189 matches for themes: 'gold rush','a diverse state'Diverse state (189) Aboriginal culture (34) Built environment (45) Creative life (61) Family histories (8) Gold rush (11) Immigrants and emigrants (34) Kelly country (3) Land and ecology (33) Local stories (61) Service and sacrifice (18) Sporting life (8)
Victorians & Native Birds: An evolving relationship
The people of Victoria have had a constantly changing relationship with their native birdlife.
Ever-present and iconic, we’ve put Australian birds on official state heraldry and on tomato sauce bottles and biscuit packets. There has always been an immense fondness and respect for our unique birds. However, attitudes towards wildlife generally and birds specifically have undergone seismic paradigm shifts over the last few hundred years.
Looking at objects catalogued here on Victorian Collections, we can map this change and trace the ways that Victorians have interacted with birds, from Indigenous spirituality to citizen science programs.
Against the Odds: The victory over conscription in World War One
In October 1916 and December 1917 two contentious referendums were held in Australia, asking whether the Commonwealth government should be given the power to conscript young men into military service and send them to war overseas.
These campaigns were momentous and their legacy long-lasting. This is the only time in history that citizens of a country have been asked their opinion about such a question, and the decisive 'No' vote that was returned remains the greatest success of the peace movement in Australia to date. Yet the campaigns split families, workplaces and organisations, and left an imprint on Australian politics that lasted for decades.
Many of the actors and events that were central to these campaigns were based in the northern Melbourne suburbs of Brunswick and Coburg. In many ways, these localities were a microcosm of the entire campaign. Against the Odds: The Victory Over Conscription in World War One tells the story of the anti-conscription movement in Australia during World War 1 through this lens.
These house plans from the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, give us an indication of how those with the means to build larger houses lived.
Servant's quarters, groom's rooms, sculleries, stables, parlours and children's areas give us clues to social attitudes, relationships to children and employees, social mores and living conditions.
Seeing the Land from an Aboriginal Canoe
This project explores the significant contribution Aboriginal people made in colonial times by guiding people and stock across the river systems of Victoria.
Before European colonisation Aboriginal people managed the place we now know as Victoria for millennia. Waterways were a big part of that management. Rivers and waterholes were part of the spiritual landscape, they were valuable sources of food and resources, and rivers were a useful way to travel. Skills such as swimming, fishing, canoe building and navigation were an important aspect of Aboriginal Victorian life.
European explorers and colonists arrived in Victoria from the 1830s onwards. The newcomers dispossessed the Aboriginal people of their land, moving swiftly to the best sites which tended to be close to water resources. At times it was a violent dispossession. There was resistance. There were massacres. People were forcibly moved from their traditional lands. This is well known. What is less well known is the ways Aboriginal people helped the newcomers understand and survive in their new environment. And Victoria’s river system was a significant part of that new environment.
To understand this world we need to cast ourselves back into the 19th century to a time before bridges and cars, where rivers were central to transport and movement of goods and people. All people who lived in this landscape needed water, but water was also dangerous. Rivers flooded. You could drown in them. And in that early period many Europeans did not know how to swim. So there was a real dilemma for the newcomers settling in Victoria – how to safely cross the rivers and use the rivers to transport stock and goods.
The newcomers benefited greatly from Aboriginal navigational skills and the Aboriginal bark canoe.
CULTURAL WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander users are warned that this material may contain images of deceased persons and images of places that could cause sorrow.
Martin Hallett: In celebration of a career
Victoria is privileged to have a robust GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums) sector. The capacity of our sector is the result of work undertaken by many dedicated people. We would like to take a moment to acknowledge and celebrate a colleague who has played a particularly significant role in ensuring the strength of the Victorian scene.
In April 2016, Martin Hallett retired from his role as Senior Manager of Victorian Cultural Network, part of the Agencies and Infrastructure unit of Creative Victoria. Martin was subsequently awarded with a Victorian Public Service Medal and a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Victorian Museum Awards for his four decades of work in the Victorian collections sector.
Digital Stories of Young Adults
Being a teenage mother, expressing the power of music and defining identity and sexuality are just some of the stories shared by the young people who have taken part in the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) Digital Storytelling program.
Inside each story is a profusion of ideas and emotions that are edited together as an illuminating way for the young storytellers to evoke memories, places and events that inspire them. Digital Storytelling provides a powerful multimodal learning tool that allows young people to tap into their creativity and critical awareness while allowing for a fluid manipulation and construction of technical and storytelling knowledge.
