2015 Sporting Traditions Conference


Sporting Traditions XX: Old Stories-New Histories

Darwin, NT
30 June-3 July 2015

A special focus of the conference will be Northern Australia, its diverse cultures and its close proximity to South East Asia. We envisage the conference will showcase and celebrate North Australia’s rich sports history in a way that will give all sports historians and fans a new understanding and perspective on Australia’s sporting traditions.

The conference organisers want to draw particular attention to issues relating to travel. Those intending to come to the conference should consider their travel and accommodation plans to the Northern Territory well in advance because July is the middle of the North Australia ‘Dry’ season and there are many events at this time of year. Flights do NOT leave capitals cities for Darwin every day, so check flight options as early as possible.


The organisers of the XX Sporting Traditions conference are now calling for papers under the major conference theme or other themes relevant to Australian sports history.

Major Conference themes

  • Indigenous Sport
  • Northern Territory Community Sport History
  • Asia and sporting interconnections

Papers or panel proposals are encouraged to link to the major conference themes but papers on all sports history related subjects will be considered and where possible grouped with similar subjects in the conference program.

The closing date for the submission of individual or panel proposals for the conference is 1 May 2015. Authors will be notified of acceptance by 30 May 2015.

Submissions of individual or panel proposals should include the nature of the panel/round table/debate, the title of the paper(s), the name of the presenter(s) and an abstract or abstracts of 100/150 words for each paper.

Please submit abstracts via email to: mfstephen62@gmail.com
Or post to:
Dr. Matthew Stephen
GPO Box 4766
Darwin NT 0801


Professor Colin Tatz, Australian National University

Colin Tatz

A political scientist and historian, Colin Tatz has held chairs of Politics at New England and Macquarie University. He is currently a visiting fellow in Politics and International Relations at ANU. Colin teaches and writes in the fields of Aboriginal studies, genocide and Holocaust, migration, youth suicide, and sport. His books on sport include Obstacle Race: Aborigines in Sport, Black Diamonds, and Black Gold (the latter two with his son Paul), and biographies of two major golf clubs, Royal Sydney and Monash Country Club. His keynote address (“Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?”) is a reflection on Aboriginal and Islander participation in mainstream sport over the past half century. His first encounter with their abilities was when Ted Egan took him to see Yuendumu play Warrabri in an Australian football game in 1961.

Ted Egan AO, Charles Darwin University

ted egan

Ted Egan was born in Melbourne but has lived most of his life in the Northern Territory. In his youth he was an outstanding sportsman. He was declared “Territorian of the Year” in 2000, “Living National Treasure” in 2002 and nominated as an Officer (AO) in the Order of Australia for “an outstanding record of service to the Aboriginal people and an ongoing contribution to the literary heritage of Australia, through song and verse”. Ted Egan served as Administrator (Governor) of the Northern Territory from 2003-2007.

In a diverse career that includes entertainer, writer, historian and TV presenter. He has produced thirty albums of music, mainly his own songs. In 1996 he completed his MA with a study of a series of killings in Arnhem Land in the 1930s. Ted was awarded an Honorary Doctorate (D. Litt) by Charles Darwin University and is currently completing a PhD with the same body, researching the life of Northern Territory Administrator Dr J A Gilruth. His key note address is tentatively entitled: “Old Venues – Their History: Their Personalities”, which will focus on the Northern Territory’s many historically significant sporting venues that no longer exist and will touch on the places, events and people that have made Territory sport what it is today.

Dr Rachael Miyung Joo, Middlebury College, Vermont, USA


Rachael Miyung Joo is an Assistant Professor of American Studies at Middlebury College. Her work investigates the connections among sport, nation, race, and gender in transnational Korean contexts. Her new project on the sport of golf brings together cultural studies of sport and environment to explore ideas of nature and nation in South Korean and Korean American communities. She is the author of Transnational Sport: Gender, Media, and Global Korea (Duke University Press, 2012).

Her keynote, “Transnational Asian Sport and Australian Multiculturalism,” will discuss how the rise of Asian sports stars have worked to transform ideas of Asianness in Australia. While transnational sport operates to connect Asian populations in Australia with their “homelands,” sport also operates within the historical context of settler colonialism and white supremacy. Through an analysis of Asian athletes, this talk will explore the relationship between global sport and race in 21st century Australia.

Draft Conference Programme

Time 30 June 1 July 2 July 3 July
Morning Arrivals Official Opening & Welcome to Country Keynote Address Keynote Address
Keynote Address
Morning Tea Morning Tea Morning Tea
Late morning ASSH Executive Meetings Conference Sessions Conference Sessions Conference Sessions
12:00-1:30pm Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch
Afternoon Registration Conference Sessions Conference Sessions Conference Sessions
Registration Afternoon Tea Afternoon Tea Afternoon Tea
Late Afternoon Registration Conference Sessions ASSH AGM / Elections Conference Sessions /Closing
Evening President’s Reception Conference Banquet Night Markets* End of Conference

*Mindil Beach Markets, Darwin’s iconic night market. This is an optional activity but you don’t want to miss it!


Registration Fees

Early Bird Registration*: $600.00 (by 28 February 2015)
Full Registration*: $650.00 (after 28 February 2015)
Student Registration*: $350
Day Delegate: $220
Guest Conference Dinner Only $80.00
One Day Registration $50.00 for 2nd July NT Community Sport History Day**

*Full and Student Registration includes morning/afternoon tea, lunch and the conference banquet
** Available to NT license and/or Concession holders only. Access to full day of conference program, including morning and afternoon teas and lunch.

All prices are in Australian dollars and are inclusive of GST



The conference will be held at the DoubleTree by Hilton – Darwin Esplanade site. Attendees are encouraged to book early.

For further accommodation options, please visit the TourismNT website.

The ASSH Student Subsidy will be available to students presenting at the conference. Details to follow.


Information about Darwin and the Northern Territory can be found at Tourism Top End’s website.

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