Position: Senior Lecturer
Study area: Mt Helen Campus
Phone: 5327 9710
Future Shapers - Committee for Ballarat Community Leadership Program - 2021
PhD - Federation University - 2002
Thesis: Sign of the Witch: Romanticism and the Pagan Revival
Graduate Certificate of Education (Tertiary) - Federation University - 2005
Bachelor of Arts (First Class Honours) - Federation University - 1999
Thesis: Free Market Economic Determinism a comparative Case Study of Mexico and Ghana.”
Bachelor of Arts (Majors: International Relations/Philosophy) - Deakin University - 1998
Safety: Mental Health First Aid - Federation University - 2016
Current: Working with Children Check
BOLD Course 4: Teaching in a BOLD Environment - Federation University - 2018
- Bachelor of Arts (History & Social Inquiry)
- Bachelor of Criminal Justice and Criminology
- Empires and Revolutions (BAHIS2003/3003)
- Researching, Writing and Teaching History (BAHIS2004/3004)
- Successful Learning at University (FEAFN1001)
- Western Civilisation in World History (BAKIP1001)
Dr Waldron is a historian working in the School of Education and Arts. Dr David Waldron joined Federation University, then the University of Ballarat, in 2002 whilst engaged in post graduate study. Previously David worked as a book binder at Classical Victorian Printers and Castlemaine Bacon as a slicer operator whilst completing his studies through distance education at Deakin University.
In his time at Federation University, Dr Waldron has developed a passion for community historical engagement, regularly supporting, writing and developing community heritage events, support local theatre and online productions in historical areas of research. He is the researcher and co-writer of the Goldfields History pod cast series Tales from Rat City, which won the National Trust of Australia (Victoria) People’s Choice award in 2019 and recently completed the Lucas Girls and the Avenue of Honour Audio Tours commemorating the lives of the men and women who served in the First World War from Ballarat and district. Dr Waldron is also one of the primary contributors and architects of the annual Ballarat Heritage Festival.
Areas of expertise
David is a folklorist and historian with a particular focus on the development of urban legends and popular folklore as a response to traumatic community experiences. He is interested in the intersection of folklore, popular culture and the creation of shared mythology and story-telling. He is also interested in tracing the development of folklore attached to historic and sacred sites and the development of urban legends in relation to social, cultural and political crisis in communities. He has a strong interest in new religious movements and the concomitant development of new mythologies and belief systems.
He has written extensively on the origins of contemporary neo-Paganism and its relation to medieval and early modern beliefs in the supernatural, romanticism and western modernity. He has also written extensively on British folklore as linked to local identity and community and on the Australian folklore of Bunyips, Big Cats and Yowies in relation to environmental and social history. A current research focus is on the use of ghost stories as a vehicle for memorialising community trauma through both story-telling and hoaxing.
- New Religious movements
- Folklore Studies and community identity
- The intersection of community folklore and popular culture/urban legends
- Active learning models in Historical Education
- Place, Culture and Identity formation in small, communities
- Ghost Stories and Urban legends as a cultural response to shared trauma.
Current Post Graduate Students
David is supervising a variety of post-graduate students including,
Neil Huybregts – William Beauclerc Otway: A Sanguine Life
Helen Hamilton – ‘Patricia Violet Slater 1918-1990: A remarkable leader in the nursing profession in changing times’
Marcus Chester – Lola Montez and her tour of the Australian Goldfields in the 1850s and its enduring memory in Australian culture.
Graeme Quick - Galloping through Ballarat: The social, cultural, and economic contribution of the horse to Ballarat and district
Waldron, D & Waldron, S & Buchanan, N. Aradale: the Making of a Haunted Asylum. Australian Scholarly Publishing: Melbourne, 2020.
Waldron, D (Ed.) Goldfields and the Gothic: A Hidden Heritage and Folklore. Australian Scholarly Publishing: Melbourne, 2016.
Waldron, D & Townsend, Simon. Snarls from the Tea-Tree: A History of Victoria’s Big Cat Folklore. Australian Scholarly Publishing: Melbourne, 2012.
Waldron, D & Reeve, C. Shock! The Black Dog of Bungay: A Case Study in Local Folklore. Hidden Publishing: Herts, 2010.
Waldron, D. The Sign of the Witch: Modernity and the Pagan Revival. Carolina Academic Press: Durham, 2008.
