The history of voting in Victoria by Professor Marilyn Lake AO
Professor Marilyn Lake AO, has graciously agreed to speak about the history of voting in Victoria, when women were able to vote, when voting became compulsory and the part League of Women Voters Victoria (LWVV) played.
MILESTONES IN ABORIGINAL WOMEN’S ACTIVISM, MELBOURNE 1930-1970
This, our inaugural Indigenous History lecture, is a stellar addition to our annual program of Distinguished Lecturers. The lecture has been generously sponsored so we can make it free-of-charge and as accessible as possible. Welcome to Country will be performed by respected Elder, Aunty Zeta Thomson. Our President, Richard Broome, will chair this event. We are thrilled that Dr Julie Andrews has agreed to be deliver the inaugural Indigenous History lecture. Julie is descended from the Woiwurrung people of Melbourne…
VINTAGE HOTELWARE with DI SANDILANDS
When table manners were fashionable, eating houses proudly served meals on crockery emblazoned with their establishment name – each mouthful reminding customers of exactly where they were. Join Di for a fun night when she'll be displaying many Victorian pieces from her vintage hotelware collection, telling their stories and hers. She'll also be selling her pure linen Coles Cafeteria art tea towels which are printed with each cafeteria location throughout Australia.
This exhibition is biography imagined through the lens of a Kaleidoscope. The viewer is offered fragments of the lives represented here. There is no linear narrative. Each time the kaleidoscope turns, a different story emerges. There are repeating patterns but different emphases and new ways of seeing, new reflections, new refractions. No one story dominates and one story does not fit all.
A G L SHAW LECTURE: The Barristers of the Port Phillip District, 1839-1851
The first barristers arrived in Melbourne in 1839, the same year as Charles La Trobe, but only 14 were admitted to practice before 1851. Separation from NSW and the discovery of gold totally transformed the Bar, with fifty new barristers being admitted by 1854. All came from the United Kingdom and brought with them the traditions, ethics and etiquette of the English, Irish and Scottish bars, though these transplanted somewhat uneasily to the rough and ready makeshift courts of the…
Launch of Analysing Australian History
Join the RHSV and Cambridge University Press for the invite you to attend the launch of, Analysing Australian History, a series of four textbooks for the new Australian History Year 12 Study Design 2022-26
Launch of “Across Bass Strait”
Across Bass Strait, which will be launched by The Hon Barry Jones AO, is a history of the connection which commenced in the 1840s between squatters, merchants and mariners to develop the livestock trade from the mainland to Van Diemen’s Land. The trade established nineteenth-century Gippsland as a prime beef producer exporting through Port Albert, a now-forgotten port, and this account is based on merchants’ records and letters from two families who were major players in this trade.
Weston Bate Oration & RHSV AGM
Following our AGM at 5pm, we are delighted that Dr Andrew Lemon will present this year's Weston Bate oration, AUSTRALIAN HISTORY AS LITERATURE: AUSTRALIAN LITERATURE AS HISTORY. Andrew contemplates the nature of the divide between the writing of history and the writing of fiction. Our best historians—including the late Weston Bate—are invariably outstanding writers, but why is it that historians are so rarely included when the literary world acclaims the best Australian writers? This lecture looks at the writing of Australian history as literature, and considers why journalists and storytellers customarily outsell academic historians when writing on historical subjects. Does this matter? Should aspiring historians be taught about good writing and literary technique? Has jargon and cliché prevailed in the academic teaching and writing of history?
The Rise and Fall of the Iron Bridge
In June we are thrilled that Miles Lewis will be returning to the RHSV, in partnership with Engineering Heritage Victoria to talk about Iron Bridges. The earliest cast iron bridges imitated those in timber or stone, because there was no established idea of what an iron bridge should be like, and most of them were simple arches. But over the next century wrought iron, and then steel, became important bridge-building materials. The arch bridge was joined by the suspension bridge, the box girder, the parallel-chorded girder, and even more elaborate forms. And bridges fabricated in Europe were sent across the world to places like Latin America, Japan, and India. Exported bridges faced special problems - the cost and difficulty of transporting the components, the lack of skilled labour at the site, and unexpected foundation problems and hydrological conditions. These prefabricated bridges will be the main focus of the presentation.
