Lost And Found: The 1939 'black Friday' Bushfires Royal Commission Evidence

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9th November 2009, 09:39am - Views: 907





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Lost and Found: The 1939 ‘Black Friday’ Bushfires Royal

Commission Evidence


The full transcript of evidence from the1939 'Black Friday' Bushfires Royal Commission has been

unearthed at the University of Melbourne, providing a compelling insight into the Royal Commission and

fire management practices of 70 years ago.


Until the fires of February this year, the 1939 bushfires were the worst in Victoria’s history. The similarities

and differences between the fires, and the past and current Royal Commission will be discussed at a

seminar on Monday 9 November at the University of Melbourne’s Parkville campus.


Judge Leonard Stretton’s 1939 Royal Commission heard evidence in many city and country locations. The

2,600 pages of evidence convey the experience and opinions of the community, from graziers and

foresters to sawmill owners, timber workers, and police.


The 1939 Royal Commission witness evidence, found at the University of Melbourne’s Creswick campus,

provides a fascinating contrast to the fires of February 2009.



Speakers at the seminar will include:



Jack Rush, QC, Senior Counsel assisting the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission. 



Dr Kevin Tolhurst, Senior Lecturer - Fire Ecology and Management, on the similarities and

differences between the 1939 and 2009 fires. 



Kate Darian-Smith, Professor of Australian Studies and History, on experiences and opinions in

1939 compared to 2009. 



Dr Leon Bren, Associate Professor - Department of Forest and Ecosystem Science, looking at the

site of a major tragedy seventy years on. 



WHAT: 

Lost and Found: The 1939 ‘Black Friday’ Bushfires Royal Commission Evidence

WHEN:

Monday 9 November 2009, 11am – 12.00pm

WHERE:

Elisabeth Murdoch Theatre, University of Melbourne, Parkville campus

closest entrance at Gate 3 off Swanston street



For more information please contact:

Nerissa Hannink, Media Office, University of Melbourne, T: (03) 8344 8151, M: 0430 588 055,

E: nhannink@unimelb.edu.au

Media Alert

Available for immediate release

Attention: Newsdesk

Issued Monday 9 November, 2009






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