198 matches for themes: 'built environment','a diverse state'Diverse state (198) Aboriginal culture (38) Built environment (45) Creative life (66) Family histories (9) Gold rush (11) Immigrants and emigrants (36) Kelly country (3) Land and ecology (34) Local stories (63) Service and sacrifice (18) Sporting life (8)
Conserving an 1889 Wedding Dress
This finely tailored cream wool wedding dress with Liberty silk satin trim was worn by Ethel Florence Francis on the occasion of her marriage to Councillor David Phillips at the Brunswick Wesleyan Church on Wednesday 30th January 1889.
On the evening of the wedding guests were entertained at the Brunswick Town Hall, an imposing Victorian building constructed in the 'Second Empire' style.
Arthur Guy Memorial Painting Prize
Bendigo Art Gallery's Arthur Guy Memorial Painting Prize is the richest open painting prize in the country, attracting some of Australia’s finest contemporary artists. The inaugural exhibition was held in 2003, and is biennial.
The Prize was initiated by Mr Allen Guy C.B.E in honour of his late brother Arthur Guy, with equal assistance provided by the R.H.S. Abbott Bequest Fund.
Arthur Guy was born in Melbourne on 24 November 1914 and was educated at Camp Hill State School in Bendigo and then at Ballarat Grammar School. He enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force in a signals unit and served in New Guinea. On 14 February 1945, aged 30, he was on a biscuit bomber mission when his plane was shot down near Lae. He is buried in the Lae War Memorial Cemetery.
Pangerang Country with Freddie Dowling
Indigenous Warning: Please be aware that this story contains imagery and representation of people that may be deceased, and images of places that could cause sorrow.
In this story Freddie Dowling, Pangerang Elder, introduces us to several Pangerang stories and sites.
The Pangerang people were a nation of sub-clans who occupied much of what is now North Eastern Victoria stretching along the Tongala (Murray) River to Echuca and into the areas of the southern Riverina in New South Wales. Their land includes the Wangaratta, Yarrawonga and Shepparton areas through which the Kialla (Goulburn) and Torryong (Ovens) Rivers flow. The approximate boundaries are south to Mansfield, west to Echuca, east to Chiltern and north to near Narrandera in New South Wales.
Freddie Dowling learnt the stories of the indigenous people of this area from his grandmother, Annie Lewis, and his father, Frank ‘Munja’ Dowling.
The Pangerang words used in this story were written down by Annie Lewis in 1900. She learned them from her mother, Luana ‘Lily’ Milawa. Freddie remembers that both his grandmother and father spoke these words. His father also taught him to speak while hunting and travelling in the bush of their country.
The word Pangerang is often written and known as Bangerang, and Banerang, 'because, in our language, "puh" and "buh" sound similar' (Freddie Dowling).
Captain Wilkinson's Swords
Several months ago we were contacted by Stacey Longstaff from Germany who wanted to donate his ancestor's sword to an appropriate museum in the Portland area.
We put Stacey in touch with the Glenelg Shire Cultural Collection team, who were excited to receive the offer of significant items to add to their collection. Glenelg Shire's Cultural Collection Officer Trevor Smith tells the story...
The Apinis Loom
When Latvian refugees Anna and Ervins Apinis arrived in Australia in 1950 they brought with them a loom built of wood salvaged from bombed out German ruins, along with Anna's precious notebooks full of traditional fabric designs.
Anna Strauss was born in 1913 in Latvia. She attended weaving lessons in Leipaja from 1930 to 1933 and spent hours at the nearby Ethnographic Museum recording traditional fabric designs in her notebooks.
She married Ervins Apinis, an engineer, in 1938 and they had a son but soon World War II changed their lives. Ervins was conscripted into the German army while Anna fled Latvia, finally ending up in Memmingen Displaced Persons camp in Germany in 1945. There, they were finally reunited, remaining in the camp for five years until they migrated to Australia in 1950.
When they arrived at Parkes Holding Centre in New South Wales, they were so exhausted from their long journey, they slept on a huge wooden crate containing the traditional Latvian loom they had brought with them, built of wood scavenged from bombed German ruins. This loom is now at the Immigration Museum in Melbourne.
Anna continued her weaving traditions, passing her knowledge to her daughter Anita.