Waldron, D. ‘The Legend of Madman’s Hill: Incarceration, Madness and Dark Tourism on the Goldfields’ in Hares, Marcus (ed.) The Palgrave Handbook of Incarceration in Popular Culture. Palgrave: London. 2020.
Waldron, D & Waldron, S. ‘Ghosts on the Goldfields: Ballarat as a Haunted City’. In Bell, K. (Ed.)Supernatural Cities: Enchantment, Anxiety and Spectrality. Boydell and Brewer: Portsmouth, 2019. 229-241
Waldron, D. ‘Myths and Folklore of the Goldfields’ in Wickham, D & Gervasoni, C (ed.) PayDirt!: Ballarat and Other Gold Towns. Ballarat Heritage Services: Ballarat, 2019. 117-123.
Waldron, D. ‘Marketing Madness: the Ararat Lunatic Asylum.’ in Wickham, D & Gervasoni, C (ed.) PayDirt!: Ballarat and Other Gold Towns. Ballarat Heritage Services: Ballarat, 2019. 101-110.
Waldron, D & Wickham, D. ‘Mysteries, Marks and Masons.’ in Wickham, D & Gervasoni, C (ed.) PayDirt!: Ballarat and Other Gold Towns. Ballarat Heritage Services: Ballarat, 2019. 183-195.
Waldron, D. ‘Beyond the Vale: Death, Ritual and Burial on the Goldfields of Bendigo’ in Bendigo Post Office Gallery Vale: Mourning Remembrance and Spiritualism in Bendigo 1851-1901. Adam’s Print: Bendigo, 2019. 18-24
Waldron D. ‘I Tawt I saw a Puddy Cat’ in Stollznow K (Ed) Would you believe it: Mysterious Tales from People You'd Least Expect, Ebook, Amazon Digital Services LLC, 2017.227-233.
Waldron D, Waldron G and Pola B. ‘Homosexuality on the Goldfields’ in Waldron D (Ed) Goldfields and the Gothic: A Hidden Heritage and Folklore. Australian Scholarly Publishing: Melbourne, 2016. 87-102.
Waldron D. ‘Playing the Ghost: Ghost Hoaxing and Supernaturalism’ in Waldron D (Ed) Goldfields and the Gothic: A Hidden Heritage and Folklore. Australian Scholarly Publishing: Melbourne, 2016.
Waldron D. ‘Invented Traditions and Regional Identity: The Case of the Black Dog of Bungay’ in Downes J and Downes C (Ed) Centre for Fortean Zoology Year Book 2011.CFZ Press: Bideford. 52-94.
Waldron D. ‘Spiritualism and UFO Mythology’ in Downes J and Downes C (Ed) Centre for Fortean Zoology Year Book 2009.CFZ Press: Bideford.2009.119-128.
Leeming D (Ed). The Blanton Peale Institute Encyclopaedia of Psychology and Religion. Blanton Peale: New York. 2008. Entries for ‘Witchcraft; Paganism; Great Mother; Holy Grail; Folk Magic; Wicca; Celtic Religions’.
Waldron D. ‘Post-Modernism and Witchcraft Histories’ in Jane-Davy B (Ed) Paganism: Critical Concepts in Religious Studies. Routledge: London.2008. 113-124.
Refereed journal articles
Waldron, D & Leonard, 7. ‘Ju-Jitsu’s Role in the Fight for Women’s Suffrage’, Agora: Journal of the History Teachers Association of Victoria. Vol 56 no 1, 2021, 3-8.
Waldron, D & Waldron, S. ‘Beyond the Corridors of the Mind: An Exploration of the Dark History of the Ararat Mental Hospital. Jung Journal: Culture and Psyche. Vol 14, No 3. 2020
Waldron, D & Michael, P. 'A Living Chessboard: Make Your Own Medieval World Create your own medieval incursion with these DIY costumes and equipment', Agora: The Journal of the History Teachers Association of Victoria. Vol 54 no 3. 2019
Waldron D. ‘A Medieval Mystery in Modern Ballarat’, Agora: Journal of the History Teacher’s Association of Victoria. Volume 52, No 1, 2017.4-9.
Waldron D & Waldron S. ‘Playing the Ghost: Ghost Hoaxing and Supernaturalism in Late Nineteenth-Century Victoria, Australia’, Folklore, 127:1, 2016.71-90.
