BA (Hons I), Dip. Ed., PhD (USYD)
Founder and Director of the Female Factory Online
Dr. Michaela Ann Cameron is an historian of colonial Australia and colonial America with specific research interests in ethnohistory, social history, sensory history (aural history / sound studies), digital history, public history, eighteenth-century Parramatta, nineteenth-century Parramatta, convicts, seventeenth-century New France, First Peoples, settler colonialism, Algonquian and Iroquoian peoples, and neurodecolonisation.
Dr. Cameron completed her PhD thesis, Stealing the Turtle’s Voice: A Dual History of Western and Algonquian-Iroquoian Soundways from Creation to Re-creation, at the University of Sydney in 2018. 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. Recently, she contributed a chapter, “Singing with Strangers in Early Seventeenth-Century New France,” to the edited collection, Daniela Hacke and Paul Musselwhite (eds.), Empire of the Senses: Sensory Practices of Colonialism in Early America, (Leiden, Netherlands: Brill, 2017), pp. 88–112. Read more about her American History research on Academia.
Her 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.
Most recently, Dr. Cameron was awarded a $66,290 Create NSW Arts and Cultural Grant for a collection of “Notable Parramattans” to be published on her digital, public history website The St. John’s Cemetery Project. Other activities over the years include;
- 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 educating the public about convict life in the Parramatta Female Factory while extending the reach of the petitions to “Declare the Parramatta Female Factory a site of National and World Heritage significance.”
- Founder, Director, Multimedia Researcher and Editor of The St John’s Cemetery Project: a biographical database of the people buried at St. John’s Cemetery, Parramatta (2016–ongoing)
- Contributor of 16 biographical entries for The St. John’s Cemetery Project.
- Australian Historical Association
- Organization of American Historians
- The Champlain Society
- Elizabeth Bennett: The Baker’s Wife
- Factory Above the Gaol (c.1802–1821)
- Hannah Steele: The Gaoler’s Daughter
- Parramatta Female Factory (1821–c.1848)