Richard Reid is an Irish ‘assisted immigrant’ who arrived in Sydney, NSW, in January 1972. A graduate of Trinity College, Dublin and Queens University, Belfast, he taught at a state high school in Wollongong for 11 years before becoming the Secondary Education Officer at the Australian War Memorial. While at the Memorial he received his PhD from the Australian National University for his work on Irish assisted emigration to New South Wales, 1848-1870, published in 2011 as Farewell My Children – Irish Assisted Emigration to Australia, 1848-1870. He has worked on many other Irish-Australian projects such as events for the Australian Bicentenary (1988) celebrations in Ireland, and was the Senior Curator for the National Museum of Australia’s major Irish exhibition, Not Just Ned – a true history of the Irish in Australia, in 2011. Richard also co-led the Society of Australian Genealogists first official tour of Ireland (with Keith Johnston) in 1984, and with Perry McIntyre has led a number of other SAG tours to Ireland. Among his publications on Irish-Australia are A decent set of girls – the Irish Famine Orphans of the Thomas Arbuthnot, 1849-1850 (with Cheryl Mongan) and Sinners, Saints and Settlers – a Journey through Irish-Australia (with Brendon Kelson, photographer).
Since his appointment to the Australian War Memorial, Richard has had a close involvement with interpreting the experiences of Australians in war, especially in World War I. In 1993, he was the AWM’s Executive Officer for the project which returned the remains of an Unknown Australian Soldier to the Hall of Memory at the Memorial. For the last ten years he has led Australian groups to Gallipoli and the Western Front (France and Belgium) and he is currently the Australian historian on the official tri-nation (Turkey, Australia and New Zealand) historical and archaeological survey of the Anzac battlefield. Since 1997 (with a break between November 2007 and July 2011 at the National Museum of Australia), Richard has worked as a historian for the Commemoration’s Branch of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs where he authored a number of books and websites including anzacsite.gov.au (Gallipoli), ww1westernfront.gov.au (Australians on the Western Front, 1916-1918) and Gallipoli 1915 (ABC Books).
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