Lesley's cover image
Lesley

Lesley JENKINS

Year of Award: 2004 Award State: Queensland Arts - Visual > Administration
To investigate cultural and heritage projects featuring oral history with emphasis on training and documentation techniques, support programs for volunteers and oral history collection management procedures - U.K., USA
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Writer and public historian Lesley Jenkins from Queensland was awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 2004 to investigate cultural and heritage projects featuring oral history. Lesley visited the United Kingdom, Ireland and the United States.

In New York she experienced one of those inevitable awkward moments of a trip abroad: arriving there and catching a taxi to the hotel, she writes in her candid report, there was ‘the usual agony of determining the tip, which I gathered from the driver’s growing surliness I got very wrong.’

However, henceforth, Lesley’s trip went very well, as she attended stimulating courses and workshops in her field, explored famous oral history collections, and spoke with experts in oral history management.

Lesley shared her view that oral history interviews ‘are about the motivations and desires, the successes and regrets of a life … In depth interviews often have the flavor of a memoir – of a life unfolding, which creates a complex picture…’

Lesley gained an enormous amount from her Fellowship, returning home to an even busier career than she had before, including conducting many oral histories for the National Library of Australia. She was awarded another Fellowship at the prestigious Chicago History Museum, which houses the vast Studs Terkel oral history collection.

Lesley is the President of the Oral History Association of Australia – Qld Inc. and a member of the Association’s national body. Lesley also conducted oral histories of many key early figures of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, such as Elvie Munday and Bill Park, from whose interviews I have quoted extensively in this book.

Excerpt from “Inspiring Australians” written by Penny Hanley (2015)

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