Current Exhibition

The Royal Historical Society of Victoria organises and hosts exhibitions throughout the year which showcase some of the fascinating items in its collection. The Society also exhibits travelling exhibitions from other organisations. All exhibitions are located at the Drill Hall, 239 A’Beckett St, Melbourne and can be viewed 9am–5pm Monday-Friday The Past Exhibitions page contains information about recent RHSV exhibitions. Enquiries to : office@historyvictoria.org.au
or 9326 9288

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Putting it out there: Melbourne in the 1970s

About the Exhibition

Date: 14 September 2018 – January 2019
Time: 9AM – 5PM, Monday to Friday
Cost: Free

Curator, Zoe Henderson, has grounded this exhibition in the domestic arena of 1970s Melbourne. We reflect on and explore the ways in which the life of the city and society were shaped by the hanging ideas and actions of its citizens. The 70s were a turbulent decade driven by increasing social awareness and cultural diversity. Nothing reflects this better than the slide from the confronting political slogan in the early years of the decade – It’s Time – to the slightly defeated plea, Get Australia Working, by 1977.

Whilst some of the concerns which led Melburnians to demonstrate were global – remember Portuguese East Timor? – some were distinctly Melbourne – hello F-19 and the freeways! In between there was a tsunami of old and newly defined political and social causes which reached and touched all Melburnians. This played out against a backdrop of political and social division brought about by the Vietnam War moratoriums, the Dismissal, the economic instability of the Oil Crisis and escalating local unemployment. Ordinary Melburnians took part in community groups, activist associations, consciousness raising, political parties. The young might identify themselves as Sharpie or Surfie, take courage to redefine their sexual identity, or simply enjoy being young and cool, growing their hair, wearing flares, beads and platform shoes. Whatever your take on Melbourne in the 70s, come and re-live the energy of the decade.


Curator’s Talk

Date: Tuesday 9 October 2018
Time: 12 Noon
Cost: Free

Zoë Henderson, the inspired creator behind our latest exhibition, will tell you some of her favourite stories from the exhibition and explain its genesis.

Zoë has grounded this exhibition in the domestic arena of 1970s Melbourne. We reflect on and explore the ways in which the life of the city and society were shaped by the changing ideas and actions of its citizens.

Curating the 1970s exhibition has been a wonderful opportunity for Zoë to really get to know her adoptive city and the stirring events and issues of 1970s Melbourne. Her PhD thesis (Cambridge, 2002) was on southern African Middle Stone Age archaeology, followed by two decades as a museum archeologist. She now teaches at Monash Uni.