The Hotham History Project is a community group with an interest in the history of North and West Melbourne, formerly known as Hotham.

A Nation Divided: The Great War and Conscription

The debate over conscription during the darkest years of WWI has been described by some historians as the most bitter, divisive and violent ever to consume the nation. From 1916 to 1917, thousands of impassioned speeches were made, endless newspaper columns were written, and mass meetings and huge rallies were held throughout Australia. As families, communities and organisations divided in ...

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Free
Old Treasury Building, 20-70 Spring Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000 Australia
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Wayward Women?

Meet some women who don't fit the stereotype of demure Victorian womanhood in 'Wayward Women?'. There are some familiar faces like Madam Brussels, the successful brothel-keeper, and Frances Knorr, the Brunswick baby farmer. But have you heard of Beatrice Phillips, 'the worst woman in Melbourne', who was convicted for various offences over 227 times? Or Brettena Smyth, an early feminist ...

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Free
Old Treasury Building, 20-70 Spring Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000 Australia
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Velvet, Iron, Ashes

Discover surprising connections between extraordinary people, events and icons from Victoria's history. Follow your own path of exploration on a trail of unexpected, intertwined stories. Velvet, Iron, Ashes opens up a new way of seeing our history and reveals as never before how our stories intersect. Find out how the armour of infamous bushranger Ned Kelly is connected to cricket's ...

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Free
State Library of Victoria, 328 Swanston Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000 Australia
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DNA for family history research

DNA testing has become a more affordable and increasingly popular way for people to explore their family history. ​Join Craig Smith, enthusiastic family historian who has successfully used DNA to identify long lost relatives and new-found cousins and learn what can be revealed by taking a DNA test and how it can assist you with your genealogy research. Bookings are ...

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Free
North Melbourne Library, 66 Errol Street
North Melbourne, Victoria 3051 Australia
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Seminar: EARLY MELBOURNE SUBURBS 1835-1880

The RHSV and the Genealogical Society of Victoria are delighted to co-present this full-day seminar which will give participants a deep understanding of the forces and influences which have shaped Melbourne’s early growth. The seminar will be opened with a overview by Gary Presland on how Melbourne’s Geography shaped its development. Then the following historians will explain the development of ...

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$40 – $60
RHSV, 239 A'Beckett Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000 Australia
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Book Launch: John Marshall and Bounty Migration to Port Phillip

Emeritus Professor Graeme Davison AO, Chair of the History Council of Victoria, will launch Dr Liz Rushen’s book, John Marshall: Shipowner, Lloyd’s reformer and emigration agent. After the launch, Dr Rushen will deliver a paper which explores the significant role John Marshall played in the white settlement of the Port Phillip District. When Port Phillip was first opened up for settlement, ...

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Free
RHSV, 239 A'Beckett Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000 Australia
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Night School: Indigenous astronomy

How did Indigenous astronomers predict weather and harvest cycles, and navigate vast distances? Join Krystal De Napoli, a Kamilaroi astrophysics student, as she explores Indigenous knowledge of the night sky, including solar eclipses and moon halos. Bookings required.

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Free
Southbank Library, 207 City Road
Southbank, VIC 3006 Australia
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Starting Family History

The Genealogical Society of Victoria offers RHSV members & friends an introduction to the resources and skills needed to immerse yourself in family history. For anyone contemplating researching their family this event is key. It is also of great interest for those undertaking more general research as family research skills and resources can be used to create histories for any ...

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$5
Level 6, 85 Queen Street Melbourne, 3000 Australia
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Walking the bounds of the Blue Lake with David Sornig.

The walking tour will be a follow up to his book, in Blue Lake, David Sornig examines how the 8km-square zone to the west of central Melbourne became the city’s blind spot. Once a fertile wetland with a large blue saltwater lagoon, it passed through various incarnations: from boneyards and rubbish tips; through the Depression-era Dudley Flats shanty town; to ...

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AGM Speaker – Fiona Gatt.

Fiona Gatt is doing a PhD at Deakin University on North Melbourne History and has very kindly agreed to speak at our next AGM in 2020. Fiona’s Honours thesis used family history methodology to show the long view of the Great War. The thesis followed five related families from their immigration to Victoria in the 1850s, to the service of ...

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Free
North Melbourne Library, 66 Errol Street
North Melbourne, Victoria 3051 Australia
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Update ‘At home on Hotham Hill’

Guy Murphy has kindly offered to give a talk about the update on his book, ‘At home on Hotham Hill’ Expected to be sometime in May 2020.

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Free
North Melbourne Library, 66 Errol Street
North Melbourne, Victoria 3051 Australia
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‘Brothels, bordellos and bagnios: Sex work in nineteenth-century Melbourne’.

If your husband left you with young children, no money and no job, what would you do? If you were an unmarried mother with no family to turn to, and no work available where you could take a child, how would you survive? In nineteenth-century Melbourne there were no supporting pensions and no childcare options, so for many women the ...

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Free
North Melbourne Library, 66 Errol Street
North Melbourne, Victoria 3051 Australia
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The Hotham History Blog is a collection of stories about North and West Melbourne