Women on Farms... rural... and contemporary issues impacting that rural area. The Collection covers the first twenty years of the Victorian Women on Farms Gatherings, 1990-2009....Icon selected to represent the Bendigo Gathering. Our Gathering was promoting Communication. The committee attempted to do as much work as possible on the computer. Most of us were raw beginners in this field. As rural women we felt it necessary...In 1990, a group of rural and farming women met in Warragul for what was to be the inaugural Women on Farms Gathering.A group of local women had developed the idea while involved in a Women on Farms Skill Course. It was to prove inspirational ...
In 1990, a group of rural and farming women met in Warragul for what was to be the inaugural Women on Farms Gathering.
A group of local women had developed the idea while involved in a Women on Farms Skill Course. It was to prove inspirational, and the gatherings have been held annually ever since, throughout regional Victoria.
The Women on Farms Gathering provides a unique opportunity for women to network, increase their skills base in farming and business practices, share their stories and experience a wonderful sense of support, particularly crucial due to the shocking rural crises of the last decade. Importantly, the gatherings help promote and establish the notion of rural women as farmers, business women and community leaders.
The relationship between Museums Victoria and the Women on Farms Gathering is a model of museums working with living history.
Drouin: A Small Town at War... rural... States. The images that make up this story now form part of the Drouin Town and Rural Life During World War II collection at the National Library of Australia. ...
A collection of photographs of the dairying town of Drouin in West Gippsland Victoria taken during the Second World War.
In 1981, two packets of old photographs were returned to Australia by the New York office of the Australian Information Service. Inside these packets were images from the dairying town of Drouin, in West Gippsland, taken during the Second World War.
Presenting the ideal picture of a prosperous and hard-working Victorian town dealing with rationing and manpower shortages caused by the war, these photographs were part of the Department of Information's war effort publicity campaign.
Photographer Jim Fitzpatrick was commissioned to take the photos in 1944 and 1945, and he concentrated on images of healthy and industrious women and children, as well as soldiers on leave and men working in the town. The photographs appeared in the bimonthly South West Pacific which was distributed free to overseas press, and was designed to promote Australia to her allies, particularly the United States.
The images that make up this story now form part of the Drouin Town and Rural Life During World War II collection at the National Library of Australia.
John Teasdale – Chronicle of a Country Life... rural... in a particular part of rural Victoria. When television arrived in Australia in 1956, John successfully applied to the ABC to become a 'stringer' cameraman, shooting regional footage that was frequently included in state-wide news broadcasts and in segments ...
These little films from Victoria's Western Plains are about the actual and the everyday.
They have no hint of sensationalism in them. They are plain and utterly honest. They tell us about tractors and farming machinery. About fire and flood and snow. We glimpse Anzac Day and are touched by the irony of people remembering in a time and place few people remember or think about today. But there is no sentimentality in these films either. They are just plain good. - Martin Flanagan.
John Teasdale (1936 – 2004) was a farmer at Rupanyup in the Victorian Wimmera. He was also a keen and highly accomplished cinematographer, filming consistently for over 50 years to create a long-term record of working life on a family farm and of community life in a particular part of rural Victoria.
When television arrived in Australia in 1956, John successfully applied to the ABC to become a 'stringer' cameraman, shooting regional footage that was frequently included in state-wide news broadcasts and in segments produced particularly for regional viewers. John continued in this role for thirty years, until changing technology eventually made the role of 'regional stringers' obsolete.
The Teasdale film collection constitutes a nationally significant record of working and community life in a small Australian dry-land farming community, reflecting enormous changes in farming practices as well as transformations in the character and scale of community life in and around Rupanyup. At a time when many dry-land farming communities are actively reinventing themselves as their underlying social and economic structures change dramatically, John Teasdale’s films provide a critical point of reference and affirmation.
Artist and filmmaker Malcolm McKinnon, with the support of John Teasdale’s family, is undertaking ongoing work to interpret and celebrate this rich and resonant archive.
The Welsh Swagman... rural life...Swagmen or swaggies have been a feature of the Australian rural environment since before Joseph Jenkins hitched his swag in the 1860s. As unemployed or itinerant workers, they moved around the country following available work. These images depict ...
Joseph Jenkins was a Welsh itinerant labourer in late 1800s Victoria.
Exceptional for a labourer at the time, Jenkins had a high level of literacy and kept detailed daily diaries for over 25 years, resulting in one of the most comprehensive accounts of early Victorian working life.
Itinerant labourers of the 1800s, or 'swagmen', have become mythologised in Australian cultural memory, and so these diaries provide a wonderful source of information about the life of a 'swagman'. They also provide a record of the properties and districts Jenkins travelled to, particularly around the Castlemaine and Maldon area.
