The year 2020 has been momentous with bushfires, pandemics and protests. All these events have their origins in the past and history has rarely been so important in the present day.

So is seems very fitting that the theme for this year’s New South Wales History Week is “History: What is it good for?” The History Council of NSW have asked participants to “share why history matters to them. What can the past tell us about current events? What value is history in local communities affected by bushfires? What were your communities’ experiences of pandemics past and present?” They invited people to showcase in all its forms – histories of place, community and environment as well as family histories, Indigenous histories and others.

And they’ve had a huge response, as they currently list 68 events for the week with more being added soon. There are some in person events, with many more online. And as everyone is finding, having online events, allows the wider public to actually attend events they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to. So if you can’t make it to Sydney, here’s your chance to learn heaps about NSW history.

Here’s just a sampling of the events: there’s photographic exhibitions, the Spanish Flu and COVID-19, Virtual statues of the women of Sydney, colouring in competition, ‘Then and Now’ at Camden, war trophies, Australia’s settler-colonial art, Museum of Fire presentations, The Man from Snowy River Twitter watch party, Hope: out of the ashes, how to write history, Sydney history exhibition and virtual tour, Online local history: Upgraded Trove – what is it good for?, Tales from a rare manuscript: the settler’s muster book 1800 and plenty more.

Head to the History Council of NSW’s website for more details, and the full listing of events, and if you’re on social media follow and use the hashtag #HistoryWeek2020.