Australia’s Great Depression
We are thrilled that Joan Beaumont, Professor Emerita of History at the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Australian National University, will deliver our July lecture on her profound history of Australia’s Great Depression. Beaumont says, ‘The pandemic has much common with the Great Depression. Australians today have confronted external threats, that neither they nor their governments could control. Everyone has had to dig deep for resilience. The pandemic like the Depression confirmed how important local and state loyalties are. Voters…
School of Historical and Philosophical Studies Fellows & Associates Annual Research Day
On Friday 12 August, the SHAPS Fellows & Associates will hold their first Research Day since 2019. RHSV members are invited to attend. Our conference day includes papers by Australian and French historians John Lack, Helen Davies, Jean Ely, Greg Burgess, Rosemary Francis, Wendy Dick, Richard Gillespie, Tony Ward and Fay Woodhouse. It will traverse terrain such as radicals, rags and revues in 1950s and 1960s Melbourne, the immigrant Gagliardi brothers, the 1872 Education Act and centralised education, a sequel to the Emile and Isaac Pereire story, early inhabitants of the Hunter River, a federated Australia, the 150 years of the Prisoners' Aid Society and the importance of kindness.
WRITING LOCAL HISTORY WORKSHOP
All-day workshops for Victorians interested in writing local history. Participants will:
gain new perspectives on local history
discover how to locate and use new primary and secondary sources
learn how to write and present well for different audiences, both established and new.
Portable Buildings talk, briefing & lunch
This briefing session, talk & lunch is an invitation-only event. Invitations have been sent to all historical societies which have portable buildings in their area. This event is only open to people representing one of the historical societies that have been invited to attend. Please do not RSVP unless you have been invited. Charles Sowerwine, RHSV Councillor, Chair of the RHSV Heritage Committee and member of the Portable Buildings World Heritage Nomination Task Force, invites local historical societies who have…
Friends of La Trobe’s Cottage Annual Lecture: The Lady of St Kilda
This illustrated talk explains how the Schooner Lady of St Kilda connected La Trobe’s naming of St Kilda with the remote Scottish island of St Kilda. A second link involved the Barque Priscilla. She carried 36 St Kilda migrants, but only 16 survived the voyage to Port Phillip.
Fatal Contact: Introduced epidemics among Australia’s Colonial Australian First Nations
This talk by Peter Dowling explores the devastating infectious diseases introduced into the Indigenous populations of Australia after the arrival of the British colonists in 1788. Epidemics of smallpox, tuberculosis, influenza, measles and sexually transmitted diseases swept through the indigenous populations of the continent well into the twentieth century.
FREE SECULAR COMPULSORY. 150th ANNIVERSARY OF THE VICTORIAN EDUCATION ACT 1872, CONFERENCE 2022.
Our past informs our present and our future. Our education system shapes our society. The way we are taught, the way we learn—these questions have always been sharply debated. This unique two-day conference offers an impressive range of expert historians and educationists who will share their reflections on Victoria’s education system since the passing of the Education Act in 1872. The program is built around the three key elements : Free, Secular and Compulsory. What did that mean then, and…
Emerging Historians Showcase
Each year, the Professional Historians Association (VIC & TAS) and the RHSV partner to present this eagerly awaited event which showcases some of the fresh and exciting work being undertaken by emerging historians.
In 2022 the emerging historians we'll be showcasing include: Sarah Craze "The Battle to Play Sport on Sunday in Camberwell', Portia Dilena "The Albury Study Centre of the RCAE and feminism in 1970s Albury-Wodonga"and
Nicola Dobinson "British-Iranian Diplomacy in the 1970s: Insights from a History of Emotions Approach".