Waldron D. ‘Playing the Ghost: Ghost Hoaxing and Supernaturalism in Late Nineteenth-Century Victoria’, Provenance: The Journal of the Public Record Office of Victoria, No 13, 2014.
Waldron D & Newton J. ‘Rethinking Appropriation of the Indigenous – a Critique of the Romanticist Approach”.Nova Religio. Volume 16, No 2, November 2012.
Waldron D. ‘Big Cats and Dead Sheep: An overview of the folkloric phenomena of Big Cats in the Australian Bush. ”Australian Folklore.2011.Journal 25.March 2011.183-194.
Waldron D. ‘Roleplaying Games and the Christian Right: Community Formation in Response to a Moral Panic’. Journal of Religion and Popular Culture. Vol IX. Spring 2005.pp 50-78.
Waldron D. ‘Witchcraft for Sale: Commodity vs Community in the neo-Pagan Movement’. Nova Religio, Vol 9. No 1.August 2005.32-48.
Waldron D & Waldron S. ‘Jung and the neo-Pagan Movement’. Quadrant: The Journal of the CG Jung Foundation for Analytical Psychology. Vol XXXIV.No 2.Summer 2004.pp 29-46.
Waldron D. ‘Ecofeminism and the Reconstruction of the Burning Times’. Intercultural Studies. Vol 3.No 1.Spring 2003.pp36-50.
Waldron D. ‘Post-modernism and Witchcraft History’. The Pomegranate: Journal of Neo-Pagan Thought. Issue 15. February, 2001. pp16-22.
Waldron D. ‘Bringing History to Life: Artefacts, Primary Sources and Role-play in History Education’. HTAV Annual Conference. Melbourne, July 2017.
Waldron D. ‘Playing the Ghost: Ghost Hoaxing and Supernaturalism on the Goldfields of Victoria’. Australian Historical Association Annual Conference. CRCAH. Ballarat, July 2016.
Waldron D. ‘Artefacts, Costuming and Role-play in Tertiary History Education: An experience in the use of active learning in a first year Western Civilisation course’.16th International Symposium on School Life and School History Museums & Collections. Sovereign Hill, April 2015.
Waldron D. ‘Rethinking Appropriation of the Indigenous: A Romanticist Approach to Cultural Imperialism”. Joint Conference of the ASA, ASAANZ and AAS: Ownership and Appropriation. University of Auckland.12 December 2008.
Waldron D. ‘Myth, Folklore and Kitsch: The Case of the Black Dog of Bungay’. Joint Conference of the ASA, ASAANZ and AAS: Ownership and Appropriation. University of Auckland.12 December 2008.
Waldron D. Witchcraft for Sale: Commodity vs Community in the neo-Pagan Movement. Presented at The Australian Sociological Association Annual Conference.4-6 December 2003.
Waldron D. Role-playing Games and the Christian Right: Community formation in response to a moral panic. Presented at The Australian Sociological Association annual conference, 4-6 December 2003.
Waldron D.Post-Modern Historiography and the neo-Pagan movement in Australia. Paper presented at The Australian Sociological Association annual conference. University of Flinders.6 December 2000.
Waldron D. The neo-Pagan Movement and the Challenge of Continental European scholarship. Paper presented at The Australian Sociological Association annual conference. University of Flinders.6 December 2000.
Waldron D. The Eco-Feminist Appropriation of the Burning Times. Paper presented at the Australian Anthropological Association Annual Conference. University of Sydney.22 June 1999.
Multi-media content and engagement
Avenue of Honour Audio Tours. https://honouringouranzacs.com.au/page/lucas_girls#AudioTour
Love Ballarat: Presented by Tales from Rat City. Live streaming historical theatre for 2020 Ballarat heritage Weekend. https://www.facebook.com/loveballaratlive/
Ballarat Up and Under – Guided VR tours of hidden Ballarat. Funded by Ballarat City Council. http://www.ballaratheritageweekend.com/highlights.html
Tales from Rat City – Writer, Research and Producer Australian Local History Podcast series. Winner of the 2019 People’s Choice Award. National Trust of Victoria. https://talesfromratcity.com/
Dead and Buried - Episode 3: All Hallows Eve – With Guest Dr David Waldron. Born and Bred Historical Research.31 October 2016.
