We are a happy bunch of volunteers interested in the history of Dandenong. On April 3rd 1963, Susan Pernham wrote a letter to the Editor of the Dandenong Journal urging the local community to record Dandenong's history and memories before it became too late. An inaugural meeting was held in her home on June 5th. Three weeks later the Dandenong Historical Society was formed. Our first home was at the Dandenong Town Hall, but we have been based at the Tom Houlahan Community Centre since 2000. We began with 18 members and today we have 122 members. In 2007 we are in our 44th year of collecting, indexing and storing Dandenong's Heritage. We: Care for a very large resource centre, and open it once a week; Help individuals, companies and local council with their heritage enquiries; Have public bi-monthly meetings, usually with special guests; Produce a twice-yearly magazine, Gipps-Land Gate (begun in 1971); Occasionally publish books; and Stage photographic displays.
We have an almost complete collection of the Dandenong Journal dating from 1887. We also have extensive copies of the Dandenong Advertiser from 1880 to its end in 1950, and fragments of The News, and the Berwick Times. Our photographic collection is largely based on the works of local professional photographers until about the mid 1960s, however the collection has been extensively added to over the years, by donation (accidental collection) or taking current photographs (deliberate collection) and now includes about 16,000 items. The Society's collection also includes books, magazines, theses, documents, records, and ephemera.