Australian Paralympic History Project: October 2018 Workshop

A picture of the APC workshop with four of the participants creating and editing content for Wikipedia
Workshop participants

The Australian Paralympic History Project held a workshop in Sydney on the weekend of 27 and 28 October.

Tony Naar shared news of the workshop on the Project’s Facebook page (link).

Seven people attended the workshop. The project team were delighted to welcome a new member, Cecelia Hutchinson-Parsons. Cecelia came to the workshop after a week of volunteering at the Invictus Games in Sydney.

Cecelia created a Wikipedia article about the Iceroos (link) and helped update the 2018 Invictus Games article.

A picture of the Iceroos team
The Iceroos

The APC’s CEO Lynne Anderson visited the workshop as did the APC’s  Communications General Manager Tim Mannion. They met the workshop organiser, Tony Naar and Cecilia, as well as Ross Mallett, Greg Blood, Gary Osmond and Patricia Ollerenshaw.

Patricia is working on articles about the 2000 Paralympics at the moment.

Tony noted of the workshop:

Creating and updating Wikipedia articles about Australian Paralympic sport relies almost exclusively on a handful of volunteers, who do an incredible job. As a result of discussions on the weekend, we have decided that we will now pursue a ‘small scale’ approach of catch-ups in the cities where we have active editors and seek to expand these groups by individual contact and one-on-one support.

He added:

We desperately need to expand the core group of contributors to maintain this unbelievable project.

I do try to keep an eye on this project. It has made an enormous impact on the open sharing of Paralympic stories with an Australian focus. I do monitor the articles and hope to be more active in supporting the editing of the articles created and maintained by the project team.

For anyone thinking of finding ways to use their creative talents, this is a project most worthy of consideration.

Photo Credits

Sydney Workshop (Tony Naar)

Iceroos (World Para Ice Hockey)

History of the Australian Paralympic Movement: End of Year Report 2017

Australian Paralympian Ray Barrett with the bronze medal he won in the men’s 100m wheelchair 2 event at the 1972 Paralympic Games in Heidelberg, Germany.

The project to record the history of the Paralympic movement in Australia has been underway since 2011.

Tony Naar has shared details of activities in the project in 2017. The project is supported by volunteers. Some of the year’s achievements were:

  • The number of Wikipedia articles created through the project is nearing 1,000.
  • These articles continue to be collectively viewed around 120,000 times every month.
  • The Australian Paralympic Committee (APC) introduced the hashtag #APCOnThisDay to recognise anniversary dates in the history of the Paralympic movement in Australia, using material from the project.
  • Donations and loans of photos, scrapbooks, uniform items and other materials were received from a number of Paralympians and past team officials, including Pauline English, Peter Pascoe, Julie and Eric Russell, Pauline Schreiber, Nick Dean, and others. These are being scanned, sorted and managed for use in the project.
  • Twenty interns (from Macquarie University and University of Western Sydney) have worked on the project at various times during the year. They have: updated the Paralympian contact list; implemented a strategy to recruit people for the archives project; developed a strategy and resources to recruit student volunteers for the Wikipedia project; and created a Facebook group for the project.
  • A new volunteer team of five has started work on organising the APC archive collection.
  • The oral history project with the National Library of Australia reached 54 interviews. The project will continue in 2018.
  • Ray Barrett was inducted into the Indigenous Paralympian honour board at the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence, thanks to detective work by Pat Ollerenshaw.
  • An e-history website has been started and will bring together all the diverse material created through the history project.
  • Project workshops were conducted in Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Sydney, Canberra and Perth.
  • Students at the University of Queensland have worked on Wikipedia articles and the e-history website content.

I have followed these developments in 2017 with great interest. I am delighted that young people are actively engaged in the project and sharing their energy with a core group of volunteers who are nurtured and supported by Tony Naar.

Photo Credits

Ray Barrett (Australian Paralympic Committee, CC BY-SA 3.0)

Tiffany Thomas Kane (Twitter)

#HOPAU

The History of the Paralympic Movement in Australia (HOPAU) project started in 2011. The aim of the project was “to write the History of the Australian Paralympic Movement, using the Wikimedia Foundation wikis, namely Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons and Wikibooks”.

Ross Mallett has been researching the progress of HOPAU’s Wikipedia presence.

In January 2017, there were 987 pages in the HOPAU category. These attracted 105,911 page views, an average of 3,416 per day.

The top five articles in January were: Dylan Alcott (19,507); Damien Thomlinson (2,626); Kurt Fearnley (1,554); Ashley Adams (1,550); and Para-alpine skiing (1,350).

According to Ross: “Dylan was the top HOPAU athlete for the month, probably because of the Australian Open. I think it’s pretty notable that not only did he persuade Tennis Australia to give him the Rod Laver Arena, but he filled it.”

In 2016, HOPAU articles attracted 2,800,526 page views, an average of 7,652 per day. There were almost 2 million page views in the period associated with the Summer Paralympic Games, but these data show, as Tony Naar (the HOPAU Project Facilitator) suggests, the articles created through the HOPAU project continue to be widely and regularly accessed.

The Australian Paralympic Committee has released images under a Creative Commons licensed and donated them for use on Wikimedia Commons. These images can be found at Category:Images from the Australian Paralympic Committee on Wikimedia Commons.

The three images used in this blog post are from that collection.

Photo Credits

Members of the Australian Paralympic Team pose with an entertainer from the hotel where they stayed in Singapore en route to the 1960 Rome Paralympic Games (Australian Paralympic Committee, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license)

Dylan Alcott (Australian Paralympic Committee, CC BY-SA 3.0)

Sarnya Parker and Tania Modra (Australian Paralympic Committee, CC BY-SA 3.0)