What’s On

Click on an event below to find out more about it. Events of the RHSV can also be found in our What’s On bulletin and History News.

Exhibition – 17 October 2016 – 28 April 2017 : Remembering the ‘Burbs
Film Evening  – 21 February 2017 : Animating the Archive
Lecture – 9 March 2017 : The Actress and the Cottage
Lecture – 21 March 2017 : Crawford Lore/How Hector Crawford brought Oz history to the small screen
Lecture – 18 April 2017 : Australia’s Worst 24 Hours: the Disaster of Fromelles
17 June 2017 : RHSV Annual Book Sale
Grant Applications Open – 1 March 2017 : Holsworth Local Heritage Trust


Animating the Archive

Film Maker: Malcolm Mckinnon
Day: Tuesday 21 February 2017
Drinks: 5.15 pm
Film, followed by Q & A session: 5.45 pm – 7.15 pm
Cost: RHSV members free, non-members $10

Join Malcolm McKinnon and Andrew Lemon for a ‘Speakers Night’ with a difference! An  opportunity to view The Farmers Cinematheque which received a commendation in the Victorian Community History Awards to be followed by a Q&A with audience participation.

The Farmer’s Cinematheque is one-hour documentary film interpreting material from a remarkable cinematic archive created by a family of farmers at Rupanyup, in the Victorian Wimmera.

For more than fifty years, Relvy Teasdale and his son John made beautiful films on their farm and within their small community, capturing intimate views of a world that changes constantly and yet retains a wealth of resonant social memory.

Their luminous archive connects past and present generations, revealing the rhythms and rituals of life on the land and drawing surprising parallels between settler and indigenous modes of mapping and looking after country.
Combining sequences from the archive with contemporary footage and voices, The Farmer’s Cinematheque is a lyrical film about the power of memory, the nature of our attachment to country and the ways in which communities strive to balance change and tradition.

Malcolm McKinnon is an Australian artist, filmmaker and ghost-wrangler working mainly in rural communities. His current practice is primarily in the realm of documentary filmmaking and social history, motivated by an appreciation of living memory and local vernacular. He makes films and multi-media work for physical and on-line exhibition in museums and other institutions. He has also made films for television, including the recent documentaries Making Dust and Seriously Singing.


The Actress and the Cottage

Speaker: Susan Pierotti
Day: Thursday 9 March 2017
Time: 12.30 refreshments
Lecture 1.00pm
Cost: Free for RHSV Members, Non Members $10.00

Lola Russell was born and still lives in the oldest residential dwelling in Melbourne’s CBD. It was built in 1850 on the corner of King and La Trobe Streets. Lola’s great-grandfather was Melbourne’s first Maltese settler, arriving in 1838. The life of her family, early Melbourne and that of the cottage are intertwined in her memoirs, City Kid. Her own life as one of Australia’s pioneer actresses is just as compelling. She was the first person to produce a play by Samuel Beckett in Australia. She and her husband, George Dixon, were in the first Australian movie to win a prize at the Cannes Film Festival. She also had a long career teaching in Victorian government schools where she is still fondly remembered by her former students as having opened their eyes to a wider more imaginative world. But no matter where she went, her home, the cottage, was always the centre of refuge and peace – until it began to fall apart… Publishing Lola’s memoirs was an adventure in itself. Susan Pierotti edited over 401,000 words, sourced the images and organised the publication of City Kid. She will speak on the journey of The Actress and the Cottage.

Susan Pierotti in an Accredited Editor with the Institute of Professional Editors. She is National Editor of the Australian Strings Association magazine, Stringendo, where she also writes review and articles. Other articles have appeared in publications such as Ancestor (the Genealogical Society of Victoria journal), Your Child and Music and the Teacher (the Victorian Music Teachers Association journal). She has brought to publication City Kid and A Smalle Anthologie, a book of poetry by Janette Obuch. Her first book, Manuscript to Market: the lifecycle of getting your book into print, is due out at the end of this month.


