Annual Reports

This page contains an online archive of RHSV Annual Reports going back to 2011.

These are available for download in PDF format.


115th Annual Report

Inside the 2023 Annual Report 

President’s Annual Report 2023

Executive Officer’s Annual Report 2023

RHSV Council Annual Report 2023

Collections Committee Annual Report 2023

Events and Outreach Committee Annual Report 2023

Foundation & list of donors

Heritage Committee Annual Report 2023

Historical Societies Support Committee Annual Report 2023

Investment Committee Annual Report 2023

Publications Committee Annual Report 2023

The Victorian Community History Awards Report 2023

RHSV Treasurer’s Annual Report 2023

RHSV Financial Statements 2023

Become a member of the RHSV

RHSV Councillors and Staff

The Jessie Webb Society


Front Cover of 108th Annual Report 2017
President's Annual Report 2023

2023 was a strong year for the RHSV. Our supporters increased in number and commitment; our finances held steady in difficult times; and our impact in the community history sector remained significant. As a charitable, not-for-profit community organisation to advance culture, we punch above our weight. Our mutual connections with almost 350 affiliated societies throughout Victoria continued to keep the community history movement vibrant. By the end of 2023 the RHSV was clearly stronger than a year earlier, owing to our committed supporters and donors, our 4.4 EFT paid staff, and scores of volunteers who work on our
committees and collections.

This year we added a new distinguished lecture to our suite of special lectures, the Paul Mullay Lecture in Law & History, supported by the Mullaly family. The Hon. Christopher Maxwell AC, former president of the Victorian Court of Appeal, gave the inaugural lecture. This lecture, which will alternate with the Jones Lecture in Social History, joins the Billibellary Lecture in Indigenous History, the Women’s History Month Lecture, the Weston Bate Oration, the A.G.L. Shaw Lecture, the Wolskel Lecture, and the Hugh Anderson Lecture to make 8 RHSV Distinguished Lectures, most developed in the last five years. Normally they are published in our Victorian Historical Journal.

There was one great sadness for the RHSV during the past year with the passing of Gordon Moffatt AM, Vice President of the RHSV in the 1980s and a long-term supporter and friend of the RHSV. In 2009 Gordon Moffatt, along with Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, began the RHSV Foundation. Gordon Moffatt remained a generous donor to the RHSV and was also an avid reader and patron of the journal. In 2022–23 he sponsored our first and second Historians-in Residence, Dr Bart Ziino and Dr Fiona Gatt.

The RHSV is supported by our Vice-Regal patron. The Governor of Victoria, Her Excellency the Honourable Linda Dessau AO, stepped down on 30 June 2023 after serving an extension to her distinguished governorship. We are delighted that the new Governor of Victoria, Her Excellency Professor the Honourable Margaret Gardner AC, has agreed to become patron of the RHSV.


Many others provide continued support for the RHSV, for which we are both pleased and thankful. The Mayor of the City of Melbourne, Sally Capp is our Civic Patron, and former RHSV President Bill Russell, our Ambassador. During the year the Honourable Colin Brooks MP, succeeded the Honourable Steve Dimopoulos as Minister for Creative Industries, and we thank them for the final year of our transitional grant funding. Rob Heath, our honorary legal adviser, continued to provide excellent pro bono advice. Our financial advisers, Angela Martyn and Shane Griffin of Yarra Lanes Group, managed our investments listed in the Investment Committee report. Our members, donors, journal patrons and friends, continued to provide generous and sustained financial support for our collection and our Foundation, both of which hold deductible gift recipient status with the ATO.

Our staff was led by our hard-working and imaginative Executive Officer, Rosemary Cameron, who liaised successfully with government, RHSV members and affiliated societies, and the community to advance our Society. Rosemary also oversaw many wonderful events, exhibitions and meetings at the Drill Hall. The May–June end of financial year appeal was most successful in bringing new equipment to the RHSV. Please read Rosemary Cameron’s informative report in this publication.

Our part-time Collections Manager, Jillian Hiscock, enhanced our collection, second only to that of the State Library of Victoria, by adding value to our catalogue through a strong focus on the diversity hitherto missing from the minds of former cataloguers. Jillian initiated discussion meetings between small collection managers within the Melbourne CBD to broaden our reach and increase the quality of what we do. The part-time Images Officer, Helen Stitt, enhanced our images collection and provided invaluable support to the creation of a second edition of Essential but Unplanned: The Story of Melbourne’s Lanes (1994), out in 2024. Both Jillian Hiscock and Helen Stitt expertly directed volunteers to add value to the RHSV collection. Emily Maiolo, our Administrative Officer, provided excellent administrative support to our Executive Officer and fulfilled many front-of-house administrative functions, including overseeing the bookshop. Our bookkeeper Kristin Adnams, a qualified accountant, continued to refine our financial reporting. Christina
Browning our part-time Marketing Officer moved to other opportunities in late 2023, after boosting our profile on social media during her eighteen months of service. Cathy Dodson joined the team in May 2023 as an archivist to catalogue the newly arrived Jones collection.

