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May 2020

A Nation Divided: The Great War and Conscription

May 1, 2020 @ 10:00 am - Sep 26, 2023 @ 4:00 pm
Old Treasury Building, 20-70 Spring Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000 Australia
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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 bitter recrimination, it seemed as if the soul of the grieving nation would tear itself apart. A new exhibition at…

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June 2020

Wayward Women?

Jun 1, 2020 @ 10:00 am - Jun 5, 2022 @ 4:00 pm
Old Treasury Building, 20-70 Spring Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000 Australia
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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 who sold contraceptive devices from her druggist shop in North Melbourne while campaigning for votes for women? Some of these…

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Velvet, Iron, Ashes

Jun 1, 2020 @ 10:00 am - Feb 18, 2021 @ 6:00 pm
State Library of Victoria, 328 Swanston Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000 Australia
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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 celebrated Ashes Urn, how fairy floss is connected to Victoria's Latrobe Valley electricity industry, and why the granddaughter of one…

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November 2020

‘Brothels, bordellos and bagnios: Sex work in nineteenth-century Melbourne’.

November 24 @ 6:30 pm - 7:00 pm
North Melbourne Library, 66 Errol Street
North Melbourne, Victoria 3051 Australia

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 solution was sex work. They could work their own hours, they could do it in their own homes, and it…

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