I was very fortunate to work closely with Way Back When Consulting Historians over a 12 month period while they completed Under the Red Ribbon: 30 years of the Victorian AIDS Council / Gay Men’s Health Centre. The quality of their work was exceptional and the final book was very professional and exceeded expectations by the proverbial mile.
I could rave and rave about their writing skills and ability to make our history such a great read but what made these consultants truly outstanding was their work ethic, willingness to go above and beyond and their commitment and passion to bringing our stories to life.
I would have no hesitation to recommend Way Back When for any history project. I am constantly alert looking for more opportunities to work with these creative and talented women and I have already put into my calendar to contact them again in eight years regarding our 40th anniversary.
Victorian AIDS Council / Gay Men's Health Centre
When we were thinking about ways to celebrate a hundred years of catholic education at St Mary’s Dandenong we were mindful of building on the story that had been written some time ago in the 1970s. We had an idea of extending what had been written but we were unsure whether we had the expertise or the resources to do this in an appropriate manner. Our concerns were very quickly allayed at the very first consultation with Way Back When.
It was at this meeting we realised that we were underestimating the great possibilities for acknowledging the story. Our work with Katherine and her team very quickly expanded our thinking and over time brought to fruition the telling of our story in both book and digital form in a way in which we never imagined.
Way Back When was a delight to work with: very professional, punctual, they delivered on timelines, they were extremely creative with ideas, helping us to work beyond our original ideas and bring about the telling of the story in a unique way. They were great and they come with our highest recommendation.
Family School Partnership Convenor
Catholic Education Office
When was the successful tenderer for a book on the history of nursing
regulation in Victoria, commissioned by the Nurses Board of Victoria. As a
Board we were clear about the way we wanted to present our story, which was
that it be personable, interesting, rich and appealing to the reader. Way Back When delivered this completely.
Their method and attention to detail was impressive. They met timelines and budget
and the end product, as launched by the Health Minister, was professional,
accurate and exceeded our expectations.
Director, Surgical Clinical Service Unit, Austin Health
President, Nurses Board of Victoria, 2007–2010
The Australian Society for Microbiology (ASM) celebrated its golden jubilee in 2009. We are a national body and decided that we wanted to mark this significant milestone by commissioning a history that would be presented to members at our Annual Scientific Meeting in Perth during our jubilee year.
After a competitive tender process, the commission was awarded to Way Back When Consulting Historians. The jubilee history was presented to all ASM members and the feedback we received was overwhelmingly positive. Engaging Way Back When not only allowed us to celebrate and document our history, but it also enabled us to give this history back to our members in the form of an engaging written work.
Working with Way Back When over the 18 month commission was an enjoyable experience. Their passion for history and communicating the past, aptitude for research and accessible writing, and high level of professionalism made the task of commemorating our golden jubilee trouble-free. We were very satisfied with the finished result.
Australian Society for Microbiology
Katherine Sheedy and Emma Russell were appointed to write the Gastroenterological Society of Australia's 50th Anniversary History published in 2009. They were the two outstanding applicants for the position and their work over the following two years fully justified their selection.
The committee found that both were extremely dedicated and a delight to work with on what was a complex history in a field with which they were not familiar. They spent many hours interviewing contributors in face to face interviews locally in Melbourne and interstate, as well as by telephone and email.
There were also many meetings with the steering committee where they produced up to date summaries of progress and suggestions for further sections and chapters. The final result was an interesting and lively account of the first 50 years of the Society and is a beautifully produced and illustrated book which has met with universal praise throughout Australia and overseas.
I would have no hesitation in recommending them most highly for any similar historical project.
Chair of the History Project Steering Committee
Gastroenterological Society of Australia
Monash University's Department of Marketing commissioned Way Back When to produce a publication documenting and celebrating its 35 year history. The resulting book, Evolution Through Innovation: a history of marketing education at Monash, was launched in February 2008.
Although the historians were initially unfamiliar with the discipline, they were able to distil 35 years of anecdotes, narratives, facts and figures into a highly readable, accessible and interesting story. The book offers a balanced, thorough and compelling account of marketing education at Monash University and is brought to life with the experiences of key people who led the development of the department. By sharing and celebrating our story, we have been able to reconnect with alumni and encourage the development of a greater sense of community and shared history among both past and present staff and students.
It was a pleasure to work with the historians from Way Back When, who were committed to working collaboratively with us to ensure our story was told in a way that was appropriate for our various stakeholders and that resonated with readers. They took up the task with energy, dedication and professionalism. I have no hesitation in recommending them as highly skilled and professional consulting historians.
Professor Mike Ewing
Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor (Peninsula)
Head, Faculty of Business and Economics (Peninsula)
Way Back When was engaged to write a history of one of Melbourne's original coffee palaces, which resulted in the book Home Away From Home: Celebrating 125 Years of the Victoria Hotel. Katherine and Sarah did a wonderful job capturing the character of this unique Melbourne icon. Not only were they a pleasure to work with but they produced a beautiful history – bringing to life the stories and past-times of the Vic Hotel in a well written and wonderfully illustrated book.
The book was prepared with a great deal of passion and detail. Katherine and Sarah were both very open and made themselves available for requests. The history they wrote for us was everything we wanted. I would have no hesitation working with Way Back When again - and in fact have done so.
Publisher and Director