Introducing Our New Research Assistant

We are thrilled to announce that Suzannah Gaulke, also known as Hideaway History, is working with The St. John’s Cemetery Project as a research assistant. Suzannah is a senior History student from the University of Sydney’s Department of History course History Beyond the Classroomcoordinated by Associate Professor Michael McDonnell. As part of her course requirements, Suzannah has completed 10 hours of volunteering time with The St. John’s Cemetery Project and will be producing a major project in partnership with us over the coming months.

The research Suzannah has begun is fascinating in its own right, but it will also provide us with vital statistical information about yet another important group of people buried in the cemetery. That statistical information, along with our stats about St. John’s First Fleeters, and our impressively long list of colonial elites, will be referenced when we campaign to get St. John’s Cemetery, Parramatta on the national heritage list (where it belongs).

Research, of course, takes time, so you will have to wait a bit longer to be able to see Suzannah’s wonderful work published on The St. John’s Cemetery Project. In the meantime, read “Telling a Story,” a post she wrote for the Department of History’s HISTORY MATTERS blog detailing her passion for history, what made her choose to approach us about a partnership, as well as her experiences thus far!


History Beyond the Classroom, Class of 2016, being given a tour of St. John’s Cemetery, Parramatta. Photo: Michael McDonnell.

Reading Suzannah’s words and the posts written by her fellow students on HISTORY MATTERS, it is plain to see that History Beyond the Classroom is a brilliant and much-needed course that gets students feeling very inspired. And, while the course makes students think beyond the classroom and beyond academia by requiring them to produce projects that are deeply connected to community needs and are, therefore, more grounded in the “real world” and use a range of practical skills, the extent to which these students become invested in the projects they design means that the work they do now could very easily become a launching pad for an Honours, Masters, or even a PhD thesis in the years to come, too.

Be sure to take a look at Suzannah’s own fantastic new history blog HIDEAWAY HISTORY. You can also follow her work on Facebook and Twitter.