For more information visit the Australian Centre for the Moving Image website
The Australian Government’s policy of mandatory detention of unauthorised arrivals by boat has been the subject of intense political and national debate in recent years around the ethics of detaining people who in many cases have fled their homeland to escape conflict or oppression.
These stories produced as part of the ACMI Digital Storytelling program document the experiences of people who have recently arrived in Australia.
John Harry Grainger
Architect and Civil Engineer
John Harry Grainger was a creative figure, largely overlooked by history. He receives a brief mention in the much-examined life story of his famous son, the composer and pianist Percy Grainger, where he is depicted as a proud but ineffectual father.
Grainger's prolific output as an architect and his extraordinary talents for bridge building have not yet received due recognition.
The material presented here is sourced from the Grainger Museum Collection at the University of Melbourne. Additional material is held in the Public Record Office of Victoria and in the State Library of Victoria collections.
Warrnambool Art Gallery
The Warrnambool Art Gallery collection includes 19th century European salon paintings, colonial Australian painting, contemporary Australian works (with a focus on printmaking), Melbourne modernist works from the 1930s to 1950s including avant-garde works by the Angry Penguins, as well as historical and contemporary local works about the region and its people.
Jary Nemo and Lucinda Horrocks
Collections & Climate Change
The world is changing. Change is a natural part of the Earth’s cycle and of the things that live on it, but what we are seeing now is both like and unlike the shifts we have seen before.
Anthropogenic change, meaning change created by humans, is having an impact on a global scale. In particular, human activity has altered the composition of the Earth’s atmosphere, causing the world’s climate to change.
Already in the state of Victoria we are seeing evidence of this change around us. In the natural world, coastal waters are warming and bringing tropical marine species to our bays. Desert animals are migrating to Victoria. Alpine winters are changing, potentially putting plants and animals at risk of starvation and pushing species closer to the margins. In the world of humans, island and coastal dwellers deal with the tangible and intangible impacts of loss as sea levels rise, bush dwellers live with an increased risk of life-threatening fires, farmers cope with the new normal of longer droughts, and we all face extreme weather events and the impacts of social and economic change.
This Collections and Climate Change digital story explores how Victoria’s scientific and cultural collections help us understand climate change. It focuses on three Victorian institutions - Museums Victoria, the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria and Parks Victoria. It looks at how the information gathered and maintained by a dedicated community of researchers, curators, scientists, specialists and volunteers can help us understand and prepare for a hotter, drier, more inundated world.
The story is made up of a short documentary film and twenty-one examples highlighting how botanical records, geological and biological specimens and living flora and fauna provide a crucial resource for scientists striving to map continuity, variability and change in the natural world. And it helps us rethink the significance of some of Victoria’s cultural collections in the face of a changing climate.
From Riches to Rags and Back Again
This story tells of St Kilda’s changing fortunes through its diverse housing styles.
St Kilda’s changing social status over time is visible in the different block sizes and the variety of homes, often sitting cheek-by-jowl.
St Kilda is a great place to live – its density makes it vibrant, exciting, close to the beach and the bay and it has plenty of parks – and it's within easy reach of the city. Waves of residents have washed through St Kilda, attracted in the boom times by its exclusivity and status, and in periods when the suburb was more down at heel, by cheap rents and low priced land.
The story is also an audio tour. Download the audio files and the map from the Heritage Victoria website, and head to St Kilda to see the houses for yourself.
The tour begins at Cleve Gardens, on the corner of Fitzroy Street and Beaconsfield Parade.
From the audio tour From Riches to Rags and Back Again, created by Heritage Victoria.
From Neighbours character, Charlene, to international pop sensation, Kylie Minogue’s costumes chart her rise, her style, and her creative energy.
The Kylie Costume Collection at the Arts Centre, Melbourne, shows the range and development of Kylie's persona through costume, and her collaborations with international and national designers.
As Kylie donates her costumes to the Arts Centre directly, curators are able to keep an extensive, chronological and very complete material record of Kylie's career, across her tours, album cover shoots, music videos, and red carpet and special events.
What’s Going On!
What’s Going On! was a groundbreaking exhibition presenting contemporary indigenous artists from the Murray Darling basin.
