History Postgraduate Association

Led by a committee elected annually in June by the History postgraduate cohort, the History Postgraduate Association (HPA) is committed to improving the experience of History students. We build solidarity and cohesion through events and activities, represent the voice of History postgraduate students, and provide avenues of communication between History students and our colleagues in SHAPS, the Faculty of Arts, and the Graduate Student Association.

Every semester the HPA convenes a seminar series, as well as organising the Snifters dinner, and a range of other social events for History postgraduate students.

The HPA 2020/21 is composed of Catherine Gay as President, Joe Parro as Secretary and Jonathan Tehusijarana as Treasurer.

Cat is a first-year PhD student and the new HPA President. She is currently splitting her time between her freezing sharehouse in Parkville and her childhood home in equally freezing Ballarat, while we all ride out this pandemic. Her thesis explores girls in nineteenth-century Victoria, using their material culture as a means of investigating their everyday lives, resilience and creativity. She is excited to help create a supportive and fun history postgraduate community.

Joe is a first-year MA student and the new HPA Secretary. He lives in Coburg with his wife and dog, and is weathering the pandemic by working on his thesis, watching action movie franchises, and playing video games. His current research focuses on Percy Reginald ‘Inky’ Stephensen (1901–1965), Australian literary nationalist and leader of the interwar Nazi-inspired Australia First Movement following his release from wartime internment in 1945.

Jonathan is a second-year PhD student who finds time to be the new HPA Treasurer in between bouts of existential crises and thesis writing in his South Melbourne flat. He hopes that he can continue to support the work of the HPA in organising fun events that can help foster a sense of cohortship among History postgraduate students. His thesis analyses the role of student soldiers in the Indonesian National Revolution, and how they managed to influence post-independence political life.

We are thrilled to be stepping into our new roles as HPA committee members for the coming year, following elections at the recent AGM. We thank the previous year’s committee members, Bronwyn Beech Jones, Anton Donohoe-Marques, Luke Yin, and Stephen Jakubowicz for their outstanding work and for their personal encouragement. We also thank those who voted at the AGM.

In the coming year, we want to continue the good work of our predecessors by helping to create a sense of community among the History postgraduate students at the University. The events that the HPA organises are key to connecting the cohort, and we aim to deliver another successful program.

Although we are still facing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in different aspects of our lives, the HPA will still provide a place of connection for our members and continue to represent the interests of History postgraduate students. Ultimately, our mission is to help ensure the wellbeing of History postgraduates, through representation and connection, as we face these uncertain times together.

You can connect with the HPA via the Facebook page or email.

Temples near Nara Park, Japan, famous for its deer, designated national treasures. Photographer: Joe Parro