I have long admired the Australia Council of Professional Historians Associations (ACPHA). It promotes the profession of history and the work of its members by keeping consultants’ registers, offering employment services, and maintaining a scale of fees. I have often wondered if some of these benefits could be replicated in the United States by NCPH.
While visiting Melbourne in November, I had an opportunity to meet with members of the ACPHA’s Victoria Chapter. I related some general issues facing public history in America, from our current overabundance of educational programs, and the problems arising from it, to the impact of the Great Recession on employment. Our Australian colleagues face the opposite situation. With the closure of Monash University’s masters in public history program earlier this year, Australia now has no public history programs. At the same time, I was fascinated to learn what the ACPHA is doing to secure employment for public historians, consultants especially. I hope that we might be able to emulate some or all pieces of their program.