The diaries were only discovered 70 years after Jenkins' death, in an attic, and were in the possession of Jenkins’s descendants in Wales until recently, when they were acquired by the State Library of Victoria in 1997.
School Days: Education in Victoria... The Education Department had difficulty maintaining teaching numbers in rural communities. Teachers’ salaries were tied to attendance figures, so this might have deterred applicants, but above all else, the remoteness of these communities...Rural schools were a thorn in the side of the Education Department: expensive and hard to staff. One-teacher schools were the mainstay of government-funded education for children in the bush. Part-time schools and itinerant teachers were common... significant education reform in Victoria, and a world first! It is a history of early schooling, migrant schooling, Aboriginal schools, women in education, rural education and, of course, education during war time (1914-1918). This online exhibition is based ...
The exhibition, School Days, developed by Public Record Office Victoria and launched at Old Treasury Building in March 2015, is a history of more than 150 years of schooling in Victoria.
It is a history of the 1872 Education Act - the most significant education reform in Victoria, and a world first! It is a history of early schooling, migrant schooling, Aboriginal schools, women in education, rural education and, of course, education during war time (1914-1918).
This online exhibition is based on the physical exhibition School Days originally displayed at Old Treasury Building, 20 Spring Street, Melbourne, www.oldtreasurybuilding.org.au and curated by Kate Luciano in collaboration with Public Record Office Victoria.
Way Back When Consulting Historians
Daylesford Stories... Anneke Deutsch was living in Thornbury, a northern suburb of Melbourne, in 1990 when she decided she wanted to move somewhere more rural to build the sculpture studio she had always wanted. ‘But the country wasn’t a very friendly place for lesbians... that it is home to ChillOut, the largest rural gay and lesbian festival in Australia. Daylesford Stories explores ideas of community, identity and belonging as it focuses on individual experiences of Daylesford and surrounds and why it is that they call Daylesford ...
Daylesford is a picturesque town, quietly nestled at the foot of Victoria's Great Dividing Range. It is green, lush and magical and its soils are rich with minerals and mineral springs. Indeed it was an early centre of mining activity in post-European settlement Victoria after gold was first found in 1851.
Daylesford has long been both a popular tourist destination and often seen a place of calm and healing. Guest houses flourished alongside mining activity, farming and industry.
Slowly, but surely, in the late 1970s and 1980s, Daylesford and the surrounding areas began to become home to individuals who identified as gay or lesbian. Today it is seen as a gay and lesbian friendly town, indeed a LGBTIQ hub, no doubt helped by the reality that it is home to ChillOut, the largest rural gay and lesbian festival in Australia.
Daylesford Stories explores ideas of community, identity and belonging as it focuses on individual experiences of Daylesford and surrounds and why it is that they call Daylesford home. In doing this, we begin to see a story of how and why this region has become a place of meaning and significance for lesbians and gays and for those who identify as part of the LGBTIQ community.
Through short films, individual profiles and image galleries, we start to explore how identity shapes us and how support and understanding can build community. But, it is important to note that represented here are just some stories of Daylesford. We need to talk to more people, gather additional stories and in so doing, look at more perspectives on why and how it is that Daylesford has become such an important rainbow community. Daylesford Stories is just the beginning.
1956 Flood... In 1956, a monster flood overwhelmed the banks of the Murray and Darling Rivers, producing floodwaters in surrounding towns and rural areas that reached over 30 feet above normal levels. The Murray Darling Environmental Foundation's 1956 Flood video ...
In 1956, a monster flood overwhelmed the banks of the Murray and Darling Rivers, producing floodwaters in surrounding towns and rural areas that reached over 30 feet above normal levels.
The Murray Darling Environmental Foundation's 1956 Flood video features historical footage - including photographs and wonderful super8 film from personal collections - that document the rise and flow of the waters, and the monumental effort mobilised to tackle them.
It is presented here in 3 extracts.
The full video is over 25 minutes long, and copies can be obtained from:
Emma Bradbury, Murray Darling Association, Post Office Box 1268, Echuca 3564
Email: [email protected]
Drought Stories... David Eltringham, Horsham Rural City Technical Services Manager, talks to John Francis about the impacts of ongoing drought in the Shire.... history of the current drought in Victoria. There were two aims to the project: to create a historic record of the experience, and to strengthen community capacity in rural and regional areas through telling and listening to local stories. Two types ...
“The social impact it has is huge, but the footy club survives," says Charlie Gillingham, mixed farmer from Murrabit.