Seeds of Concrete Progress: Grain Elevators and Technology Transfer between America and Australia
Modern concrete silos and grain elevators are a persistent source of interest and fascination for architects, industrial archaeologists, painters, photographers, and artists. The legacy of the Australian examples of the early 1900s is appreciated primarily by a popular culture that allocates value to these structures on aesthetic grounds. Several aspects of construction history associated with this early modern form of civil engineering have been less explored.
VCE Australian History Workshop on Study Design Year 1
The RHSV is hosting a workshop for teachers of VCE Australian History. Leading classroom teachers, textbook writers and educators, including Bill Lewis, James Jacobs, Jo Leech, Erin Crook, Richard Broome, Graeme Davison and Rosalie Triolo will speak and participate in teacher Q & A and discussions of each Study Design. PROGRAM …
“Trust me on This”
Event presented by the Fellows’ Group of the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies at the University of Melbourne. Social Trust is an important glue binding societies together. For just one example, countries with high trust levels had significantly better results in tackling Covid. And trust has also been a powerful driver of economic development. But there is another side – high levels of trust also create opportunities for the shyster, those benefiting from spreading mistrust. In this wide-ranging talk, Tony Ward discusses the nature of social trust. He also argues that some, especially economic, developments are now working to diminish trust.
EMPERORS IN LILLIPUT: CLEM CHRISTESEN OF MEANJIN & STEPHEN MURRAY-SMITH OF OVERLAND
Literary magazine editors used to be rather imperial in style, exercising a great deal of influence in what has always been a rather restricted field: literary culture. Clem Christesen and Stephen Murray-Smith projected real authority as they fought the cultural and political battles of the day.
What is a Drill Hall?
Recently the RHSV took part in Open House Melbourne which concentrated our minds on the history and architecture of our home, the Australian Army Medical Corps Drill Hall which was built, like so many others in 1938 in the build-up to WWII. The building's history, its original purpose and its architecture are inextricably linked. And who better to explain those connections than Mike O'Brien? Mike will be addressing Drill Halls in general - what is drill? what happens in drill halls?
Well Built: Simmie & Co Master Builders 1924 – 1978
Simmie & Co was a prominent building company in Melbourne (1924-1978) and in Canberra (1926-1969). In Melbourne the company was highly successful and built many iconic buildings, churches, monasteries, schools, housing, factories, defence works, the Shrine forecourt (1939-45), offices and theatres including some heritage-listed constructions (one designed by Robin Boyd). The founders were three Victorian brothers, all born in the last decade of the nineteenth century and all worked at the Sunshine Harvester factory before World War One – William, Jock & George. All were World War One veterans (two were Gallipoli veterans). All were wounded and survived. Two were closely involved with the Master Builders Association in Melbourne. Discover their story of a pioneering building company of the early to mid-twentieth century, of World War One veterans, of courage and a willingness to take a risk, of the beginning of the capital city of Australia and the workers, the unsung heroes, who made it all happen.
Launch of “Well Built: Simmie & Co Master Builders 1924 – 1978” exhibition
Join Dr Andrew Lemon FRHSV AM when he launches the exhibition, Well Built: Simmie & Co Master Builders 1924 - 1978 and book, Family Business: The Simmies of Simmie & Co and Harpsdale, both created by historian and curator, Dr Andrew Kilsby. Simmie & Co was a prominent building company in Melbourne (1924-1978) and in Canberra (1926-1969). In Melbourne the company was highly successful and built many iconic buildings, churches, monasteries, schools, housing, factories, defence works, the Shrine forecourt (1939-45),…
Wurundjeri Woi-Wurrung histories in early colonial Melbourne: Country, Ancestors, and the management of newcomers
This lecture is the 2nd RHSV Indigenous History Lecture which forms part of our annual Distinguished Lecturer Series. This lecture explores Wurundjeri Woi-Wurrung histories of the early period of the invasion of their Country. In this lecture, Rachel – a non-Indigenous historian - and Karen – a Wurundjeri Elder and Traditional Owner-historian - outline how we came to work together and the development of our collaborative research relationship as an example of new directions in Indigenous history. In our work…
Jessie Webb Society Morning Tea
At this Jessie Webb Society event, we are delighted that Richard Simmie has agreed to talk to our members about his passion for history and philanthropy.
