"Who are we now?" - Dermatology Oral History Stories

Having done several interviews for the Australasian College of Dermatologists Victorian Faculty a couple of years ago it was very exciting when the Faculty decided to build on these and embark on a "Who are we now?" history project.

History@Work was given the go-ahead to turn these interviews into something more engaging then a set of transcripts and full length recordings. Two themes were developed from the interview material and two oral history stories produced: "Get out of your own backyard - Training in dermatology" and "Coming of age - Transitions in Victorian dermatology". These were launched at the Victorian Faculty's annual dinner at Matteo's Restaurant on October 16th with two of the original interviewees in attendance. The voices and discussion amongst all seven were listened too with much affection, interest and amusement as, between them, they had mentored, trained, and worked with many of the over one hundred people in the room.

This project is also a great example of community history, supported by a professional community who recognise the unifying, educative and strengthening value of such endeavours. The stories have been placed on the Skin and Cancer Foundation website where they are available for a broader audience then the College members to enjoy. The Victorian Faculty have appointed History@Work as Historian-in-Residence and we will build on the "Who are we now?" project over the next year or so with more interviews, more audio stories and a Witness Seminar.

Some lovely responses after the launch of the oral history stories:

"I have to say the night was a ripping success...What I think it has done is generate real interest and an understanding of what we are about now and what we are trying to achieve." - Belinda Welsh

"I wanted to pass on my thanks for the amazing work you have done on the history project. The audio clips were put together so artfully to tell their story." - Lauren Young

"I have no doubt that the dinner itself will go down in the history of the Faculty as a seminal event! Everyone I spoke to was both impressed by your presentation and moved and intrigued by the content. You have certainly shown that history can come to life in a most entertaining way!" - Adrian Mar

"Thank you for all the work you have put into the presentation on Friday night. It came together beautifully and was wonderful to hear." - Fiona Bruce