Current Exhibitions

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 10am–4pm Monday-Friday The Past Exhibitions page contains information about recent RHSV exhibitions. Enquiries to :
or 9326 9288

In the Main Gallery:

Vera Deakin’s World of Humanity

About the Exhibition

An RHSV exhibition curated by Carole Woods with assistance from David Thompson, Daisy Searls and Julia Jackson, 26 April‒8 August.

The RHSV commemorated the centenary of the First World War in 2014 with an exhibition on the Australian Red Cross. The society concludes its war commemoration in 2018 with an exhibition on Vera Deakin.

Vera, daughter of Alfred Deakin, figured in the early exhibition as secretary of the Australian Red Cross Wounded and Missing Enquiry Bureau 1915‒18. The bureau’s case files, placed online by the Australian War Memorial, form a huge, invaluable archive.

Vera’s enquiry work was the forerunner of a lifetime of dedicated leadership of humanitarian causes, including for the Children’s Hospital and a society for the disabled. She played a prominent role in the Australian Red Cross during the Second World War and was twice vice-chairman.

In 1920 Vera married Captain Thomas White DFC, a former military pilot in Mesopotamia. He became an Australian cabinet minister and later high commissioner to London. When he was knighted in 1952, Vera became Lady White.

Mr Roger D. Harley, grandson of Vera Deakin White and Director, Fawkner Capital, opened the exhibition on 26 April at 5 pm.

In the Cabinet of Curiosities: A wealth of banking

The RHSV’s collection once again shows a wealth of material, from an 1870s sample cheque book to a charming 1960s booklet from the Commonwealth Banks directed to the youngest savers, Your money in the bank.

The sample cheque book is a superb and rare item – this specimen cheque book produced by Sands & McDougall is for the National Bank of Australia. The cheque book has a green leather cover with gold border and text. The sample cheques are printed on different coloured pastel pages.

In between we have diatribes like Shall the people or the banks rule?, a pamphlet printing a speech from the Minister for Transport and External Affairs in support of banking legislation made in 1945, and another contribution to the same debate: The private bankers propaganda exposed.

Naturally the RHSV collection includes substantial histories of the banks, samples of a bankers’ journal The Bankers’ magazine of Australsia, 1892.

This small exhibition is on display from 29 May to 18 June 2018.

Over 300 historical societies are affiliated with the Royal Historical Society of Victoria. Each society has reference to and holds an outstanding set of historical resources which are cared for, managed and made accessible to the general public through the efforts of its members.

Historical Societies energetically welcome visitors and potential new members. They care for print and non-print materials, undertake research, conduct educational and recreational activities, publish newsletters, brochures and books and enable walking tours – examples of which are displayed in exhibitions.