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The Yallourn Scheme : Celebrating 100 years of Power Generation

June 20 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

$10 – $20


Engineering Heritage Victoria and the RHSV present this event to celebrate the centenary of Victoria’s first baseload power station in the Latrobe Valley and the greatest single public infrastructure project the nation had seen.


Passing without fanfare or public ceremony, at midday on Sunday 15 June 1924, electricity from the new Yallourn Power Station first reached Melbourne when the State Electricity Commission switched on the high voltage transmission line linking Morwell and the Yarraville distribution terminal. The event marked the culmination of a five-year project to develop Victoria’s first baseload power station in the Latrobe Valley and the greatest single public infrastructure project the nation had seen. It was proclaimed by the press as “the cessation of Victoria’s subservience … to the coal mines of Newcastle”, and would provide the foundation for the State’s industrial, economic and social prosperity over the following decades.

This presentation will outline the key events in the development of the Yallourn Power Scheme, touching on the historic context, key engineers involved and some of the technical challenges encountered from conception through to commissioning and early operation. The talk will be illustrated by historic images from the extensive photographic collection acquired in 1993 by the Museum of Victoria from the former State Electricity Commission, prior to its disaggregation and privatisation.

Matthew Churchward, Senior Curator, Engineering & Transport, Museums Victoria

After originally training in mechanical engineering, Matthew Churchward has spent much of the past 35 years in the museum and heritage sector. He has held a curatorial role with Museums Victoria since 1994, working on acquisitions, collection database development, public programs, exhibitions and the creation of websites and online content.

His engineering skills have proved invaluable in overseeing the restoration and conservation of many large objects in the museum’s collection – ranging from steam engines, tractors and farm machinery to horse-drawn vehicles, motor vehicles and the Great Melbourne Telescope.

His research interests encompass Victoria’s mining, engineering and transport history – including shipping, railways, roads, bridges, ports, sewerage, water supply and electricity infrastructure.



This will be preceded by an
Open Day at PowerWorks,

Ridge Road, Morwell.
Sat 15 Jun 2024 12 noon to 3.00 pm
“Celebration of the centenary of power transmission between Yallourn and Melbourne”.
In collaboration with Energy Australia.


When you book tickets you will be sent an automatic, system-generated confirmation email with your tickets. If this can’t be found in your in-box please check your Spam folder or Junk Mail folder as these system-generated emails often go astray. If you can’t find your tickets, don’t panic, we always have a list at the door.

As with most RHSV events, we will serve refreshments from 5:30pm – 6pm when the lecture starts.

The Zoom-cast will begin at 6pm.


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June 20
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
$10 – $20
Event Category:


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