The story of Ballarat is tied to the story of mining, with hundreds of thousands of people flocking there in the 1850s to seek their fortune. The few lucky ones became wealthy, but most were faced with the harsh reality of needing a regular income. The Ballarat School of Mines was established in 1870 to train men in all aspects of mining.
When the First World War was declared in 1914, thousands of Ballarat men enlisted. Many of these men were miners who had trained at the Ballarat School of Mines and worked in the town’s mining industries. Their skills were recognised, and tunnelling companies were created to utilise them in strategic and secretive ways. Underground (literally) campaigns were designed where the men tunnelled underneath enemy lines to lay explosives. The intention: to cause significant destruction from below. It was dangerous and cramped work, not for the faint hearted.
One hundred years on, local collecting organisation Victorian Interpretive Projects, in conjunction with Ballarat Ranges Military Museum, is asking local residents and relatives of former Ballarat miners to share their photographs, objects and stories.
This is the story of the miners who left Ballarat to fight in the First World War. It is also the story of the people seeking to commemorate them through research and family history, enabling an ongoing legacy through contributions to the public record.
The Girl from Carisbrook
In 1881 an itinerant blind missionary, Thomas James, was traveling the country teaching Braille. In Carisbrook he came across eight-year-old Tilly Aston. Through learning Braille, Aston would go on to alter the destiny of Australians who are blind and vision impaired.
Matilda Ann Aston (1873-1947), the youngest of 8 children, was born vision impaired losing her sight completely by the age of 7. When Thomas James arrived in Carisbrook, Aston's father Edward, a boot maker, had been dead 6 months, leaving his wife Ann to support the impoverished family on a midwife’s wages.
Following a visit to Carisbrook by the Victorian Asylum and School for the Blind choir, Aston enrolled as a boarder at the school. At 16 she became the first blind person to matriculate.
In 1894 she founded the Victorian Association of Braille Writers (later the Victorian Braille Library). In 1895 she co-founded the Association for the Advancement of the Blind, which in 2004 became Vision Australia.
During Aston's time at the Association it obtained improved rights and services of international significance, including the world’s first voting rights for people who are blind and vision impaired and free postage of Braille.
Tilly Aston’s achievements are formidable. As well as being Australia's first blind teacher, she was a distinguished and critically acclaimed writer, producing 7 books of verse.
Tilly received a Commonwealth grant for her writing in 1935, and the King’s Medal for Distinguished Citizenry twice, in 1935 and 1937.
Aston’s legacy survives in the lives of people who are vision impaired throughout Australia, but her memory is particularly cherished in her home district, where the Maryborough-Midlands Historical Society holds several objects relating to Tilly, including her childhood doll.
3D Puzzle: The Jones' Australian-Chinese bed
Watch as this beautiful late nineteenth century bed is reassembled at its new home at the Chinese Museum, discover how a Chinese bed ended up in Hobart and then Melbourne and unwravel the meanings that can be found in the couplets and decorations on it.
Assembling this bed was like putting together a 3D jigzaw puzzle but it is a puzzle in other ways too. Made in China in the late nineteenth century to a Chinese design this bed has spent most of its life in Australia and, as far as is we know, no person with Chinese ancestry ever slept in it. Is it a Chinese bed or an Australian bed? Maybe it is both?
History Teachers' Association of Victoria / Royal Historical Society of Victoria
MacRobertson's Confectionery Factory
MacRobertson Steam Confectionery Works was a confectionery company founded in 1880 by Macpherson Robertson and operated by his family in Fitzroy, Melbourne until 1967 when it was sold to Cadbury.
This story accompanies the 'Nail Can to Knighthood: the life of Sir Macpherson Robertson KBE' exhibition which took place at the Royal Historical Society of Victoria in 2015.
The Unsuspected Slums
Campaigner Frederick Oswald Barnett recorded the poverty facing many in the Melbourne slums of the 1930s.
“All the houses face back-yards…The woman living in the first house…was so desperately poor that she resolved to save the maternity bonus, and so, with her last baby had neither anaesthetic nor doctor.”
So observed campaigner Frederick Oswald Barnett of the poverty facing many in the Melbourne slums of the 1930s. After touring these slums with Barnett, it’s said the Victorian Premier, Albert Dunstan, couldn’t sleep for days.
