The Royal Historical Society of Victoria has written to The Honourable Gabrielle Williams, Minister for Government Services regarding the faltering funding for the Victorian Community History Awards and PROV’s essential grants program, Local History Grants. These two modestly funded program are essential to the ongoing well-being of Victoria’s 350 historical societies which are a much-loved feature in every electorate across Victoria.

Richard Broome, RHSV President, has also written to all our members asking them to lobby the Minister and their local member to ensure that funding is secured for the quadrennial period 2024 – 2027.

If you are passionate about history, please follow our lead and write to the Minister and your local Member.


In 2023, the Victorian community history movement mounted a very successful campaign to ensure that funding for two vital programs – Local History Grants Program (LHGP) and Victorian Community History Awards (VCHA) – was retained after being omitted from the May 2023 state budget. Eventually PROV’s funding was restored by the then Minister for Government Services, The Hon Danny Pearson. It was a fabulous outcome and we thank everyone who was involved in that successful campaign as our combined lobbying and hard work paid off.


However, that funding was for just 1 year not the quadrennial funding that PROV had enjoyed previously. To make matters worse we’ve been told that PROV’s quadrennial funding application for 2024 – 2027 has not been successful and PROV has been advised to apply, through their Minister, The Hon Gabrielle Williams, to the Community Support Fund (CSF). This fund is managed by the Treasurer so PROV and we, the community history sector, have to make a compelling case to Minister Williams so she can lobby the Treasurer for funding from the CSF. There are many competing claims for those CSF dollars.

The process is convoluted but the lobbying is simple.


Please join our advocacy campaign to support PROV’s application so that these two important programs can continue. We know that last year Minister Pearson was both surprised and impressed by the number of the support letters he received and the depth of passion in those letters which led to the restoration of funding, albeit for just one year.

So to ensure funding for these two very modest programs which, again, face oblivion we ask as many people as possible, as soon as possible, to:

Below I have included a link which will take you to a list of all MPs and their contact details and I’ve also listed some bullet points which might help inspire your own letters.

As well as galvanising you, our impressive members, the RHSV is writing to every MP in Victoria, we will be talking directly to the Minister, we will be asking publishers and members of the public to get involved too and, of course, there will be a social media campaign.

The past is not gone but it shapes our present and informs our future.  We must fight for it!

  • This website will give you the contact details for your local member. Search by electorate name or name of member and then click through and you’ll find their email address.
  • You are advocating for the restoration of quadrennial funding to PROV for their two programs, Local History Grants Program and Victorian Community History Awards
  • You are asking The Hon Gabrielle Williams, Minister for Government Services to lobby the Treasurer to ensure that PROV receives this funding from the Community Support Fund.
  • If you have been awarded a PROV Local History Grant or a Victorian Community History Award in the past – tell your local MP and the Minister how important that was, what it meant to you. What it meant to your local community. Many people have said to that just the exercise of entering the awards was rewarding – even if they didn’t win or gain a commendation. Tell the Minister how vital it is to your society and how it helps your society maintain its work to foster the history and identity of your locality.
  • In your emails talk about your personal experience – give local information (eg your distance from Melbourne, the electorate you are in etc)
  • These two programs are funded with less than half a million dollars and yet they can improve the outcomes for over 350 historical societies, many authors and other creatives, designers, printers, publishers and  book lovers.
  • History enthusiasts, historical societies and their museums are found in every electorate across Victoria. They are a vital part of the local community fabric and their work is community-led. They contribute to the well-being and resilience of local communities.
  • Historical societies are places of life-long learning
  • History currently receives no other state or federal government assistance. It is not mentioned in the new federal government cultural policy. It does not receive the recognition it deserves as a core cultural component to understanding who we are as Australians.
  • The collections of the historical societies, across Victoria, are part of the Distributed National Collection.
  • This flyer from the Federation of Australian Historical Societies has great information on why historical societies are important.