Saturday, 25 September 2010

RHSV Lecture - Italians ans Swiss-Italians on the Walhalla Goldfield

Speaker: Annamaria Davine
Date: Tuesday 12 October
Place: Royal Historical Society of Victoria, 239 A'Beckett Street, Melbourne
Time: 5.15 tea/coffee 5.45 lecture
Cost: members free - non members $5.50

In the decades following the discovery of gold in Walhalla in late 1863, thousands of men and women went to the district eager to make their fortune. Among them were hundreds of Italian and Swiss-Italians (Italians), mostly males. These were usually sojourners, temporary residents who, although assumed to be ‘migrants’ when entering Victoria, did not necessarily have a commitment to permanent settlement. They were woodcutters, timber contractors, tramway builders and charcoal makers and it was not unusual for them to travel from Europe to the Walhalla goldfield 2-3 times during their working lives. Nor were they always desperately poor. Pietro Bombardieri, for example, ‘migrated’ to Australia at least seven times over a forty year period and lived in Walhalla for part of this time working as a timber contractor.

Who were they and what were their aspirations? I will provide some background into my research and, using two case studies, discuss what ‘migration’ may have meant to Walhalla’s Italians. Has its meaning changed over time, or has its use oversimplified and formularized a complex and diverse process in time, place and belonging?

Annamaria (Anna) Davine is an honorary research fellow in the University of Melbourne’s School of Historical Studies and a member of the Professional Historians` Association.

Two new exhibitions at the RHSV

A Singular Record
A selection of manuscripts from the RHSV collection including documents relating to prominent Melbourne identities such as John Batman as well as the newcomer hoping to make a fortune on the goldfields.The exhibition highlights the value of the manuscript collection for a variety of research purposes including family history research.

Victorian Community History Awards 2010
The winners and commended entries in the Victorian Community History awards, along with a number of the other entries, are now on display in the RHSV foyer.

Both exhibitions can be viewed at the Royal Historical Society of Victoria, 239 A'Beckett Street, Melbourne, Mondays to Fridays between 10 am and 4 pm.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Workshop - Designing and maintaining a website

This session is designed for groups planning to have a website or planning to redevelop their website. Topics include basics of website design, methods for creating websites, technical aspects including use of images on the web including copyright and access rights, pdf files, hosting of websites, maintaining websites and publicising the website.

Date: Wednesday 13 October, 2010
Time: 10.30 am - 12.30 pm
Price: Free
Where: Royal Historical Society of Victoria,239 A'Beckett Street Melbourne
Bookings essential
Email: or
Phone: 9326 9288


Workshop - Pocasting for historical societies

Digitally recording audio files and putting them online is increasingly being undertaken by groups to make the talks from meetings, oral history excerpts and self guided audio tours available to a wider audience. Topics will include recording and editing audio files and putting the audio files online. Examples from RHSV audio projects and projects from other groups will be provided. Ethical issues in recording will also be discussed.

Date: Wednesday 20 October, 2010
Time: 10.30 am - 12.30 pm
Price: Free
Where: Royal Historical Society of Victoria, 239 A'Beckett Street Melbourne

Bookings essential
Email: or
Phone: 9326 9288


Workshop - Indexing for historical societies

Presenter: John Adams
Place: RHSV 239 A'Beckett Street, Melbourne
When: Friday 29 October 2009
Time: 10 am - 3.00 pm
Cost: $40 Members - $45 Non-members (Fee includes a book and morning tea)
Bookings essential 9326 9288 or

John Adams, a member of the Australian Society of Indexers and a Fellow and honorary indexer of the Victorian Historical Journal, will outline the processes of indexing uncluding the selection of key words and formatting index entries. Particular issues relevant to the peculiarities of indexing non-book items ( periodicals, manuscripts, newspapers, photographs and other non-book materials) will also be discussed. A copy of Indexing for Historical Societies will be provided to each participant.

Oral History Workshop

Oral History Association of Australia (Victorian Branch) is holding an oral history workshop focussing on the following aspects of recording oral history:
- Ethical guidelines
- Interviewing for oral history projects
- Recording equipment
- Listening to, transcribing and logging interviews

Date: Saturday 20 November, 2010
Time: 9.30 am - 5.00 pm
Where: William Angliss Institute, 555 La Trobe Street Melbourne VIC
Cost: $75 non-members; $55 members and unwaged
Lunch, morning and afternoon tea provided
Bring a digital recorder if you have one.

These workshops are very popular so it is advisable to book early.

Book by sending payment with details of your name, address, telephone number, email , amount enclosed, (student / Pension No. if applicable) to
Treasurer OHAA Victorian Branch 14 Lower Road, Wattle Glen 3096


Lecture - The Great Melbourne Telescope: Restoring our astronomical heritage

JOINT ANNUAL LECTURE: The Royal Society of Victoria and the Royal Historical Society of Victoria
Speaker: Dr Richard Gillespie
Date: Thursday 23 September, 2010
Time: Pre-lecture refreshments 6.15pm Lecture 7.00 pm
Where: Royal Society Hall, entrance now at 8 La Trobe Street Melbourne
Price: $20 on the night

RSVP for catering essential: 12 noon 21 Sept, telephone 9663 5259 or email

RSV Website:

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Don't forget the RHSV Annual Giant Book Sale

Book sale update

Sunday 12 September from 10 am to 4 pm
at 239 A'Beckett Street, Melbourne

The exhibition area at the RHSV is now full of tables laden with boxes of books on a wide variety of subjects including - history, geography and travel, biographies, education, sociology, religion, science, psychology, health and well-being, music, art, gardening, cooking ... There is also a great variety of fiction available plus reading for children.

So come along to the RHSV at 239 A'Beckett Street, Melbourne on Sunday 12 September between 10 am and 4 pm to purchase some bargains for your bookshelf and also also assist the RHSV in this fundraising event.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

RHSV Lecture - The Many Lives of Kenneth Meyer

Date: Tuesday 14 September
Time: 5.15 tea/coffee. Lecture 5.45
Place: Royal Historical Society of Victoria, 239 A'Beckett Street, Melbourne
Cost: Members Free - Non-members $5.50
Speaker: Sue Ebury

When Kenneth Baillieu Myer’s father fell dead on the footpath in 1934, Ken’s life changed in an instant. As the eldest son of the Jewish immigrant retailing genius, Sidney Baevski Myer, who went from pedlar to philanthropist millionaire in fifteen years, 13-year-old Ken was immediately acknowledged as head of the family.

Despite a conventional education at Geelong Grammar and a year at Princeton University, Ken was an unconventional man. He had hit headlines when he was born and continued to make news throughout his life-as the powerful Executive Chairman of Myer; in his refusal to be Governor-General of Australia; with his separation and divorce from his wife Prue and remarriage to a Japanese woman half his age, Yasuko Hiraoka; as Chairman of the Victorian Arts Centre and the National Library of Australia; and during his disastrous years as Chairman of the ABC-a reward for signing the 'Myer It’s time' letter, acknowledged by Whitlam as influential in bringing the Labor Party to power in 1972.

Ken Myer introduced Australia to the first regional shopping centres, with Chadstone changing the face of the Australian landscape. Parking meters, state of the art information systems at the National Library of Australia, ground-breaking medical research at The Howard Florey Institute and genetic engineering at CSIRO were all facilitated by him.

With unprecedented access to family documents, Sue Ebury paints a vivid portrait of the many aspects of Ken Myer’s life, and the man himself.