Thursday, 27 October 2011

Feeding the Bookworm at Castlemaine

 Over the weekend the RHSV travelled up to Castlemaine for the History Victoria Support Group seminar, "Feeding the Bookworm", hosted by the Castlemaine Historical Society Inc. 

 The weather was superb, and between presentations we enjoyed a sumptuous barbeque lunch on the back lawn of the Former Castlemaine Courthouse, the home of the CHSI.

 Visitors were taken on a tour of the excellent archive storage facility.

 Two of our guest speakers  were on the left, Larry O'Toole (Graffiti Publications)  and Charles Fahey (La Trobe University, Bendigo) on the right. 

Thank you to Castlemaine Historical Society for a really enjoyable day.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Victorian Community History Awards 2011

The People of Budj Bim Gunditjmara people with Gib Wettenhall em PRESS Publishing, Heywood, 2010

The Victorian Bush: its ‘original and natural’ condition by Ron Hateley Polybractea Press, Melbourne, 2010

1835: the Founding of Melbourne & the Conquest of Australia by James Boyce
‘A Whole New World’: 100 Years of Education at University High School by Carolyn Rasmussen
‘The Wealth Beneath Their Feet’: a Family on the Castlemaine Goldfields by Marjorie Theobald
Summer Walk: Sale Botanic Gardens & Lake Guthridge by Ann and Peter Synan

The Catalysts: Change and Continuity 1910-2010 by Anne Longmire Published by the Author and The Catalysts, Melbourne, 2011

Welcome to Little Europe: Displaced Persons and the North Camp by Josef Sestokas
Water: the Vital Element. 150 Years of Shepparton’s Growth by Martin Summons Marvellous Melbourne and Me: Living in Melbourne in the 20th Century by Bruce McBrien
They Fished in Wooden Boats: a History of Port Franklin District and the Fishing Families by Neil Everitt

Our Boys at the Front, The Mornington Peninsula at War 1914-18 from the pages of the Peninsula Post, Book & DVD by Michael Collins and others, Mornington & District Historical Society, 2011

Burke and Wills Memorial Fountain: Linking Local History to a National Story, Sovereign Hill Museums Association
The Goldfields Stories The Girl from Carisbrook. - Website, Community Museums Program
Greek Journeys Through Bonegilla by Bruce Pennay
The Thomas Martin Letter: Memories of Strangways and Newstead by Liz Coady

I Succeeded Once’: The Aboriginal Protectorate on the Mornington Peninsula, 1839-1840 by Marie Hansen Fels ANU E-Press and Aboriginal History with Aboriginal Affairs Victoria, Canberra, 2011

Victorian Naval Forces Muster, Friends of the Cerberus
Hope and Hardship: an Account of Soldier and Closer Settlement in the Katandra District 1919 to 1933, Katandra and District History Group
The Murder Victims: Fate’s Wicked Child, Friends of Cheltenham and Regional Cemeteries

BEST WALK/TOUR Category Winner
Henry Handel Richardson in Maldon by Peter Cuffley, Helen McBurney, Geoff Palmer & Janey Runci Published by the Authors, Maldon, 2010

Commendations Spa Country: Victoria’s Mineral Springs, Edward and Maura Wishart and others
Discover the Other Side of the Tracks in Flemington, Flemington Association
3 Self-Guided Tour Pamphlets: Best of the Best, Famous Artists, Untimely Ends, Friends of Boroondara Cemetery

Mameloshn: How Yiddish Made a Home in Melbourne. The Jewish Museum of Australia

Commendations ‘Discovering Melbourne’s Chinatown: Our History and Heritage’, Museum of Chinese Australian History
RDNS Reflections. Book and Website, Royal District Nursing Service
Beeac Heritage Windmill Park, Beeac Heritage Windmill Park Committee

Early Navigators of Bass Strait, 1770-1803, by Gregory Eccleston and others Map produced by the Office of Surveyor-General Victoria, 2010

Special Commendation
John Abraham and His Everlasting Windmills by Hugh Sloane.

Victorian Community History Awards 2011

The Victorian Community History Awards were presented yesterday.  Steve Grimwade, Director of the Melbourne Writers Festival, addresses the gathering at Queen's Hall, Parliament House.

The overall winner was The People of Budj Bim by the Gunditjmara people with Gib Wettenhall.

While we are awaiting the official photos, here are some of some happy recipients of a Commendation:

Liz Coady, who is a member of the Newstead Historical Society, was pleased with  a Commendation in the category of "Best Collaborative/Community Work" for The Thomas Martin Letter:  memories of Strangways and Newstead.

Liz is also a volunteer at the Royal Historical Society of Victoria.