In 1936 Dunstan established the Slum Abolition Board, and Barnett became vice-chairman of the newly established Housing Commission of Victoria in 1938.
A Methodist and accountant, Barnett became determined to improve the situation for the poor, sick, elderly and unemployed after encountering a slum in the 1920s. He was an astute crusader who coordinated letter writing campaigns and lectured throughout Victoria using many of his own poignant and arresting photographs of the cramped and unsanitary housing conditions.
Ash Wednesday 30
On 16 February 1983 the Ash Wednesday bushfires burned approximately 210,000 hectares of land, 2,080 homes were destroyed and 75 people, including 47 Victorians, lost their lives.
Among the 47 Victorians killed were volunteer Country Fire Authority (CFA) firefighters from Panton Hill, Nar Nar Goon, Narre Warren and Wallacedale brigades.
Many businesses, stores, equipment, machinery, stock and other assets were lost. The total cost of the property damage in Victoria was estimated to be over $200 million.
These web pages were created to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Ash Wednesday Bushfires in 2013.
The Victorian Government invited people to share their stories of recovery, healing and hope as a tribute to those who experienced a natural disaster, and as an inspiration to all Victorians.
A collection of selected stories and short films have now been published here.
Koorie Heritage Trust
Indigenous Stories about Sport
Less well known is the fact that the first Australian cricket team to tour Britain was an all-Aboriginal team in 1868.
Against the express wishes of the Board of Protection of Aborigines, the Aboriginal 11 was smuggled aboard a ship bound for Sydney and then Britain. Between May and October 1868 they played 47 matches in Britain - they won 14, lost 14 and drew 19, a creditable outcome. A non-Aboriginal Australian team did not tour Britain until ten years later.
CULTURAL WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander users are warned that this material may contain images and voices of deceased persons, and images of places that could cause sorrow.
Migrants Enriching Australia
Migrants Enriching Australia was born of a project to assist ethnic community groups preserve and manage their material heritage.
This story consists of 21 story objects - including videos, audio recordings, images and text - and two educational resources available at the bottom of the page.
During the research a few people emerged who vividly carried a particular story about immigration and settlement to Victoria. These included Peter Yiannoudes who introduced Greek films to Melbourne in the 1950s. He carried his portable projector on a train and visited small country towns and even a farmhouse around Victoria, in order to share this dynamic Greek heritage with Greek expatriates.
Janina Archabuz (Pani Babscha) is a Polish grandmother who carefully designed and sewed multiple copies of intricate costumes for a Polish dance troupe in Ardeer, in Melbourne’s west. Janina is self-taught, however the costumes are exquisitely sewn and meticulously detailed. These costumes gave the Polish group visibility when performing traditional dances in the community, and contributed to their community’s transition from being Poles to being Australians of Polish origin.
The research for the Multicultural Communities’ Collection Project revealed incredibly rich collections – their photographs, documents, costumes and memorabilia from their countries of origin, their community members’ journeys to Australia and the process of settlement into this country and this state - held by community groups, each different and many reliant on individuals who valued their history and their community identity. The project was based on the idea that understanding of and control over community heritage strengthens community identity, which in turn contributes to an Australia which is enriched by diverse ethnic groups living side by side harmoniously.
The Multicultural Communities’ Collection Project began in 2011 - firstly as a project of the then Arts Victoria and later Museums Australia (Victoria). It involved visiting up to 40 ethno specific community groups and providing them with professional assistance to preserve and store their material heritage. There was also training in the documentation and digitisation of these collections, and including them in the web based cataloguing system, Victorian Collections.
Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria (ECCV) is the peak body for Victoria’s multicultural communities and have been advocating their needs and concerns to government for 40 years. It is the principle liaison point between multicultural communities, the government and the wider community. The ECCV welcomed the opportunity to facilitate these two films for Culture Victoria, to share more broadly these stories about immigrants and how they have enriched our community.
Digital Storytelling is a powerful form of media expression that enables individuals and communities to reclaim their personal cultures and stories while exploring their artistic creativity.
The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) is Australia’s premier engine for screen and digital culture industries and assists in the creation and recording of hundreds of stories by individuals, community groups and organisations through its respected Digital Storytelling program, and ensures public access to the stories through exhibition.
