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SEMINAR DAY: MAXIMISE OPPORTUNITIES Strengthen your work within and beyond your society

March 25, 2023 @ 10:00 am - 3:45 pm

$55 – $75

Presented by the Historical Societies Support Committee, a committee of the RHSV Council

The seminar days resume in 2023 with the first being held in Melbourne ‘in person’ and ‘by Zoom’. The program is based on information gleaned from calls to societies during lockdowns along with more recent communications. In a day that seeks to strengthen the best of existing work and inspire fresh approaches, all RHSV members are invited to learn from informed speakers and share their society’s successes.



Registration, coffee and networking


10:30 – 10:40am

Acknowledgement, welcome, house-keeping
Dr Rosalie Triolo
, FRHSV: RHSV Vice-President and HSSC Chair


10:40am – 12:10pm

Building capacity within: Recruiting, training, leading and retaining volunteers


Paul Fearon joined the RHSV Council following a 40-year career in the energy industry and as a government regulator. He has also held director roles in two small volunteer-based charities; has arts, business and finance degrees; and, has commenced a PhD in history. He will provide a ‘primer’ on principles and techniques in leading people and building effective teams.

Helen Laffin holds a Master of Cultural Heritage, Deakin University, and is currently Acting-Curator at the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and on the Schwerkolt Cottage Museum Complex heritage team. She has exercised a strong interest in local history through paid and volunteer work with Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West, CERES archives, Coburg Historical Society and Whitehorse Historical Society. She will share knowledge from the above.

Audience questions and sharing of experiences


12:10 – 12:45pm




Maximising use of the collection: Preparing exhibitions and on-site tours

Margaret Anderson, FFAHS, is a public historian who is the current Director of the Old Treasury Building. She has held senior museum positions in South Australia and Western Australia and, between museum posts, taught history and museum studies at Monash University. She is on the RHSV Council and will speak today about presenting history in exhibitions.

Rosalie Triolo has enjoyed over 40 years in History education, including multiple, long-term, volunteer organisational service and leadership roles; teaching Australian History in geographically diverse rural and city government schools; publishing for tertiary, secondary, primary and public audiences; and, training History teachers at Monash University for 25 years. Her focus will be the clever use of ‘objects’.

Audience questions and sharing of experiences


Short break


2:20 – 3:30pm

Working for and with history in the community: Heritage protection, advocacy and walking tours


Dr Judith Smart AM, FRHSV, is a member of the RHSV Council and its Heritage and Publications Committees, and co-editor of the Victorian Historical Journal. Her publications focus on Australian women’s organisations, women and political protest, and Australia’s World War I home-front. She will talk about heritage protection and advocacy and share some lessons learned on the Heritage Committee.

Isabel Simpson is a history enthusiast and accredited professional tour guide who, for 20 years, has researched, designed and led many walking tours. Isabel delights in interpreting the city’s past and present by combining our history, architecture and crucially the ‘people’ who make up Melbourne’s social fabric.

Audience questions and sharing of experiences


3:30 – 3:45pm

Summary and final sharing of successes

Participants will share any final achievements or challenges that have not been discussed above but which they believe others would benefit from knowing. The day’s main points will be summarised and participants might share contact details.




Plans are underway for seminar events in western, north-central and eastern Victorian regions. Because the programs will likely differ in terms of topics and speakers relevant to locations, regional RHSV members might still gain value from attending this event by Zoom. When finalized, regional dates and programs will be released with advance notice across 2023.






March 25, 2023
10:00 am - 3:45 pm
$55 – $75
Event Category:


Royal Historical Society of Victoria
03 9326 9288


RHSV Gallery Downstairs
239 A'Beckett St
Melbourne, Victoria 3000 Australia
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03 9326 9288