2021 Victorian Community History Awards Shortlist

2021 Victorian Community
History Awards Shortlist


The contributions made by Victorians who are preserving the state’s rich and diverse history are being celebrated and recognised.

The 2021 nominees tell stories ranging from war and industry, to pandemics, sport and murder, and include biographies, articles, feature length documentaries and interactive digital experiences.

The rich histories of Aboriginal and LGBTQ+ people across Victoria feature prominently in the shortlist, alongside many untold stories, including the hidden past of Little Lon in Melbourne and the fishing families of Queenscliff.

Projects also explore the histories of major Indigeous cultural leader Bill Onus, prominent Goldfields businesswomen Fanny Finch, bookseller EW Cole, and the last man to be legally executed in Victoria, Ronald Ryan.

All shortlisted nominees are up for prizes ranging from $500 to $2000 – with one to be named the winner of the $5000 Victorian Premier’s History Award.

Final award winners will be announced online in October as part of History Month. 


Minister for Government Services Danny Pearson

“These awards are an important way for us to recognise those working tirelessly to bring Victoria’s history to life. Congratulations to the nominees for their work and thankyou for continuing to capture, preserve and share our states history, so it is never forgotten.”

Public Record Office Victoria Director and Keeper of Public Records, Justine Heazelwood

“This shortlist is a testament to the continuing effort of local historians, many of whom found inventive ways to share Victorian stories and prgrams remotely in 2020-2021 – we look forward to announcing the winners in October.”

President of the Royal Historical Society Victoria, Emeritus Professor Richard Broome

“Every year the Victorian Community History Awards reveal how creative community historians in Victoria can be in the ways they present the past to the present.”  


Those books highlighted in blue below are hyper-linked to the History Victoria bookshop if you wish to purchase a copy.

Ablaze – a feature documentary
Alec Morgan, Tiriki Onus, Tom Zubrycki

Albert Pompey Austin: A man between two worlds
Roy Hay

The Architecture of Manufacturing: Design for Making in Post-War Victoria
Philip Goad
RMIT Design Archives Journal Vol. 10 No. 2, 2020 – Design and Manufacturing pg. 6-33

Beats, Ballads and Ballrooms: Darebin Live Music Venues 1955-2020
Iain McIntyre, Kirstyn Lindsay, Teishan Ahearne

Blak Cook Book: New Cultural Perspectives on Cooks’ Cottage ( A Set of Provocations)
Clare Land, Paola Balla & Kate Golding (Authors), Letterbox (Designer), City of Melbourne

Changing Fortunes – Ebb and Flow of People and Place in a Pocket of Port Melbourne
David F. Radcliffe

COVID Kids Oral History Project
Way Back When Consulting Historians

‘The Dreaded Pneumonic Influenza Has Made its Appearance Amongst Us’: The Influenza Pandemic of 1918-19 in Gippsland, Victoria
Erik Eklund, Federation University Australia
Australian Historical Studies, Vol 52, Issue 1, Feb 2021

Dwellers of Fisherman’s Flat
Maggie Stowers

Eastern Market Murder
Emma Ramsay and Andy Yong (True Crime Games)

End of an Era: The Last Gippsland Lakes Fishermen
Lynda Mitchelson-Twigg, representing the Gippsland Lakes Commercial Fishing Community, assisted by Nikki Henningham, Leigh Henningham, Tanya King, Donna Squire & Geoff Stanton

Family History and the Long View of the Great War
Fiona Gatt

Finding Fanny Finch
Commonplace Productions (Bill Garner and Sue Gore) with Kacey Sinclair, Alice Garner, Pat Furze and the Band Friends of Wendy Cotton
Finding Fanny Finch was performed as part of the 2021 Castlemaine State Festival

For the Fallen: The 1921-1922 Melbourne Public Library Mural Competition within the setting of Decorative Painting in Australian Art
Paul Paffen

The Geelong Honours Them Project
Geelong Regional Library Corporation – Geelong Heritage Centre

A History of LGBTIQ+ Victoria in 100 Places and Objects 
Graham Willett, Angela Bailey, Timothy W Jones & Sarah Rood (For Australian Queer Archives)

In the Eye of the Storm: Volunteers and Australia’s Response to the HIV/AIDS Crisis
Robert Reynolds, Shirleene Robinson, Paul Sendziuk

In the Shadow of the Prom
Michael McCarthy

Jas A Munro & Co: The Largest Garage in Melbourne
Ian Berg

Kurrburra (Koala) the Boonwurrung Wirrirrap and Bard (1797-1849) – A Man of High Degree
Ian D. Clark, Rolf Schlagloth, Fred (David) Cahir, Gabrielle McGinnis
Australian Journal of Biography and History, ANU Press;

Labassa: House of Dreams
Vicki Shuttleworth (for the National Trust of Australia VIC)

Little Lon
Andrew Kelly, Illustrators Heather Potter and Mark Jackson

Made in Lancashire: A Collective Biography of Assisted Migrants from Lancashire to Victoria 1852-1853
Richard Turner

A Miscarriage of Justice

Atalanti Dionysus / Atalanti Films

One Hundred Years in the Making: Box Hill RSL 1920-2020
Steven Cooke

On Taungurung Land: Sharing History and Culture
Roy Henry Patterson, Jennifer Jones

On the Land: Our Story Retold
National Wool Museum, City of Greater Geelong

Ordinary People in Extraordinary Circumstances: “The Missing”
Fred Cahir, Lucinda Horrocks & Jary Nemo with Federation University, Wind & Sky Productions, Australian Red Cross Society and Ballarat RSL

Places of Reconciliation: Commemorating Indigenous History in the Heart of Melbourne
Sarah Pinto

The Rise and Fall of Lady Gillott in Melbourne’s Turn-of-the-Century Society
Barbara Minchinton

Save Our Sons: Women, dissent and conscription during the Vietnam War
Carolyn Collins

Stories of Chinese ANZAC and Chinese Australian WWII Soldiers
Museum of Chinese Australian History

Through Childhood Eyes: Hidden Stories of World War Two
Way Back When Consulting Historians, Russell Goldsmith, and City of Port Phillip

Under the Rainbow: The Life and Times of EW Cole
Richard Broinowski

Understanding Through Testimony
Jewish Holocaust Centre

Unmasked: Celebrating Nursing and Midwifery, Victoria and Beyond   
Her Place Women’s Museum Australia, Department of Health and Human Services, Safer Care Victoria, Victorian Branch, Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation, Dr Madonna Grehan, Professor Odette Best, Penelope Lee

Victorian CEDT Index
Chinese Australian Family Historians of Victoria (CAFHOV)

Victoria’s Transgender History
Noah Riseman and Transgender Victoria

Wadawurrung Country
Wadawurrung Aboriginal Corporation and National Wool Museum

The Victorian Community History Awards are proudly presented by Public Record Office Victoria and the Royal Historical Society of Victoria.

The Awards recognises excellence and originality in historical storytelling. The range of award categories reflects the variety of formats that can be used to enrich the lives of Victorians through history.

The  2021 Victorian Premier’s History Award recipient and eight Victorian Community History category winners will be chosen, and announced during History Month, October 2021 (date to be confirmed).

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