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The Fickle Fortunes of a Mount Morgan Miner and His Family

October 13 @ 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

Free – $10

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Fortunato Stablum was born in the alpine region of present Northeast Italy. He immigrated to Australia in 1911 to work as a mining labourer in Broken Hill. In 1916 he began working for Mount Morgan Gold Mining Company, Queensland, married a local girl and had a family. By his mid-forties he had contracted the disease miner’s phsthsis (silicosis). He died in Rockhampton in 1935.

The article ‘Fortunato Stablum: the fortunes of an Italian mining labourer and the puzzles of oral history’ was published in the Queensland History Journal in May 2021. An oral history interview conducted for the Australian Oral History 1938 Project with the subject’s oldest daughter is the basis for the biography. In this presentation, the challenges of using oral history will be discussed and new information about Fortunato Stablum’s life that has become available since publication will be shared.

Presenter Lesley Synge is best known for her poetry and fiction titles and her biography Wharfie. The annual Arts Central Queensland Lorna McDonald Essay Award has inspired her to revisit her Central Queensland origins through the lens of history. She has twice won the award and received other commendations. She holds an MA from UQ.

This event is free for members of The Royal Historical Society of Queensland. For non-members, the ticket price includes entry to the Commissariat Store Museum. Booking essential.


October 13
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
Free – $10


The Royal Historical Society of Queensland


Commissariat Store Museum
115 William St
Brisbane, 4000 Australia
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