Son of P V O'Farrell born Sept. 17th, 1933, Greymouth, New Zealand, settled in Australia 1956
Married December 29th 1956 to Deirdre, daughter of P M MacShane. 3 sons & 2 daughters
Recreation - reading thrillers, odd jobs ...
Education - Marist Bros High School, University of Canterbury (New Zealand), Australian National University
2003 Recipient of the Centenary Medal, University of New South Wales Scientia Professor 1998, New South Wales Premier's Literary Award 1987
2004 Recipient of The Order of Australia, General Division To the Late Emeritus Scientia Professor Patrick James O'Farrell, For service to education as an academic, researcher and administrator, particularly in the field of Irish history and its contribution to Australian society and culture.
Information from Curriculum Vitae
Greymouth, New Zealand, 17th September, 1933
With Deirdre O'Farrell, several documentary television treatments, most notable being Echo of A Distant Drum. The Irish In Australia (Australian Broadcasting Corporation/Radio Telefis Eirean, 1988), three one hour programs for Orana Films Sydney, available on video.
Frequent commentator, Australian, Irish and Northern Irish radio; presenter, radio features e.g. The Hunger Strikers (ABC, 1981), three one hour programs, pioneering ABC treatment of Irish subjects.
Appointed to personal chair in History UNSW in 1972, when aged 38, after consultation by the University of all History professors then in Australia.
Academy of the Humanities
Elected in 1976. Active membership particularly in 1988 in the Academy's contribution to the Australian Bicentenary 'Terra Australia's Project. Contribution included devising and organising the project, and contributing a major paper to its proceedings published (ed J Hardy) in 1988. I gave another major paper on Famine and Peasant Unrest, to the Academy's 1981 Conference.
I have been an organiser/participant in a wide variety of learned projects including The New History of Ireland (from 1972) Conference of Irish historians, the Irish World Wide project, Irish-Australian Conferences, Australian Cultural History, Religious History Conferences, as well as a range of Irish-American historical organisations and the usual Australian historical societies.
Archives and Library Activities
Since 1963 I have initiated major organisation and acquisitions in relation to three main areas. First, St Mary's Cathedral Archives, its basic initial organising in Sydney, plus important microfilm arrangement which I made personally in Dublin and Rome to copy Australian materials. The co-operation since 1965, with the UNSW library, to build up a collection of books in modern Irish history so that it has become, with about 4,000 titles, probably the largest library of books on Ireland in Australia. Work in conjunction with the National Library of Australia in Canberra from 1968 to substantially add to their collection of Irish-Australian manuscripts and pamphlets. This has included my acting as an agent of the Library to acquire materials held by individuals and libraries, most recently, in this year, of 32 boxes of research items from my own personal collection.
Liaisons with Embassies
Since 1963 I have had strong links with the Irish Embassy in Canberra, and have received close support from all the Irish Ambassadors to Australia during that time. This has provided me with the assistance of the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs Dublin, Irish Ambassadors and their staff in the major American cities, and other diplomatic dimensions. Thus, in 1996, the Irish Ambassador in London held a dinner in my honour to which he invited all the historians of Ireland in Britain. This kind of facilitation has been of enormous benefit to my work, as has been the continuing help of the Australian embassy in Dublin. Embassy support has made my research work easier, and provided entry to sources and people of major importance.
Initially with John Ingleson, from 1987, as joint directors, the Local History Co-ordination Project demanded a large amount of time, energy, and professional expertise. Designed as a UNSW contribution to the 1988 Bicentenary, the project sought to bring professional expertise and standards to the wider community, especially NSW country areas. It succeeded beyond any expectation, producing a journal (still published) and several books. Patrick O'Farrell and John Ingleson (eds) Locating Australia's Past: A Practical Guide to Writing Local History was so successful in its first private edition as to go to commercial publishing in 1988. Patrick O'Farrell and Louella McCarthy (eds) Community in Australia was published in 1994. Directorship of this project entailed a major investment of judgement, diplomatic skills, and professional time: it is now a thriving University Centre in part supported by the State Government.
At the University of New South Wales I have taught at all levels from first to fourth year, and have been guest lecturers at most other Australian universities. In Ireland I taught full courses in Russian and Irish history at both University College and Trinity College, Dublin. While I currently teach Historiography and Irish History, and assist in Australian history, I cannot think of a historical area in which I have not lectured at one time or another.
Some Public University Positions
From 1974 listed in Australian Who's Who.From 1991 listed in British, European and American International Who's Who.
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