Government House Foundation Fellowship Lecture


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Presenter:  Dr Pam Oliver

Date: Oct 29, 2015

Time: 5:30pm to 7:00pm

Contact person:  Martin Redhead
T: 08 8946 7770
E: externalrelations@cdu.edu.au

Location:  Blue 5 Auditorium, Casuarina campus

Historically, judgement of the Hon CLA Abbott (and his wife Hilda) during his tenure as Administrator of the Northern Territory, 1937 to 1946, has been consistently harsh. Do the Abbotts deserve a more positive assessment of their legacy? Dr Pam Oliver examines their work from newly available official records produced at the time. She uncovers the Abbotts' conscious agenda in advocating for Territory development and defence, and attempting to improve services for Territorians.

This investigation demonstrates that the Abbotts' positive legacy is overshadowed by constant historical concentration on limited aspects of their work and controversy over wartime events. This negativity increases with retelling.

The lecture provides a more balanced assessment of this hard-working couple's wide-ranging, joint contribution, particularly: employing Government House hospitality to showcase what the Territory had to offer to Australian and overseas visitors, attracting investment to Darwin, negotiating with the Federal Government and the Abbotts' war work. This they achieved under difficult legal and administrative constraints placed on the Territory by the Commonwealth Government.

The Government House Foundation – Charles Darwin University History Fellowship was established through the generosity of the Government House Foundation. The biennial Fellowship extends community understanding and awareness of the significance of Government House and Administrators in the history of the NT.

RSVP: Please register your attendance by email to externalrelations@cdu.edu.au.

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