Crawford Lore/How Hector Crawford brought Oz history to the small screen

Speaker: Rozzi Bazzani
Drinks 5.15 / Lecture 5.45
Cost: RHSV Members Free/
Non Members $10.00

‘Television, with a screen in every home, telling stories that reflect Australian life, was fundamentally important to the wellbeing of the country.’
These words spoken by Hector Crawford in the summer of 1959, lie at the heart of what Crawford Productions achieved when, 8 years after TV transmission started in Australia, his company broke through the barricade of opposition from TV owners and started producing Australian drama for Australian audiences.

Before that, many will remember that Australian TV was saturated with English and US drama programs, programs that had a proven track record in their country of origin where television had been running since before the war. Where, he wanted to know, did that leave us? Not anywhere helpful for a new country still defining what it meant to be Australian and still on the threshold of a new era of Australian settlement. His view was that we needed to see ourselves as well as the rest of the world. Rozzi will discuss how from his first series Crawford’s programs reflected Australian history, beginning with Homicide followed by Hunter, Matlock Police, right through to The Sullivans and beyond to All the Rivers Run and The Flying Doctors. In a deliberate and purposeful way Crawford Productions developed writers and allowed key figures within the company whose interest was history to develop programs along the lines of Hector’s own views about television and its potential for Australia. A view that was borne out by the explosion of Australian production following Crawford Productions enormously successful lead into Australian drama production.

Rozzi Bazzani for more than ten years made a living using her voice, spoken and sung in recording studios and live performance in clubs mostly around Melbourne. She also undertook an Arts degree at Melbourne University, majoring in romance languages, linguistics and fine art. After graduating from Melbourne University, Rozzi worked behind a microphone for radio and daytime TV and took on a role at the HeraldSun as an Arts contributor.
There, she became smitten with the story of Hector Crawford which resulted is this book, published by Arcadia in Melbourne, Hector, the story of Hector Crawford and Crawford Productions – which won the History Publication Award in the 2016 Victorian Community History Awards.


Australia’s Worst 24 Hours: the Disaster of Fromelles

Speaker: Dr Ross McMullin
Day: Tuesday 18 April 2017
Drinks 5.15pm / Lecture 5.45pm
Cost: RHSV members Free/ Non Members $10.00

Ross McMullin, the biographer of Brigadier-General Pompey Elliott, who was a key figure at Fromelles, will address the fundamental questions about the fiasco. How did such a catastrophe occur? What were they trying to achieve? Where does the blame for the disaster lie? Could, or did, anyone try to stop
it? Ross will answer these and other questions, explain how the battle became relatively little known, and discuss the developments that have transformed perceptions of Fromelles in recent years.

Dr Ross McMullin is an award-winning historian and biographer whose main research interests are Australian politics, Australia’s role in World War I, and sporting history. He has written extensively about these topics in his books, in chapters of multi-authored books, and in numerous articles for newspapers and periodicals. His biography Pompey Elliott won awards for biography and literature, and has been instrumental in Pompey’s prominence in various TV productions, including the acclaimed ABC docudrama The War That Changed Us and Chris Masters’s ABC series The Years That Made Us. Another biography by Ross, Will Dyson: Australia’s Radical Genius, was commended by the judges of the National Biography Award.
His most recent book, Farewell, Dear People: Biographies of Australia’s Lost Generation, which includes extended biographies of three remarkable Australians who were at Fromelles, was awarded the Prime Minister’s Prize for Australian History and the National Cultural Award. Dr McMullin’s other books
include the ALP centenary history, The Light on the Hill, and another political history, So Monstrous a Travesty: Chris Watson and the World’s First National Labour Government. Ross served on committees providing advice to the federal government concerning the commemoration of the centenary of World War I, and was among the historians who provided content for Australia’s Western Front Interpretation Centre that is being constructed at Villers-Bretonneux.


RHSV Annual Book Sale

Saturday 17 June 2017
The Members’ Preview will be held on Thursday 15 June.

We are now accepting books for the sale. We only want history books – but these do not need to be only on Australian History. History books on any topic are most welcome.

To arrange for us to collect your books please call 93269288 or office@historyvictoria.org.au OR you can drop them off at the RHSV – there is 10 minute parking at the front door.