and Manufacturing: Connecting Histories. The project aims to draw links between Australian design histories and Australian manufacturing histories, by focusing on the relationship between designers and those who worked in local production (e.g. tradespeople, manufacturers, technical assistants), with an emphasis on the second half of the twentieth century. (More project information here.)

The interviews won’t commence until the end of 2021/ early 2022 (and obviously will be managed pending lockdowns, travel restrictions, vaccination rates, etc). Interviewees could be from all around Australia, however, given the historical manufacturing hubs in Victoria and NSW, often those states will feature more heavily. The need for a second interviewer is because I have a young family and I want to limit my travel.

Interview participants may include (but are not limited to): designers, industrial modelmakers, textiles patternmakers, production assistants, manufacturing tradespeople, former commercial artists, manufacturing business owners, etc. This project covers a broad swathe of manufacturing sectors, including: fashion and textiles, printing and graphic design, industrial design and metals production.

The interviews will be conducted in association with the National Library of Australia and will follow the Library’s “whole of life” method. Preference will be given to interviewers who are already trained in NLA equipment, and/or are familiar with life-history interviewing. The interviews will also cover topics such as education, career shifts, precarious work, trades training (where relevant), gender and work, creativity, technological change, and the impacts of deindustrialisation / economic restructuring.

The DECRA funding will cover the interviewer’s travel to the interview location, accommodation if required, and 18 hours paid work per interview (this includes preparation and interview time). The pay rate is “UTS Casual HEW08 Step 6” – that’s around $81 p/hour, (although that rate should go up slightly with indexing in the next enterprise agreement). The number of interviews will be around 6, but this is somewhat flexible.

Please send a CV to jesse.stein@uts.edu.au, and if you have a link to an audio sample of your interviewing that would also be very helpful.

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