Founder, Director and Editor
DR. MICHAELA ANN CAMERON is an historian of colonial Australia and colonial America with specific research interests in ethnohistory, social history, sensory history (aural history / sound studies), digital history, public history, eighteenth-century Parramatta, nineteenth-century Parramatta, convicts, seventeenth-century New France, First Peoples, settler colonialism, Algonquian and Iroquoian peoples, and neurodecolonisation.
Dr. Cameron completed her PhD thesis, Stealing the Turtle’s Voice: A Dual History of Western and Algonquian-Iroquoian Soundways from Creation to Re-creation, at the University of Sydney in 2018. An ethnohistorian specialising in sensory history (sound and audition), her doctoral thesis explores how and why deeply ingrained acoustemological differences created cultural conflict between natives and newcomers both in and beyond the colonial period in the New World. Recently, she contributed a chapter, “Singing with Strangers in Early Seventeenth-Century New France,” to the edited collection, Daniela Hacke and Paul Musselwhite (eds.), Empire of the Senses: Sensory Practices of Colonialism in Early America, (Leiden, Netherlands: Brill, 2017), pp. 88–112. Read more about her American History research here.
Michaela’s additional research interests in colonial Parramatta and particularly the convict experience have stemmed from the fact that her family has lived in Parramatta continuously since 1801. Known as “The Old Parramattan” for the purposes of her work as a public historian, Michaela has worked on a number of projects with the aim of promoting the history and heritage in her local area and raising awareness of its endangered heritage sites.
Most recently, Dr. Cameron was awarded a $66,290 Create NSW Arts and Cultural Grant for a collection of “Old Parramattans” to be published on her digital, public history website St. John’s Online (aka St. John’s Cemetery Project). Other activities over the years include;
- Developing the CONVICT PARRAMATTA walking tour for the Dictionary of Sydney Walks app (2015)
- Writing 11 entries on Parramatta’s heritage for the Dictionary of Sydney
- Promoting Parramatta’s lesser-known and well-known heritage items via Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and blogging on “The Old Parramattan.”
- Founding and directing the Female Factory Online as well as managing related social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter).
- Founding and directing St. John’s Online as well as managing related social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter).
Many of Michaela’s ancestors are buried at St. John’s Cemetery, including her oldest “Old Parramattan” and five-times great grandmother, the convict Lydia Barber (née Lydia Childs, alias Lydia Parker). Michaela’s ancestral connections to the cemetery continue to inspire her to raise the cemetery’s profile and increase community engagement with this under-appreciated heritage site by bringing to life the stories of the people buried there.
- PhD (History), University of Sydney (2018)
- Dip Ed (Secondary: English), University of New South Wales (2012)
- BA (Hons I), Majors: History and English, University of Sydney (2006)
- Lydia Barber: A Real Tess of the d’Urbervilles
- Rogues, Rapists, Cheats, Thieves and Murderers: The Batmans
- Elizabeth Bennett: The Baker’s Wife
- William H. Bennett: An Eminent Baker
- The Killing and Keening of Simon Burn
- Mary Cavillon: Homemaker, Housebreaker
- Nicholas Cavillon: A Hardened Villain
- Frances Hannah Clements: The Convict’s Child
- My Lord Dunn: A Tragicomedy
- Elizabeth Eccles: The Dairy Maid
- Thomas Eccles: The Swine Connoisseur
- A. M. Fernando: Return to the Old Bailey
- The Grimshaws: The Eternal Masquerader
- Deborah Herbert: A Prigger of Toggery
- The Hollands: Guns ‘n’ Tuberoses
- Mary Kelly: The First Lady of Kellyville
- Prudence Kerr: Dear Prudence
- David Killpack: The Merry Mutineer
- Elizabeth ‘Betsy’ Lees: Departed Innocence
- John Lewis: The ‘First’ Murder
- Lost Landmark: St. John’s Parsonage, Parramatta
- The ‘Wretched,’ ‘Rascally’ and ‘Depraved’ Magees, and the Story of St. John’s First Burial
- John Martin: The Self-Freed Slave
- Mary Martin: Ungodly Visitation
- James McManus: The Wrath of a Madman
- Jane McManus: The Maid Freed From The Gallows
- Sarah Moses: Tell the World I Died for Love
- Daniel Mow-watty: The Boy Who Strayed from the Bush Path
- Name-Calling: A Dual-Naming Policy
- No Pity for the Hunted: The Tarlingtons, Little Jemmy, and Little George
- Richard Partridge: The Left-Handed Flogger
- Benjamin Ratty: Convict Constable
- Mary Smyth and John Kenny: A Murderer’s Banes in Gibbet Airns
- The Taylors: I Am But Sleeping Here
- James Wright: The Highwayman