We invite you to attend the Confirmation Presentation of Darcelle Hegarty, a Master of Arts candidate within the School of Social Sciences, in the Faculty of Arts, Business and Law.
Title: Queensland Rugby Union Memories: Oral History Narrative Biographies Tracing a Legacy of Leadership and Identity during the Post-War Revival Years from 1928 to 1955.
Presenter: Darcelle Hegarty
When: Monday, 10 September from 10am-12nn
Where: Building E, 1.03
Abstract: “Rugby Union Comes Back” was a significant 1933 news headline in Queensland’s amateur sporting landscape. This qualitative sport history study examines the revival, recovery and post-war reconstruction of the Queensland Rugby Union (QRU) administration, spanning the years from 1928 to 1955. Archival investigations and life-history interviews have revealed that the people involved in the renewal of the game of rugby union faced many sporting, organisational, economic and socio-cultural changes. The QRU administration responded to these challenges and pressures by electing a stable centralised leadership and by building an identity based on the game’s: competiveness and international appeal; traditional family values and amateur sport heritage. The organisational legacy during this pivotal period redefined and sustained the administration, ethos and game of rugby union in Queensland for the future.
This research examines how during the early to mid-20th century, the Brisbane-based controlling administration rebuilt the leadership and identity of the Queensland Rugby Union (QRU), after a brief revival (1919) and a hiatus (1920-1927), despite the regional diffusion of rugby league and the dominance of the NSWRU at national and international scales. Personalised portraits and life-history interviews establish the significant role of these volunteer rugby union officials who promoted a wholly amateur game, at a time when professional rugby league offered a partially-funded sporting career. The thesis contributes to the history of rugby union surrounding the first half of the 20thCentury, when the volunteer sports administrators had to endure with limited funds and resources including the insecurity of gated ground leases. The research provides a narrative biographic approach to connect the recorded sports history with previously unrecorded personal memories of people involved with the QRU administration and the game of rugby union. Thus, the intersection of history and memory provides a broader understanding of influence on the QRU’s administrative history through reflections and biographic narratives. The study offers insight for sports historians, about the dominant sports performance and hero narratives alongside minor and alternative narratives, which have shaped the QRU’s enduring leadership, identity and legacy.
 “Rugby Union Comes Back” by Keith Horsley, Telegraph (Brisbane, Qld. / 1872 - 1947), Thursday 30 March 1933, page 21 refers to the headline and article describing the 1928 revival, hope and underdog narratives of the QRU administration, clubs, schools and the competitiveness of the State representative team (see fn. 6).
Bio: Darcelle is a Masters Research student undertaking a dual scholarship funded by the University of the Sunshine Coast’s Faculty of Arts, Business and Law and a USC Alumni Donor.
In this multidisciplinary research, Darcelle traces commemorative, popular and academic histories and biographies of Queensland’s rugby union community. Long forgotten news reports, archives and collections reveal that the Queensland Rugby Union’s volunteer sports administration made significant contributions to the amateur sport in the early to mid 20th Century era. Speaking with past elected officials, players and family members, Darcelle traces how life-histories and memories of the sport’s volunteerism and the unwritten ethos of Rugby have influenced the sport and the lives of many people.
Darcelle’s experience includes government, non-government and community volunteer roles in environmental science and planning, cultural heritage planning and working with volunteer groups. Recording real life stories and memories about local people, particularly community leaders and sportspeople, continues to provide a source of inspiration for Darcelle’s online and local publications.
Should you have any questions about this event please contact FABLHDR@usc.edu.au.
We look forward to seeing you there.