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.


Local History – Small Publication Award

Gariwerd: an Environmental History of the Grampians

Benjamin Wilkie

CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne, 2020


The author of this well-presented work seeks to answer the question: ‘what is the nature of Gariwerd?’ This mountain range in Victoria’s western district, formerly known as the Grampians, has been a significant presence in the lives of people of the region since the earliest human settlement, tens of thousands of years ago.


Community Diversity Award

The Boîte. History Through Music, Song and Story

Jen Rose, Well Chosen Words in partnership with The Boîte



The Boîte—literally, the Cabaret—has been a significant part of Victoria’s cultural scene since 1979. In a variety of venues across Melbourne, and in rural settings, The Boîte has staged concerts, created choirs, and organised musical workshops and other projects. The central aim of the organisation’s multi-faceted program has always been to increase awareness within the Victorian community of the music of our migrants from non-English speaking countries. 


Digital Storytelling Award

Joint Winners

La Mama. The Biggest Little Theatre in Australia

Rachel Fensham and Andrew Fuhrmann for the Digital Studio at University of Melbourne and Digital Heritage Australia



Carlton’s La Mama theatre holds an iconic place in Victoria’s cultural landscape, and this web project provides an interactive tour exploring the history and significance of the theatre by inhabiting its archive as a material and virtual space. 


History Article Award

Woman’s Sphere Remodelled. A Spatial History of the Victorian Woman’s Christian Temperance Union 1887‒1914

Ruby Ekkel

Victorian Historical Journal, vol. 91, no.1, June 2020


This is a thoroughly and deeply researched article presented with a verve and pace that makes it both conceptually strong and persuasive.  By undertaking a spatial analysis of the activities of the WCTU in Victoria between 1887 and 1914 the author demonstrates the ways in which these women negotiated the ideological framework of ‘separate spheres’ to expand the definition of the ‘private sphere’ women were allowed to occupy.  


Victorian Premier’s History Award

Printed on Stone. The Lithographs of Charles Troedel

Amanda Scardamaglia

Melbourne Books, Melbourne, 2020


Born in Hamburg in 1835, Charles Troedel became an apprentice lithographer to his father before being recruited to Melbourne by a Norwegian printer. Troedel founded his own business in 1863 and attracted praise for The Melbourne Album, which is reproduced here. A master of lithography, the technique of printing on stone, which transformed the production of graphic arts,


Judges’ Special Prize

The judges can award a special prize for any outstanding entry outside of established categories.

Visions of Victoria. The Magic of Kodachrome Film, 1950‒1975

Nick Anchen

Sierra Publishing, Melbourne, 2019


Visions of Victoria provides a window on Victoria’s past in the third quarter of the 20th century. Most of the photographs it presents were taken in Melbourne, but Bendigo, Ballarat and a range of smaller rural towns also feature.