In this story the community talks about drought: its social impact, resilience, changes to farming practises, changing weather patterns and water trading.
The median annual rainfall of the Wimmera and northern plains of Victoria is 420mm. But this median does not convey the deluges that sometimes double the figure, or the dry spells that can halve it. Like semi-arid places elsewhere, the climate cycle of this region is variable.
Aboriginal people have had thousands of years to adapt to the fluctuations, whilst recent settlers are still learning.
The introduction of the Land Act of 1869 accompanied by the high rainfall La Niña years of the early 1870s brought selectors to northern Victoria and the Wimmera. A series of dry years in the 1880s initiated storage and channel projects to assist them to stay.
Irrigation was introduced in 1886 to settle the northern plains and was expanded under closer settlement legislation. The drought years from 1895 to 1902 came to be known as the Federation Drought. Water supplies dried up completely in the El Niño years of 1914 and 1915 and people took the opportunity to picnic in the empty bed of the River Murray.
Drought hit again during World War Two, and then in the period 1965-8. The drought of 1982-3 was short but devastating. Our most recent drought, lasting more than a decade, broke late in 2010 with extensive flooding.
Policy responses have changed over the years and with the recent onset of human induced climate change, continual adaptation will be required.
In 2009, the History Council of Victoria captured resident’s experiences in the project titled Drought Stories: a spoken and visual history of the current drought in Victoria. There were two aims to the project: to create a historic record of the experience, and to strengthen community capacity in rural and regional areas through telling and listening to local stories.
Two types of collections were produced: Drought Stories Local Collections, held by historical societies, and the Drought Stories Central Archive, a selection of interviews held by the State Library of Victoria.
The History Council of Victoria believes that the project material provides a rich resource to assist researchers understand Australian society at a crucial and revealing stage of adjustment to the Australian environment.
Legislation and other land records are held at the Public Record Office Victoria.
Wimmera Stories: Murtoa Stick Shed, Enduring Ingenuity... rural vernacular tradition. The Stick Shed is 265 metres long, 60.5 metres wide and 19-20 metres high, supported by 560 unmilled mountain ash poles. Its vast gabled interior space and long rows of poles have been likened to the nave of a cathedral ...
Colloquially known as the Stick Shed, the Marmalake Grain Store Wheat Storage Shed is the largest building in Murtoa, out on the Wimmera plains between Horsham and St Arnaud.
The Stick Shed is a type of grain storage facility built in Victoria during the early 1940s. The Marmalake / Murtoa Grain Store No.1 was built in 1941-42 during a wheat glut, to store wheat that could not be exported during World War II. It is the earliest & last remaining example of this particular grand Australian rural vernacular tradition.
The Stick Shed is 265 metres long, 60.5 metres wide and 19-20 metres high, supported by 560 unmilled mountain ash poles. Its vast gabled interior space and long rows of poles have been likened to the nave of a cathedral.
The Stick Shed demonstrates Australian ingenuity during a time of hardship, it was added to the Victorian Heritage Register in 1990.
Find more stories and photographs about the Stick Shed on the Way Back Then blog.
Stories of Women on the Land... and aquaculture. Victorian museums are a treasure trove of untold stories about the extraordinary lives of farm women and how they have shaped our land and rural communities. ...
From the grinding stones of Australia’s first farmers, Wagga quilts, butter pats and recipe books to family photographs, garden tools and agricultural equipment – women’s farm work is frequently found in museums. The contribution of women to Australian agriculture has a rich and very deep history. Yet these stories have been unacknowledged and continue to be undervalued.
The nature of women’s farm work is often rendered invisible because much of it is intangible and ephemeral, is characterised by relationships and oral tradition, and dismissed as just ‘domestic’ work when in fact this work is what has often sustained families, farms and communities. The layers of invisibility are even deeper for migrant and Indigenous women.
There has also been a long history of official barriers to recognising women’s work on the land. Farm women were deliberately omitted from the 1891 Victorian Census. Women were excluded from agriculture courses up into the early 1970s. It wasn’t until 1994 that women were legally recognised as farmers, prior to this they were defined as ‘non-productive "sleeping" partners’. And, It is only in recent years that scholars have finally acknowledged the 40-50,000 years of Indigenous knowledge and practice in complex systems of agriculture and aquaculture.
Victorian museums are a treasure trove of untold stories about the extraordinary lives of farm women and how they have shaped our land and rural communities.
Wangaratta, Textile Town... Woollen Mills is born, and soon becomes the largest mainland woollen mill in the nation. It was the success of its textile industry that took Wangaratta from small country town to major rural city. But Wangaratta’s story as a textile town also reflects ...