Taking Mildura as the centre, at the confluence of the Murray and Darling Rivers, the exhibition ranges from Menindee, Wilcannia and Broken Hill to the north and north east, Berri in the south west and Swan Hill to the east, dissolving State boundaries that fragment this distinct region. Uniting the artists in the exhibition are extended family networks and connections to country.
There is a much-loved story told by Aboriginal people on the Murray, that when you open out the swim bladder of a Murray cod, the tree-like forms of its skin reveal the place where the fish was born. Aboriginal children are sometimes told that this is the very same tree under which they were born. These various skin stories reveal the connection of people to the Murray Darling river system, where ‘everyone has a place under the tree’.
Tales from the deep
As the rest of the world became enthralled in the exciting and mysterious world of scuba diving - devouring the anecdotes of early adventurers such as Jacques-Yves Cousteau and Lloyd Bridges - Victoria’s own pioneers were hard at work.
John Black is one of Australia’s early underwater explorers. He began his career in abalone diving in 1951 and became involved in the new and developing sport of scuba diving in the 1960s.
At the time, specialty equipment was hard to get so John and his colleagues used the DIY attitude to create boats out of wooden planks and Victa lawnmower engines and breathing equipment using hoses and hotel CO2 gas tanks. With these extraordinary apparatus they were among the first to enter the pristine underwater wilderness of the Gippsland coast.
John’s stories describe the evolution of diving gear, the triumphs and near-misses of working in a burgeoning field and the excitement of being the first to dive on the remains of Victoria’s spectacular shipwrecks.
John was interviewed as part of the Heritage Victoria East Gippsland Oral Histories project in 2003. This story includes audio extracts from his interview and a transcript of his full interview.
Cuc Lam left her whole family behind when she fled from Vietnam in 1978 with her husband Minh.
They escaped in a fruit and vegetable boat down the Mekong Delta, disguised as fishermen. Cuc was able to take very few belongings with her: a watch from her sister, her wedding ring, her mother's earrings.
After 8 days at sea, they were finally picked up by a Malaysian ship. It was whilst in a Malaysian refugee camp that she heard she had been accepted into Australia, and sold her wedding ring to buy a red vinyl suitcase, so that she would not arrive in her new country empty handed. Cuc and Minh stayed in a Maribyrnong hostel in Melbourne until 1979, when Cuc had her first baby.
A former Maribyrnong City councillor, Cuc now works at Centrelink and continues supporting her family in Vietnam.
Melbourne Zoo and You: 150 years
In the early 1900s, a trip to Melbourne Zoological Gardens may have involved a ride on Queenie the elephant, throwing peanuts to the bears in the bear pit and watching Mollie the orang-utan smoke a cigarette in her small enclosure!
Things are different these days.
Nowadays, a visit to Melbourne Zoo could include viewing endangered Asian elephant calves, Mali and Ongard, foraging and roaming in the Trail of the Elephants habitat; viewing baby Dewi in the Orang-utan Sanctuary; listening to a keeper explain the Zoo’s breeding program for the endangered Lord Howe Island stick insect or even enjoying a twilight concert in the grounds.
The Zoo has been part of the experiences and memories of the Victorian public for 150 years, and in this story we celebrate, explore and remember the animal stars of yesterday and today, visitor experiences through the generations and stories of the keepers who have cared for the animals since it opened in 1862.
Visitor encounters and expectations of the Zoo have evolved over the years along with the Zoo’s practices. It has transformed from its early days of collecting and displaying species for public viewing to its current role in fighting extinction through local and global breeding and conservation programs.
Zoos Victoria’s commitment to fighting extinction is also explored through the Melbourne Zoo’s breeding programs for threatened and endangered species and their international conservation work outside the zoo walls.
For more on the history of Melbourne Zoo listen to Queenie, Choi and friends , a wonderful radio documentary by Hindsight, Radio National.
For further information, read:
150 years Melbourne Zoo, Zoos Victoria, Bounce Books, 2012
Almost Human: Reminiscences of Melbourne Zoo, A.A.W Wilkie, Whitcombe and Tombs, 1920
The Zoo Story, Catherine de Courcy, Penguin, 1995
Queenie’s Last Ride, Mary O’Brien, The Age, August 9, 2006
Melbourne Zoo: Acclimatisation to Conservation, Mark Kellet, Australian Heritage Magazine, 2009
Evolution of a Zoo: History of Melbourne Zoo 1857 - 1900, Catherine de Courcy, Quiddlers Press, 2003