RHSV open again

We are back working in the Drill Hall and open to the public who want to see our exhibition Tales from the MacRobertson International Air Races, buy books in the bookshop (always available online), use our collection for research or attend an event.

However, in line with government restrictions, masks must be worn within the building and it is mandatory that everyone checks in with our QR code. There are also social distancing rules which limit us to one person per 4 sqm.


Today in The Age: A new start for Australian history

The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald  newspapers (17 July 2021) published Richard Broome’s plea for Australian History to be given a ‘fair go’ but was unable to fit in this important paragraph:

“Fifteen teachers, academics and Cambridge University Press mounted a rescue mission, creating a four volume series, Analysing Australian History (2021), to provide texts for the new Year 12 Victorian Study Design in 2022. Some proceeds go to the Indigenous Reading Project.”

You can read Richard’s article below or by clicking on this link to The Age.


HOLSWORTH GRANTS: closing date 31st July

Grants of up to $2,000 are available for the publication of any specific or general local history or natural history in rural and regional Victoria. The Grant is intended for small organisations with an interest in publishing works of historical value, even where the organisation has little or no experience of self publishing work. Joint projects encompassing several groups or annual/special edited journals incorporating submitted historical articles from a wide community are encouraged.

For guidelines and an application form visit our website: https://www.historyvictoria.org.au/programs/holsworth-local-heritage-grants/

Closing date: 31st July 2021


AGM (5pm) & Weston Bate Oration (6pm)


On Tuesday 18th May at 5pm the RHSV will hold its 111th AGM for the financial year ending 31st of December 2020 at 239 A’Beckett Street, Melbourne VIC 3000


1 Attendance and apologies

2 To confirm the minutes of the 110th Annual General Meeting.

3 To confirm the minutes of the RHSV Reconvened Annual General Meeting.

4 To receive the Annual Report for the year ended 31 December 2020.


PORTABLE BUILDINGS OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY: a proposal for World Heritage listing

On Thursday night, 15th April 2021, Dr Barry Jones launched the Portable Buildings World Heritage Nomination Task Force, which aims to persuade Australian governments, state and Commonwealth, to seek world heritage listing for the more than 100 19th Century prefabricated or ‘portable’ buildings still standing in Australia. The RHSV supports this exciting bid. We are represented on the Task Force committee by RHSV Heritage Committee Chair, Emeritus Professor Charles Sowerwine. The proposal contains terrific photos of these buildings.


Queens Bridge over troubled water and the Red Cross to the rescue

Cheryl Griffin’s latest article for CBD News gives the low-down on the Red Cross in the CBD during WWII and shines a light on Vera Deakin’s work for the Red Cross – check it out here (scroll down to page 21)

Ashley Smith’s latest article for Docklands News can be read here . A terrifying look at the Yarra in Flood.




Collections Officer (Images): new RHSV position open now

The RHSV is thrilled to announce that we are recruiting for a new position, Collections Officer (Images), which will be responsible to Jillian Hiscock, our Collections Manager. The new recruit will work on our Images Collection which has 50,000+ items in it. We hope to concentrate on getting the catalogue records onto eHive where they will be discoverable by the public through Trove. Also, the new Collections Officer will be managing the digitisation process for our images collection.



During the current lockdown the RHSV staff will be working from home where we can still be contacted by telephone or email. The bookshop will be open for online sales and these will be posted out on 18th Feb. The Drill Hall will be closed until Thursday 18th Feb. Our event, In the Name of the Theatre, with Cheryl Threadgold has become a free Zoom event and we have had to delay our Book Fair by a week.


Collaborative Community History Award

In the Name of Theatre. The History, Culture and Voices of Amateur Theatre in Victoria

Cheryl Threadgold

The Author, Melbourne, 2020


In his introduction to this book, Frank Van Straten, doyen of Melbourne’s theatre history, writes that amateur theatre with its infectious enthusiasm and ‘homely, intimate venues’ creates a ‘special form of magic’. It’s this magic that Cheryl Threadgold captures in her book. The colourful cover invites the reader to explore successive periods of amateur theatre in Victoria and reflect on the many people involved in a single production.


Local History Project Award

Blood, Toil, Tears & Sweat. Remembering the Pakenham District’s WW2 Service Personnel, 1939‒1945

Patrick Ferry with Wally Nye

Berwick‒Pakenham Historical Society & Pakenham RSL, Pakenham, 2020


The title of this book is taken from words used by Winston Churchill to pledge total commitment to victory in the Second World War. Similarly, the Pakenham community was ‘all in’; some sustained their largely rural district, others served overseas,


History Publication Award

Maldon. A New History 1853‒1928

Brian Rhule

Exploring History Australia, Bendigo, 2019


This new history of Maldon is a window into the minutiae of life in a gold-mining town and makes a valuable contribution to the ever-expanding body of work on the Victorian goldfields. The book covers a rich spectrum of material, shining a light on many elements of everyday life in this early mining town,


Historical Interpretation Award

Annie’s War. The Story of One Boroondara Family’s Wartime Experience

Lucy Bracey, illustrated by Gregory Mackay

City of Boroondara, Melbourne, 2019


In 1916 Edward Slade enlisted in the First World War, and set off for the front, leaving behind his wife and three young children. His story is told from the viewpoint of his daughter Annie, who makes sense of the tumultuous events of wartime through her own experience of the homefront in suburban Melbourne.