It is 1919, the end of First World War, and a group of Wangaratta businessmen come together with a big idea: to build a woollen mill to create jobs, keep people in the town, draw workers and families from afar, and make the town prosper.
They start a share float and one of the men, William Callander, comes up with a bold plan to promote the project. His two daughters Alma and Lena take to the skies in an open biplane, seated on kerosene tins, to scatter leaflets across the region. The Wangaratta Woollen Mills is born, and soon becomes the largest mainland woollen mill in the nation.
It was the success of its textile industry that took Wangaratta from small country town to major rural city. But Wangaratta’s story as a textile town also reflects the making of modern Australia. It traces the path of post-war migration and the accompanying growth of Australia’s economy.
Following the Second World War Australia's prosperity began to boom and thousands of Europeans settled here. It was in this atmosphere, in 1946, that a Canadian company, Bruck Textiles, comes to Wangaratta and creates a population explosion, employing thousands of workers from places as diverse as Poland, Italy, Holland and Wangaratta itself.
Some of these workers' stories are presented here, as well as interviews with employees of Australian Country Spinners (formerly Wangaratta Woollen Mills). Photographs of the factories are also presented, along with moving image postcards of the industrial processes.
Making & Using Transport on the Goldfields... During the nineteenth century, horse-drawn vehicles were an essential part of life in rural Victoria. In Ballarat, local coachbuilding firms assisted with the town’s growth in more ways than providing passage to the diggings. Horse-drawn vehicles ...
During the nineteenth century, horse-drawn vehicles were an essential part of life in rural Victoria.
In Ballarat, local coachbuilding firms assisted with the town’s growth in more ways than providing passage to the diggings. Horse-drawn vehicles were vital for the delivery of goods, responding to emergencies and often symbolised one’s social standing.
The Gold Rush ushered in a period of incredible growth for colonial Victoria. Ballarat’s escalating population and burgeoning industries highlighted the need for horse-drawn transport – not only for getting to the diggings, but also for delivering goods and building material, responding to emergencies and performing significant social rituals.
In the early nineteenth century, the goldfields were dominated by vehicles either imported from England or English-style vehicles built locally. Coaches, carriages and carts were typically constructed part-by-part, one at a time. As a result, each vehicle was highly unique.
By the mid-1850s, the American coachbuilding tradition had arrived on the goldfields. The American method, which had been developing since the 1840s, relied on mass-produced, ready-made components. In comparison to English designs, American coaches were known to be more reliable for goldfields travel; they were primed for long-distance journeys on rough terrain and were less likely to tip over.
As the nineteenth century progressed, a plethora of English, American and European vehicles populated Ballarat – both locally made and imported. The abundance of coaches, carriages and carts – and their value to the Ballarat community – can be seen in photographs and objects catalogued here on Victorian Collections.
Tallangatta: The town that moved... was basic. The town offered butchers, barbers, and hairdressers, while the garages, plumbers, and hardware stores served both town and farming needs. The Tallangatta photographs are part of The Rural Water Corporation Collection of more than 50,000 ...
Every now and then, when the Hume Dam is at a low ebb, the ghostly remains of old Tallangatta, in northern Victoria, can be seen above the water. Now located 39 kilometres east of Wodonga, Tallangatta is known as 'the town that moved'.
In 1956, 2 hotels, 4 petrol stations, numerous shops and businesses, 4 churches, more than 900 residents and all the usual public amenities of a country town were relocated 8 kilometres west of the old site. The original location was then flooded under 6 feet of water after the Hume Dam was expanded.
During 1954 the State Rivers and Water Supply Commission took more than 180 photos in and around the town, documenting houses, businesses and facilities before they were moved. Other images capture the remarkable feat of transporting the buildings to the new site, such as a weatherboard house being carefully towed toward a narrow bridge. Many photos give a vivid picture of the commercial centre of a small country town in the mid-1950s. Advertising signs promote Sennitts Icecream and The Argus newspaper, cluttered shops are packed to the gunnels with equipment and staples for small town life before large chain stores, supermarkets and cars changed country towns forever.
The shops and houses are distributed along straight Towong Street. Cars were scarce and bicycles were an important form of transport in the wide and mostly empty streets. Men and women in the 2 hotels were still segregated in the ladies lounge and main bar; and the hotel’s kitchen equipment was basic. The town offered butchers, barbers, and hairdressers, while the garages, plumbers, and hardware stores served both town and farming needs.