Folklore - Episode 5: Playing the Ghost - With Guest Dr David Waldron.14 September 2016.
UFO and Popular Folklore. Youth Radio Network.20 December 2015.
Circle of Insight: The Psychology of Witchcraft. US Therapy Cable.15 November 2015.
Monster Talk: Tiger by the Tale. Skeptics Society. 5 May 2014.
Dumbed Down Atheists.3 February 2013.
Big Cat Report Victoria ABC Radio National. 18 September 2012.
Monster Talk: Hell Hath No Fury. Skeptics Society. 7 March 2012.
Community engagement and performances
The Witching Hour: Folk Magical and superstitions on Victoria’s Goldfields. Coordination and delivery with Dr Jo Clyne of HTAV. Australian Wiccan Annual Conference 12th November 2019. Glen Eira Town Hall. 30th of January 2020, Ballarat Heritage Weekend 29th of May 2020. The Butterfly Club Melbourne 4th of June 2020.
HTAV History Enrichment Program. Coordination and Delivery of activities and seminars for gifted and talented students from Regional Victoria. From 2015-2019. https://www.htav.asn.au/students/history-enrichment-program-hep
Waldron, D. Medieval Day. Mt Clear Secondary College. Design and delivery of medieval history activities to the year 8 cohort. 2018-2020.
Suffrajitsu. Ballarat Heritage Weekend 2019. Researcher, writer and curator. Funded by Ballarat City Council with over 1250 visitors to the event on the 29th and 30th of May 2020. http://www.ballaratheritageweekend.com/highlights.html
Ballarat's Guisers and Ghost Hoaxers: A tour and re-enactment of folk rituals and playing the ghost of the goldfields. Funded by Ballarat City Council. 2019-2020 http://www.ballaratheritageweekend.com/highlights.html
‘Vale: mourning, remembrance and Spiritualism in Bendigo 1851 – 1901’ Research and support for exhibition and accompanying catalogue.
The Ballarat Old Gaol Tour and Exhibition. Ballarat Heritage Weekend 2018. Researcher, writer and curator. Funded by Ballarat City Council with over 1250 visitors to the event on the last weekend of May 2018 - 2020. http://www.ballaratheritageweekend.com/highlights.html
The Peculiar Demise of William Bailey. The Lost Ones. Writer, researcher and dramaturgist. The Lost Ones Gallery. November 2017.
Ballarat Heritage Advisory Committee Federation University Representative – Proxy 2017/18.
BHW: A Victorian Séance. Eerie Tours. Writer, Researcher and dramaturgist. Craig’s Royal Hotel. May 2017.
BHW: Ballarat Murder Tours. Eerie Tours. Research Consultant and Assistant Writer. Ballarat. May 2017.
BHW: Heritage Theatre Ballarat Mechanics Institute Activation. Faculty of Education and Arts: Arts Academy. Research Consultant, Dramaturgy and Producer. Ballarat Post Office Gallery. May 2017.
BHW: OddBodd: Mysteries in Motion Exhibition. Faculty of Education and Arts: Arts Academy. Roving Performances by 1st year Arts Academy Graduates. Research Consultant and Producer. Ballarat Mechanics Institute. May 2017
BHW: Mystery Trail Booklet. Faculty of Education and Arts: Arts Academy. Research Consultant, Dramaturgy and Producer. Ballarat.May 2017.
BHW: Heritage Board Games. Faculty of Education and Arts: Arts Academy. Board Games Design and Display. Research Consultant and Producer. Ballarat Mechanic’s Institute. May 2017.
BHW: Mystery Trail. Ballarat City Council. Research Consultant. Ballarat. May 2016.
BHW: Heritage Theatre Street Theatre Activation. Faculty of Education and Arts: Arts Academy. Research Consultant, Dramaturgy and Producer. Ballarat Post Office Gallery. May 2016.
BHW: Post Office Gallery Installation.1st year design student’s exhibition. Research Consultant, Dramaturgy and Producer. Ballarat Post Office Gallery. May 2016.
Memories of War. Wind & Sky Productions. 2015. Historical Advisor.
- Australian Historical Association,
- the Victorian Studies Association of Australia
- History Teacher’s Association of Victoria
- Golden Key Honour’s Society and Federation University
- The Folklore Society
- The Australian Folklore Association
- The Royal Historical Society of Victoria