Vision, Mission, Purposes, Values and Policies.


The Royal Historical Society of Victoria has open membership, is a not-for-profit charity and an incorporated association with deductible gift recipient status. Its preserve is Victorian histories with a special interest in Melbourne. It is also an umbrella body to some 350 affiliated historical societies across Victoria which collectively foster community history.


The RHSV Vision is that Victoria’s rich histories will become a meaningful part of all contemporary Victorians’ lives and cultures.


To use our diverse collection and publications to ignite curiosity and wonder; to inspire debate; to explore and question our histories and how they shape our present and future; and to enrich Victorians’ lives by promoting research, knowledge, understanding and enjoyment of our histories to the widest possible audience.


The purposes of the RHSV, as approved at the AGM in May 2024

The Royal Historical Society of Victoria Incorporated is a registered charity whose purpose is to advance culture by:

2.1 promoting research, knowledge, understanding and enjoyment of our histories to the widest possible audience.

2.2 developing and conserving the collection of Victorian history, with a special interest in Melbourne;

2.3 promoting all aspects of Victorian history through exhibitions, publications and events for its members and the general public;

2.4 recognising outstanding achievement in Victorian history;

2.5 supporting affiliated historical societies; and

2.6 acting as an advocate for the Victorian history sector and in the conservation and promotion of Victoria’s cultural and built heritage.

The Royal Historical Society of Victoria is managed by a Council that operates under the Society’s Constitution.


Our work will be guided and informed by our belief in and commitment to the following values:

Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Peoples of Australia

The RHSV recognises the importance of First Peoples’ voices to understanding our collective past and seeks to make its space culturally safe for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples by ensuring the RHSV is free from discrimination.

We acknowledge the primary rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in their cultural heritage and will work collaboratively to advance understanding between all peoples.


Respect and integrity

We believe that evidence-based historical understanding is critical to creating a better world. We encourage everyone to read historical publications, examine primary source materials, engage with Victoria’s past in an informed way and share their ideas among many audiences. We encourage healthy debate and respect differences of opinion.

As well as respecting the views and opinions of others, we will consider their needs and sensibilities, and work collaboratively to build trust and understanding.

We are transparent, collaborative, and ethical in our collective work as an independent history organisation. We publish our governance documents on our website


Equity, diversity, accessibility and inclusivity

The Royal Historical Society of Victoria is both enriched and its effectiveness enhanced when our community and the constituents we serve are composed of individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and points of view.

Our contemporary collection processes attempt to rectify past omissions, to give voice to those previously ignored, and to capture a fuller, more nuanced record of society.

We are committed to diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion across all our activities and we work to remove obstacles, perceived and actual, that limit anyone’s access to the RHSV.

The RHSV works to ensure its policies, procedures, and activities are inclusive of the cultural diversity of contemporary Victorian society.



We aspire to excellence in all we do. We create a culture that expects, recognises, and rewards excellence in our achievements as individuals, teams, and institutions within the history sector. We lead through best practices, innovation and example.



We exist for the benefit of all the people of Victoria.

We aspire to develop deep relationships that foster true engagement and partnerships with our audiences, collaborators, and supporters.

Through our membership, we hold ourselves accountable to all Victorians and together we are custodians of their histories.



We drive a culture of creativity and innovation throughout our work, and we take informed risks to spark curiosity.