The Palmerston North Heritage Trust is a group of passionate individuals who meet once a month to discuss and promote the rich and diverse heritage of our city. Its members include local historians, and archivists, people from the Palmerston North City Library and Te Manawa museum and me, a history teacher from PNBHS and an ASL for this Kāhui Ako. The Heritage Trust has been excited by new developments in the curriculum with its emphasis on local history. We believe that learning about the past can help students understand the present and shape the future.
Our first collaboration was on the Anti-Vietnam War protests. I teach this topic at my high school, and I wanted to make it more relevant and engaging for my students by using primary sources from our own city. The Heritage Trust helped me find some incredible documents, photos, and newspaper clippings that show how Massey University students protested the war. It was really eye-opening to see how people in our community reacted to this global conflict.
Currently, the Heritage Trust is working on another project in collaboration with Warren and Virginia Warbrick that is aimed at primary and intermediate level school children. We are pooling our expertise to locate primary sources for a local history topic and making teaching resources based on them. The project is not finished yet, so stay tuned for updates.
The new curriculum has created an opportunity to collaborate with various stakeholders in our community to share our stories. I’m grateful that we have enthusiasts who are passionate about local history and are eager to assist teachers in this endeavour.