Thursday, 24 July 2008

Victorian Folklife Fund suspended for 2008

Due to unforeseen circumstances the Victorian Folk life Fund for 2008 has had to be suspended. Please do not send an application for this year. It is hoped the programme will recommence in 2009. For further information please contact the Royal Historical Society of Victoria on 9326 9288.

Friday, 4 July 2008

RHSV & RHS lecture - A land specially dedicated to the unforseen

The El Nino droughts of 1864-1869.
This is a joint event held with the Royal Societyof Victoria
Speaker: Assoc. Prof. Don Garden
Where:Royal Historical Society of Victoria, 239 A'Beckett Street, Melbourne
When: Thursday 7 August
Time: 6.00 pm Delicious savoury refreshments - 6.30 pm Lecture
Cost: $15.00 members of RHSV & RSV - $20.00 non members

Bookings essential: 9326 9288 or

The 1864-1869 drought was one of the most damaging and severe in colonial history. The talk focuses on the effects of the droughts on the eastern colonies, particularly on the pastoral industry.

This was a critical time in the expansion of the pastoral industry as it moved increasingly into arid and semi-arid regions. Unfamiliarity with the environmental conditions in the regions combined with a couple of good seasons in the early 1860s had encouraged overconfidence and misjudgements in stocking the land.

The unpredictable and punishing nature of the climate caused considerable pain and promoted reflection on the nature of the colonial experience. It also resulted in the first significant but vain attempts to 'drought proof' the colonies.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

RHSV Lecture - The secret RAAF radar station at Wilsons Promontory during WWII

Date: Tuesday 8 July, 2008
Time: 5.15pm tea/coffee 5.45pm lecture
Price; Free (members) $5.50 (non-members)
Where: Royal Historical Society of Victoria, 239 A'Beckett Street Melbourne VIC

At the outbreak of the 1939-45 War the Australian Government believed that Australia was not open to the threat of invasion but that we did need to prepare for sporadic raids. In November 1940 the latter became reality with German vessels laying minefields at strategic points around the Australian coast.

When the German mines claimed their first victims and Japan brought the conflict into our hemisphere Australian thinking changed radically. Plans for a chain of coastal radar stations were speedily authorised. The Wilsons Promontory station was one of the first of 130 or so to be put into operation around the Australian coast.

This RHSV lecture will be given by Ian McKellar who has researched and published its story in a book, much of it told by the men who actually served there. He describes the equipment that they used and the method of handling the intelligence that the radar stations provided.