Another couple of happy folk are Garry & Jan Wallden from the Katandra and District History Group, which entered the book Hope and Hardship:  an Account of Soldier and Closer Settlement in the Katandra District 1919 to 1933.  This book received a Commendation in the category of "Best Community Research, Register, Records".

Monday, 17 October 2011


The Royal Historical Society of Victoria Inc
presents an

Saturday 26 November 12.45 for 1 pm to 4.30 pm
239 a'Beckett Street, Melbourne

Presented by Lenore Frost Author of Dating Family
Photos (now out of print)

The workshop will cover the techniques for dating old photos.  Attendees are invited to bring their photos for individual dating. Limit 2 per person (no albums). Originals are best. If they are copies, try to include the whole mount board, not just the image.

Presented by Jenny Coates

Attendees will receive a voucher entitling  them to purchase scans of postcards from the RHSV collection for only $10 each. The voucher does not have to be redeemed on the day and is not transferable.

After the sessions, our experts will be available for consultation to date individual photos (remember, only 2 per person), and guidance through our postcard collection. Owing to time constraints on the day, the voucher for postcard scans may be redeemed at a later date.

Flagstaff Station is closed on weekends, but trams will be running, and we are not far from Melbourne Central Station. All day car parking to 5 pm is available nearby for $4. Venue is not wheelchair or walker friendly. Tea and coffee served.

Please arrive at 12.45 to ensure a timely start.
$20 for RHSV members, $25 for non-members.
Bookings essential by 23 November 2011 on or 9326 9288

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Ambition and Unrealised Hope

When Sir John Franklin, polar hero and explorer, succeeded George Arthur as governor of Van Diemen’s Land in January 1837, there was an expectation among some of the colonists that the old, autocratic bureaucracy would be broken up and replaced by a more liberal regime. Franklin however was inexperienced in penal and colonial affairs, and naturally enough, he could not easily evade the advice of Arthur’s close officials, or the “faction” as they were known by their critics. A ‘change of men and measures’ however was not forthcoming, and Franklin placed almost unlimited confidence in his predecessor’s favourites to administer the penal establishment.  Craig Joel tells how a civil servant came to usurp the Governor’s authority in his desire to curry favour with British ministers, and in the process profoundly affected the political development of the colony. Australian Scholarly Publishing, 2011.

 Available  from the RHSV for $44.00 plus P + P.

See our full list of publications for sale here.

Saturday, 8 October 2011


Associate Professor Don Garden
 Victorians are invited to don their hiking boots and unearth the history of bushwalking as the Royal Historical Society of Victoria presents their October talk topic, “Becoming Comfortable in Our Land”.

To be held on Tuesday 11 October at 5.45pm, environmental historian Associate Professor Don Garden will explore Victoria’s environmental history and the role that bushwalking has played in it.

“In the last two decades of the nineteenth century and the early decades of the twentieth century important changes occurred in the relationship between the Australian colonists and the Australian natural environment,” said Associate Professor Garden.

“For a variety of economic, technological, scientific and cultural reasons, the ‘bush’ came to be seen as less alien and threatening than it had been in the early decades of colonisation.

“For many people the bush increasingly became something to enjoy for recreation, exercise and study – a place for leisure and pleasure.

“One manifestation of this changing view was the number of people who took up bushwalking as a recreational hobby.

“Bushwalkers also played a significant role in the early stages of environmental protection campaigns, and notably in efforts to establish national parks.

“Our talk will explore just how bushwalking has evolved to become the popular cultural and social activity it has today.”

Associate Professor Don Garden is President of the Federation of Australian Historical Societies, a Senior Fellow at Melbourne University’s Australian Centre for Science, Innovation and Society, a Principal Fellow in the School of Historical Studies, and a Fellow and Councillor of the Royal Historical Society of Victoria.

The event will be held at the Royal Historical Society of Victoria in the former Australian Army Medical Corps Drill Hall - an impressive Art Deco space, listed on the Victorian Heritage Register for its state-wide architectural and historical significance.

Formed in 1909, the Royal Historical Society of Victoria (RHSV) is committed to collecting, researching and sharing an understanding of the history of Victoria. Housing the most extensive single information resource on the history of Melbourne and Victoria, collections are open Monday to Friday, 10am – 4pm. 

Date:                            Tuesday 11 October
Time:                            5.15pm tea/coffee; 5.45pm – 6.45pm lecture.
Address:                      Royal Historical Society of Victoria
239 A’Beckett Street
Melbourne  (entry via William Street)
Cost:                            $5.50 non members; free for members
Bookings:                   t: (03) 9326 9288