The Tallangatta photographs are part of The Rural Water Corporation Collection of more than 50,000 photographs held at The State Library of Victoria. This collection covers a range of water management projects and activities during the first half of the 20th century.
Rural City of Wangaratta / State Library Victoria
The Last Stand of the Kelly Gang: Sites in Glenrowan
Ned Kelly, born in June 1855 at Beveridge, north-east of Melbourne, Northern Victoria, came to public attention as a bushranger in the late 1870s.
He was hanged at the Melbourne Gaol, November 11th, 1880. Kelly is perhaps Australia’s best known folk hero, not least of all because of the iconic armour donned by his gang in what became known as the Siege at Glenrowan (or The Last Stand), the event that led to Ned Kelly’s capture and subsequent execution.
The siege at Glenrowan on Monday, June 28th, 1880, was the result of a plan by the Kelly Gang to derail a Police Special Train carrying Indigenous trackers (the Gang's primary targets), into a deep gully adjacent to the railway line. The plan was put into effect on Saturday, June 26 with the murder [near Beechworth] of Aaron Sherritt, a police informant, the idea being to draw the Police Special Train through the township of Glenrowan, an area the local Kellys knew intimately. After the Glenrowan Affair, the Kelly Gang planned to ride on to Benalla, blow up the undermanned police station and rob some banks.
However, Ned miscalculated, thinking the train would come from Benalla not Melbourne. Instead of the 12 hours he thought it would take for a police contingent to be organized and sent on its way from Benalla, the train took 31 hours to reach Glenrowan. This resulted in a protracted and uncertain wait, leading to the long period of containment of more than 60 hostages in the Ann Jones Inn. It also resulted in a seriously sleep deprived Kelly Gang and allowed for the intervention of Thomas Curnow, a hostage who convinced Ned that he needed to take his sick wife home, enabling him to get away and warn the Police Special train of the danger.
Eventually, in the early morning darkness of Monday, June 28th, the Police Special train slowly pulled into Glenrowan Railway Station, and the police contingent on board disembarked. The siege of the Glenrowan Inn began, terminating with its destruction by fire in the mid afternoon, and the deaths of Joe Byrne, Dan Kelly and Steve Hart. Earlier, shortly after daylight on the 29th, Ned was captured about 100 metres north east of the Inn.
Glenrowan is situated on the Hume Freeway, 16 kms south of Wangaratta. The siege precinct and Siege Street have State and National Heritage listing. The town centre, bounded by Church, Gladstone, Byrne and Beaconsfield parade, including the Railway Reserve and Ann Jones’ Inn siege site, have State and National listing.
Isaac Douglas Hermann & Heather Arnold
Carlo Catani: An engineering star over Victoria... was particularly noted for both the reconstruction of some of Melbourne’s early roadways and the creation of new scenic routes, both urban and rural.... engineering works were not restricted to the metropolitan area. There are a number of rural roads that Catani designed, such as the Mount Buffalo and Mount Donna Buang roadways, as well as providing us with access to the heart of the Grampians. These roads ...
After more than forty-one years of public service that never ended with his retirement, through surveying and direct design, contracting, supervision, and collaborative approaches, perhaps more than any other single figure, Carlo Catani re-scaped not only parts of Melbourne, but extensive swathes of Victoria ‘from Portland to Mallacoota’, opening up swamplands to farming, bringing access to beauty spots, establishing new townships, and the roads to get us there.
Language, A Key to Survival: Cantonese-English Phrasebooks in Australia... , a tallyman is a person who keeps a tally of the quantity or weight of goods produced, shipped or received. This phrasebook was among the possessions of George Ah Ling (1884-1987), a market gardener, who lived for many years in Donald in rural Victoria... words/The Tallyman's Vocabulary, published in 1923 was among George's possessions when he died. George was a market gardener, who lived for many years in Donald in rural Victoria and was affectionately called 'Georgie'. He was born ...
Most international travellers today are familiar with phrasebooks. These books provide a guide to pronunciation, useful vocabulary, but most importantly lists of useful phrases to help travellers negotiate their way around a country where they don't speak the language.
Anyone who has tried to communicate across the language divide without such a tool knows how valuable they are.
This web story explores how Chinese from the gold rush period onwards have used phrasebooks to help them find their way in Australia. You can compare examples of Cantonese-English phrasebooks from different eras; watch Museum volunteers Nick and David speak English using a gold-rush era phrasebook; learn a little about the lives of some of the people who owned these phrasebooks; and hear Mr Ng and Mr Leong discuss their experiences learning English in Australia and China in the early to mid-twentieth century.
This project is supported through funding from the Australian Government's Your Community Heritage Program.