Recording these stories has ensured many vital individual and community memories are preserved. The digital stories provide a personal voice that gives 'life' to issues that are often hard to personalise.
The ACMI Digital Storytelling program reflects its philosophy of drawing people closer to the moving image in all its forms and to foster interaction, understanding and a personal connection.
For more information on ACMI’s Digital Storytelling program, visit: Collections digital storytelling
Speed, Style, Spirit: The Rob Roy Hillclimb
"We have at last discovered a venue for a hillclimb par excellence. I cannot tell you about it in this issue but .... This I can promise you; that when the news is released, hillclimb enthusiasts will set to work on their cars with great zest".
The Car, October issue, 1935
In 1935, members of the Light Car Club of Australia inspected a property in Christmas Hills, some thirty kilometres north-east of Melbourne, known as Clinton's Pleasure Grounds, a picnicking venue which included the Rob Roy Shetland Pony Stud, a swimming hole, tennis courts, a cricket and football field, tea room and dance hall.
Their mission was to establish a Hillclimbing venue. Hillclimbing, a speed event in which drivers compete, one at a time, on an uphill course against the clock, is one of motorsport’s oldest events; the first was held at La Turbie near Nice, France, in 1897.
Opening on February 1, 1937, the Rob Roy Hillclimb was the first purpose-built Hillclimb in Australia. Cut out of the bush, it included an uphill half-mile, graded dirt road, a judges box and telephone boxes at the start and finish. In 1939, the track was sealed and became one of only three bitumen-surfaced purpose-built hillclimbs in the world, the other two being the Shelsley Walsh and Prescott courses in the UK.
The Rob Roy Hillclimb has a special place in Australia’s motoring history, with eight record holders going on to become Australian Grand Prix winners and one – Jack Brabham – a triple F1 World Champion. The roll call of other drivers who displayed their skills at the Rob Roy includes Harry Firth, Stan Jones, Lex Davison, Bill Patterson, Doug Whiteford, Peter Whitehead, Reg Hunt, Diana Davison Gaze, Tony Gaze and Len Lukey.
The Rob Roy Hillclimb was more than a racing event, it was a culture. Connected to Formula One racing, celebrities, champion drivers, patrons, collectors, and prestige and iconic cars, the Rob Roy had an aura of glamour, and club meets were social occasions, with drivers adhering to collar and tie dress codes and picnickers fashionably attired.
Nevertheless the cars were central. Over the years Bugattis, Jaguars, MGs, Falkenbergs, Oldses and Altas have competed with Australian makes such as Holdens, Fords and Elfins, from road cars to specialist cars. Many Australian cars started or developed their racing history at Rob Roy, including the Chamberlain, Maybach, BWA, Wyliecar, Klienig Special, the Walton JAP, and numerous other Australian Specials.
The Specials were modified and home-built cars. Hillclimbs make particular demands – lightweight cars with loads of torque are ideal – and so engines were upgraded, bodies stripped, cars were made up of the most suitable parts or whatever one had access to. The Specials were evidence of the culture of creativity and passion that surrounded the Hillclimb. Many cars, some pre-war, and modified constantly over time, have passed from driver to driver along with their history, to compete to this day.
In 1962, bushfires ravaged the Rob Roy, and it lay unused for another 30 years until the MG Car Club of Victoria secured a lease on the property and faithfully restored the track to host a bustling schedule of Hillclimb events. Since 1993, the Rob Roy Hillclimb culture – the drivers, the cars, the inventive mechanics and the enthralled daytrippers – thrives in the Christmas Hills.
Sources: Leon Sims, A history of Rob Roy Hillclimb - 1937 to 1961 - The Hill, The Drivers, The Cars. And, the MG Car Club of Victoria
Jane Routley and Elizabeth Downes
Reading about Flinders Street Station can give you the impression this grand old building is past its useful life. Not so. This is a hardworking station – Melbourne’s public transport hub.
Over 100,000 commuters pass through the station every day, well up from the daily total of around 30,000 in the 1930s. In my childhood the concourse was smaller with iron pillars and a galvanized iron roof. I remember it being full of wooden shops, brown panelling and a floor that used to contain bottle top lids, pen caps, paper clips, broken chains and other intriguing items fossilized into the black asphalt.