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December 2017

A Nation Divided: The Great War and Conscription

Dec 6, 2017 @ 10:00 am - May 2, 2021 @ 4:00 pm
Old Treasury Building, 20-70 Spring Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000 Australia
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Free

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 2019

Wayward Women?

Jun 27, 2019 @ 10:00 am - Jun 30, 2021 @ 4:00 pm
Old Treasury Building, 20-70 Spring Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000 Australia
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Free

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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October 2019

Velvet, Iron, Ashes

Oct 24, 2019 @ 10:00 am - Jul 12, 2020 @ 6:00 pm
State Library of Victoria, 328 Swanston Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000 Australia
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Free

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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January 2020

DNA for family history research

January 28 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
North Melbourne Library, 66 Errol Street
North Melbourne, Victoria 3051 Australia
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Free

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 required.

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February 2020

Seminar: EARLY MELBOURNE SUBURBS 1835-1880

February 1 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
RHSV, 239 A'Beckett Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000 Australia
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$40 – $60

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 their locale Footscray by Carmel Taig Prahran by Steven Haby & Judith Buckrich Heidelberg by Graham Thorley “Up Sydney Road”…

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Book Launch: John Marshall and Bounty Migration to Port Phillip

February 18 @ 5:15 pm - 7:00 pm
RHSV, 239 A'Beckett Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000 Australia
Free

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, Marshall was Britain’s most active emigration agent: in the three years 1839-1841, he sent 21 ships containing nearly 5000 bounty…

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Night School: Indigenous astronomy

February 18 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Southbank Library, 207 City Road
Southbank, VIC 3006 Australia
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Free

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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Starting Family History

February 24 @ 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm
Level 6, 85 Queen Street Melbourne 3000 Australia + Google Map
$5

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 characters, not just your family. The GSV has not just an impressive research centre but it hosts a multitude of…

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March 2020

Walking the bounds of the Blue Lake with David Sornig.

March 20 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

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 the modern-day docks. Through it all, one thing that has persisted is its uncanny, liminal quality. As well as being…

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April 2020

AGM Speaker – Fiona Gatt.

April 28 @ 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm
North Melbourne Library, 66 Errol Street
North Melbourne, Victoria 3051 Australia
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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 eight cousins in the war and their post-war lives. The technique uncovered just how influential pre-war circumstances were to the…

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May 2020

Update ‘At home on Hotham Hill’

May 16 @ 7:00 pm - 7:30 pm
North Melbourne Library, 66 Errol Street
North Melbourne, Victoria 3051 Australia
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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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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
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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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