EVENTS for 2015

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Sydney Society for Scottish History (SSSH) meetings
Click here for detailed SSSH information and dates
The monthly meeting of the SSSH is on the third Thursday evening of each month starting at 7:00pm.

June 26 -
  July 1

Scottish Heritage Celebrations 2015, Sydney, NSW
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Click here for the 2015 Booking Form (fillable) in a new window/tab. Save it to your PC, fill in the information, save it and email it to

Fri 26 June

 4:30pm - Reception to meet the Honoured Guest, Alistair, Chief of Clan Henderson, and Madam Audrey Henderson of Fordell
Level 2, Castlereagh Inn, 169 Castlereagh St, Sydney, NSW.

Fri 26 June

 6:30pm - Lecture: "The Scottish Diaspora" Prof. Sybil Jack
Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts, Mitchell theatre, 280 Pitt St, Sydney, NSW
$20 (including light refreshments).

People now commonly talk of the Scottish Diaspora but what do we mean by Diaspora? How does it differ from migration? Were the experiences of Scots in different countries different from one another and if so in what ways? This paper will look at the history of Scots in a number of different overseas countries and compare them with Scots in Australia. It will conclude by considering the traditions of tapestry making and what the Diaspora tapestry may tell us about how Scots in different countries today perceive their Scottishness.

Professor Sybil Jack is an economic historian whose research focus was on Europe during the 16th and 17th century. She taught in the History Department at the University of Sydney. Over many years she taught students and supervised theses on topics including Scottish history, early Modern Europe and early Modern England.

Sat 27 June

 7:00 for 7:30pm - Burns themed Scottish Dinner
Cello's restaurant, Castlereagh Inn, 169 Castlereagh St, Sydney, NSW
$65 for SAHC members, $70 for non-members; cash bar.

Sun 28 June

10:00am - Kirkin' o' the Tartan
Hunter Baillie Memorial Presbyterian Church, Johnston Street, Annandale, NSW
(including morning tea).

Sun 28 June

12:30pm - Lecture "De-mystifying DNA" by Christopher Lindesay
Church Hall, Hunter Baillie Memorial Presbyterian Church, Johnston Street, Annandale, NSW

This lecture on Demystifying DNA explains Y-chromosome and Mitochondrial DNA tests, and what can be cleaned from taking a Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) test.

As a genealogist and heraldist, Chris Lindesay has long had an active interest in DNA studies and what advances this brings to the family historian. He has written a number of articles on DNA testing, published by the Heraldry & Genealogy Society of Canberra, and the Clan Lindsay Society in Edinburgh, and is an active member of the Lindsay International DNA project. Chris presented a paper at the 22nd International Congress of Genealogical and Heraldic Sciences at St Andrews University in 2006 on the DNA, genealogy, family history and heraldry of the Lindsays.

Sat 27 -
Sun 28 June

Grand Australasian Highland Dancing Championships
Newington College, Stanmore, NSW

Mon 29 June

12 noon - Scottish Australian Cairn ceremony, inspection
Rawson Park, Cross St, Mosman, NSW
(including light lunch).

Mon 29 June

 6:30pm - Lecture "St Kilda migrants" by Emeritus Prof. Eric Richards
Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts, Mitchell theatre, 280 Pitt St, Sydney, NSW
$20 (including light refreshments).

St Kilda was the most remote inhabited island in Britain, thirty miles out in the Atlantic off the Outer Hebrides. In 1852 a third of the entire Gaelic-speaking population of St Kilda suddenly emigrated to Port Phillip in Australia. They were a tiny speck in the vast emigrations of the mid nineteenth century. Their very unusual origins, their grim voyage and their reception in Australia, provide a special story in the annals of Scottish Australia.

Eric Richards is Emeritus Professor of History at Flinders University in Adelaide. He publishes widely on British history, recently Debating the Highland Clearances (Edinburgh University Press 2008). He is also author and editor of a range of books on migration history, notably his broad survey: Britannia’s Children: Emigration from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland since 1600 (2004). His Destination Australia: Migration to Australia since 1901 (UNSW Press, Sydney, 2008 ), won a NSW Premier’s Literary Award for 2009. In 2013 he edited On the Wing: Mobility before and after Emigration to Australia. (Anchor Books). In 2014 he was Carnegie Trust Centenary Professor at the new University of the Highlands and Islands, based at Dornoch and Inverness. He mainly researches on the Highland Clearances and also the history of international migration since 1700.

Tue 30 June

11:00am - Guided tour of the Hyde Park Barracks museum
Hyde Park Barracks museum, Macquarie St, Sydney, NSW
You may wish to have lunch afterward in the cafe.
$10 at the door.

Tue 30 June

 6:30pm - Lecture "Searching for William Brawley: War, Peace and Migration for a Glasgow Family" by Prof. Sean Brawley
Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts, Mitchell theatre, 280 Pitt St, Sydney, NSW
$20 (including light refreshments).

In this talk Prof. Brawley will reflect on his own family history. William Brawley was his grandfather. After a somewhat unusual chain of events he found himself on the Western Front in 1918. The Great War had already changed the direction of his life and his wartime service in France and later India would send him on a journey of personal discovery that would define his life and would also impact on the lives of his children and his children's children. Prof. Brawley's talk will reflect on his family history as he has cast the eye of an academic historian over his family's past and attempted to distill truth from mythology.

