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Note from the editors.

How we understand the past is as much bound to place as it is to time. In the practice of history, questions of where specific events occurred are inseparable from when they happened. But attempts to anchor history in specific places are problematic, as our points of reference are in constant flux. The names of places change, empires rise and fall, communities and their surroundings are redefined, and over millennia--and in instants too--physical environments transform. Such transitions produce and define territories, the places and spaces where--and when--identities are formed and histories are made.

Our contributors to the Melbourne Historical Journal 43.1 have addressed this year's theme of Territories & Transitions in critical and creative ways. Both our feature articles reflexively engage with ideas of historical practice through vivid renderings of place. Professor Ross Gibson visits the Wimmera via poetry and photography, while Professor Andrew May inspires a historical dialogue by returning to the streets of Melbourne.

Our graduate authors take us on journeys across Australia and the world. Rohan Lloyd questions understandings of early twentieth-century perceptions of the Great Barrier Reef as a prelude to modern conservationism. Next to Gippsland in Victoria, where Rula Paterson explores processes of twentieth-century memorialisation through public cairns installed to commemorate the region's colonial explorers. Julia Smart highlights how Australian World War I prisoner of war memoirists located their war experience within postwar Australian society where the archetype of the masculine Australian soldier hero triumphed. Our subsequent articles transition to overseas territories. Kerrie Handasyde reveals the theological significance of a Melbourne-based preacher's divergent accounts of his visit to the Holy Land. Lastly to Tanzania, where James Kirby explores the motivation behind the government's violation of human rights in the postcolonial era, highlighting how government support for such ideals were sidelined to focus on other competing national priorities.

Not only did Territories & Transitions guide how our contributors composed their submissions, but it also motivated the Collective's broader efforts this year. For the first time in 2015, MHJ is simultaneously published both in print and as a digital edition. We offer a special welcome to our first digital subscribers. Through a combined effort we made our back issues available online and, with the assistance of the University of Melbourne Librarywe anticipate that every issue from 1961 will be available soon. We also relaunched our web site at and social media presences and have moved MHJ to the Open Journal System to streamline the publishing process while opening the pages of our journal to more readers. MHJ's future collectives and contributors will be exposed to both print and digital publishing, thereby bringing MHJ into line with the changing nature of academic publishing. These digital initiatives aim to make MHJ sustainable into the foreseeable future.

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Publication:Melbourne Historical Journal
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Jan 1, 2015
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