Almost forty volunteers staff our key committees. These are led by Richard Broome (Council and Executive & Finance), Elisabeth Jackson (Collections), Richard Broome (Publications), Charles Sowerwine (Heritage),
Rosalie Triolo (History Societies Support Committee), Carole Woods (Fellowship and Awards), Andrew Lemon (Events and Outreach), and Richard Broome (Investment Committee). The RHSV is indebted to all these volunteer committees and to the Councillors who continually strive to push the RHSV to be better than it was yesterday. I urge you to read their interesting reports on the following pages.

The RHSV is also assisted by a wonderful team of forty plus volunteers who donate many hours and hard work each week to refine and enhance our digital and paper collections. They prepare exhibitions, sort and catalogue archives and images, do site searches and other research, assist the bookshop, research and write articles, and process mail-outs. David Thompson (exhibitions); Margaret Fleming and Greg Buchanan (site searches), Joel Becker and Vicki McNamara (bookshop), Ashley Smith and Cheryl Griffin (research & articles), Alison Cameron and Helen Boak (research), and many other volunteers provided service to enhance our collection.

After public campaigning led by the RHSV and supported by our affiliates and many Victorians, the Victorian government agreed to fund PROV’s small community grants scheme and the Victorian Community History Awards (VCHA) for 2023. We thank the then Minister of Government Services, the Honourable Danny Pearson, for this decision. The VCHA was co-hosted with Public Record Office Victoria, led by its Director, Justine Heazlewood. Special thanks to Tara Oldfield and Natasha Cantwell of PROV and Susannah Beardsell of the RHSV for project managing the VCHA. The Oral History Association again co-sponsored the Oral History Award. At the VCHA ceremony, delayed until 2 February 2024, Judy Maddigan, Chair of the Public Records Advisory Council, presented the awards in her inimitable swashbuckling style. There were 168 entrants for 2023, the second highest number since the awards began in 1998, despite disruptions and running four months late. The Victorian Premier’s Prize was awarded to Carmel McKenzie for St Kilda 1841–1900: Movers and Shakers and Money-Makers (Manneton Publishing), and we congratulate her on her magnificent book. Most published entries are available through the RHSV bookshop.

The RHSV is extremely grateful to the VCHA’s volunteer judges. Helen Doyle, a practising public historian and heritage adviser, chaired the main panel, assisted by Gary Presland and Amanda Lourie. They chose winners in three categories as well as the Victorian Premier’s History Prize and the Judges’ Special Prize winners, and oversaw four other panels of judges including Alistair Thomson, Alicia Cerreto, Jessica Ferrari, Keir Reeves, Lucie Paterson, Ruth Hazleton, Seamus O’Hanlon, Carolyn Rasmussen, Jill Barnard, Celestina Sagazio, and Jo Clyne.

Our donors large and small continued to assist the work of the RHSV, and a full list appears in this annual report. To every donor I gave my heartfelt thanks, which I expressed personally to each of them in a handwritten letter. Financially, the RHSV posted a small surplus in 2023. Please refer to our Treasurer’s and Investment Committee reports. Our operational results were solid after transfers to reserves and our assets are strong. Our overall financial position is satisfactory, but our final Creative Victoria grant is now in the bank. We have lost 10–15 percent of our operating income with the end of this grant, revenues that must be replaced. Declining site search income is fortunately partially covered by larger bookshop profits, and our investment income was strong as 2023 closed, revealing the wisdom of a Council decision seven years
ago to boost our investment management. Our building lease continues to remain in limbo. However, in late 2023, we opened discussions with the Ministry of Planning for a long lease at low rental, aimed at securing greater certainty for our collection. A long lease will allow us to seek philanthropic funding for the upgrade of the Drill Hall. Council is bent on meeting all these challenges in 2024.

Richard Broome AM, FAHA, FRHSV, FFAHS, President

Front Cover of Annual Report 2015
Front Cover of Annual Report 2015
Front Cover of Annual Report 2015
Front Cover of Annual Report 2016
Front Cover of Annual Report 2016
Front Cover of Annual Report 2016
Front Cover of Annual Report 2015
Front Cover of Annual Report 2014
Front Cover of Annual Report 2013
Front Cover of Annual Report 2012
Front Cover of Annual Report 2011