Sean Scott Brawley is Professor of Modern History and Head of the Department of Modern History, Politics and International Relations at Macquarie University. He was formerly Professor of History at the University of New South Wales. His most recent book (co-authored with Chris Dixon) is The South Seas: A Reception History from Daniel DeFore to Dorothy Lamour (Rowman and Littlefield, 2015).

Wed 1 July

12 noon - Celebrate National Tartan Day - Parliamentary lunch
NSW Parliament House, Macquarie St, Sydney, NSW
July 1
International Tartan Day, Australasia
In Australasia International Tartan Day is held on 1 July, which is the anniversary of the repeal of the 1747 Act of Proscription that banned the wearing of tartan. It is held to recognize and celebrate the contribution of Scots and their descendants to Australian history.
July 4
Aberdeen Highland Games
Aberdeen, NSW
July 11
International Tartan Day (Australian Scottish Community Qld)
King George Square, Brisbane City, Qld
July 19
Scotland in the Park
Greenbank Reserve, Middle Road, Greenbank, Qld
Contact: Ern Thompson, Ph: 07 3200 9536, or ernestroy {at}
July 24 - 26
International Highland Dancing Championships
Niagara Park, Gosford, NSW
July 27, 1689
Battle of Killiekrankie, Killiecrankie, Scotland
The Battle of Killiecrankie was fought between Highland Scottish clans supporting King James VII of Scotland (also known as James II of England) and troops supporting King William of Orange on 27 July 1689, during the first Jacobite uprising. Although it was a stunning victory for the Jacobites, it had little overall effect on the outcome of the war and left their leader dead.
August 1
Calum's Ceilidh
2pm, Epping Uniting Church, Oxford St, Epping, NSW
A great time and a fundraiser in support of Scots Gaelic language teaching at Sydney University.
September 5
Central Coast Gathering of the Clans
Norah Heads Sports Ground, Norah Heads, NSW
Sept 9, 1513
Battle of Flodden, Northumberland, England
On 9 September 1513, the battle was fought in Northumberland, England, between a Scots army under King James IV and an English army. It was an English victory. In terms of troop numbers, it was the largest battle fought between the two Kingdoms. James IV was killed in the battle, becoming the last monarch from the British Isles to suffer such a death, along with 12,000 Scots at the least, including 'the best gentlemen and "flower of Scotland."'
Sept 11, 1297
Battle of Stirling Bridge, Stirling, Scotland
On 11 September 1297, the forces of Andrew Moray and William Wallace defeated the English forces near Stirling on the River Forth.
September 19
Clans on the Coast Celtic Festival
Nelson Bay, NSW
October 10
Canberra Highland Gathering
Kett Street, Kambah, Canberra, ACT
October 11
Scottish Australian Heritage Council committee meeting
10am, Poppy's Cafe, War Memorial, Treloar Crescent, Campbell, ACT
info {at}
October 31
150th anniversary of Carss Park (Kogarah Historical Society with the SAHC)
Carss Bush Park, Allawah Avenue, Carss Park, NSW
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November 13
Battle of Sheriffmuir, Sheriffmuir, Scotland
The Battle of Sheriffmuir in 1715 occurred at the height of the Jacobite rebellion led by John Erskine, 6th Earl of Mar. The battle was inconclusive, with both sides claiming victory. However, in strategic terms John Campbell, 2nd Duke of Argyll, had halted the Jacobite advance.
November 29
St Andrews Day - Kirkin' o' the Tartan services in Sydney and Canberra
10:00am - Kirkin' o' the Tartan:
- St Stephen's Uniting Church, Macquarie St, Sydney
- St Andrew's Presbyterian Church, State Circle, Forrest, ACT.

Sydney: Tartan Ramble and Emirates
About 11:30am - March of the Clans, from the corner of Martin Place and Macquarie St, Sydney
12 noon - Tartan Flash Mob and Emirates Airlines raffle draw, Hyde Park, Sydney.
info {at}
November 30
St Andrews Day celebrations
St Andrew's Day, 30 November, is the fast day of St Andrew, the Patron Saint of Scotland.
December 31
Hogmanay celebrations
Hogmanay is the last day of the year and is synonymous with the celebration of the New Year (Gregorian calendar) in the Scottish manner. However, it is normally only the start of a celebration that lasts through the night until the morning of New Year's Day (1 January). There are many customs, both national and local, associated with Hogmanay. The most widespread national custom is the practice of first-footing, which starts immediately after midnight.

=== 2016 ===

================================== 2016 =================================
January 25
Robert Burns' 257th birthday (2016)
Annual celebration of Scotland's national poet Robert Burns (25 January 1759 - 21 July 1796)
Febuary 12 -
Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo
Etihad Stadium, Melbourne, Vic
The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo marches into Melbourne's Etihad Stadium in 2016.
Tickets went on sale on 25 May 2015. A new show is scheduled for 14 Feb. Book early so that you don't miss out!

Calendar for 2014 (Archived for information only)
Calendar for 2013 (Archived for information only)
Calendar for 2012 (Archived for information only)

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