Richard is the grandson of Jock Simmie, one of the founders of Simmie & Co in the 1920s. Simmie & Co were builders responsible for many of the buildings we know and love in Melbourne and Canberra. The RHSV is currently hosting a wonderful exhibition about Simmie & Co and their legacy. At the launch Richard spoke very movingly about his growing understanding of the importance of recording stories and history and how this led him to preserve his own family's history but also, through philanthropy, to create scholarships in perpetuity which honour his grandfather's life's work.
SEMINAR DAY: MAXIMISE OPPORTUNITIES Strengthen your work within and beyond your society
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.
Law and Order Under La Trobe: The First Prisons of Port Phillip
The Royal Historical Society of Victoria, in partnership with the C J La Trobe Society, presents the annual A. G. L. Shaw lecture delivered by Dr Ashleigh Green, the current La Trobe Society Fellow at the State Library of Victoria. Dr Green's fellowship topic is very interesting and, until her current work, little researched. Dr Green has investigated the planning and construction of the first purpose-built penal and psychiatric institutions in the Port Phillip District and Colony of Victoria during…
Thomas Bent, Francis Bradford and electric tramways in Melbourne 1904-1909
In 1904, electrical and mechanical engineer Francis Edwin Bradford (1869-1927), a recognised American electric tramways pioneer, was controversially contracted directly by Thomas Bent, Victorian Minister of Railways, and Premier, to report on and progressively electrify Melbourne’s suburban railway system. But Bent postponed work on the report, and instead requested Bradford design and supervise the construction of an electric tramway from St.Kilda to Brighton, as a first stage of electrifying the railways. Bent's instructions did not sit well with the Railway Commissioners.
The ‘Golden Age’
THE 'GOLDEN AGE' : LA TROBE'S JOURNEY HOME Speaker John Botham, Chair of Friends of La Trobe's Cottage. The illustrated talk describes La Trobe’s journey home to England on the Paddle Steamer 'Golden Age' on the first commercial passage across the Pacific in 1854. He made fifty-eight sketches on the journey. including thirty-seven during a six-day stopover in Tahiti. In Panama the passengers had to travel across the isthmus by mule and train to join the Royal Mail Steamers for…
An evening in Melbourne’s Lanes
We'd like to invite our members and friends to an old-fashioned slide night! Our Publications Committee, volunteers and staff have been working hard on producing a new edition of Weston Bate's immensely popular 1994 publication, Essential but Unplanned, The Story of Melbourne's Lanes. It is an exciting project which has already delivered to the RHSV some major serendipitous benefits which we want to celebrate and share with our members although the book itself will be released in 2024. Richard Broome…
Lessons from history: colonial foundations of criminal justice in Victoria
We are delighted that The Hon Justice Chris Maxwell AC will deliver the Society's inaugural Paul Mullaly History and Law Lecture during Law Week 2023. This lecture will explore the value of legal history, both as a window into social and political history and as an aid to understanding the present state of the law. By way of illustration, the lecture will highlight key aspects of criminal justice in colonial Victoria - jury trials, the role of the trial judge,…
Ned Kelly; a new lens
Partway through the Jerilderie Letter, Ned Kelly accused Senior Constable Anthony Strahan of threatening to shoot him ‘like a dog’. Two days after Anthony reputedly made his threat, Ned and his gang shot dead three policemen at Stringybark Creek, believing one of the cops was Anthony. Lachlan Strahan, Anthony’s great-great-grandson, and author of "Justice in Kelly Country" grew up believing Ned Kelly was a heroic outlaw and Anthony the ruthless cop who pursued him. Yet, as he combed through letters,…