BA (Hons I), Dip. Ed., PhD Candidate (USYD)
Director of The St. John’s Cemetery Project
Michaela Ann Cameron is a PhD candidate, research assistant, guest lecturer and tutor in the Department of History at the University of Sydney. 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. Read more about her American History research on Academia.
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; for example,
- 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.”
- Managing social media accounts dedicated to showcasing Female Factory Crimes and the petition to “Declare the Parramatta Female Factory a site of National and World Heritage significance.”
- Managing the social media for St. John’s Cemetery, Parramatta (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) and creating the Friends of St. John’s Cemetery website.
Many of Michaela’s ancestors are buried at St. John’s Cemetery, including her oldest “Old Parramattan”; her 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.
- Lydia Barber: A Real Tess of the d’Urbervilles
- Elizabeth Bennett: The Baker’s Wife
- William H. Bennett: An Eminent Baker
- Frances Hannah Clements: The Convict’s Child
- Thomas Eccles: The Swine Connoisseur
- Mary Kelly: The First Lady of Kellyville
- David Killpack: The Merry Mutineer
- John Martin: The Self-Freed Slave
- Jane McManus: The Maid Freed From The Gallows
- James McManus II: The Wrath of a Madman
- Richard Partridge: The Left-Handed Flogger
- James Wright: The Highwayman