This calendar lists all upcoming public events that are being organised by the History Council of Victoria (HCV), plus events that are added by our Friends and Members.

If you are a Friend or a Member of the HCV and you're organising an event in Victoria, Australia that relates to History, you are welcome to publicise it here. Click on the 'Host your own event' button at the foot of this page to get started. Please note that there may be a delay (for moderation) before your event becomes visible on the website. (People who haven't yet signed up to the Friends are warmly invited to do so.)

  • Sunday, October 15, 2017 at 12:00 PM through October 22, 2017
    Locations vary across Victoria in Melbourne, Australia


    Join the Royal Historical Society of Victoria for their annual History Week, taking place 15-22 October 2017. This uniquely Victorian celebration of history is designed to connect past to present, bring people together and to revel in our rich and vibrant past. Events take place all across Victoria, with something for everyone.

    History Week is coordinated by the Royal Historical Society of Victoria and features events, lectures, tours, talks, adventures and more – inviting participants to step out of the present and peer into the past.

    Below is just a selection of some of the dozens of events taking place this History Week that Victorian’s can explore, attend and partake in.


    • Catwalk to Sidewalk – a photographic exhibition showcasing Melbourne’s past and present street fashions.
    • Migration Melbourne – walking tour with historian Nadia Rhook, retracing the urban footpaths of migrants, that shaped Melbourne.
    • Mapping Port Melbourne’s Past  join historians Janet Bolitho and Margaret Bride for a discussion on the use of historic maps and aerial photos to track changes to Port Melbourne.
    • Victoria Police Museum Tour – meet some of Melbourne’s murky underworld figures and learn about some of the Victoria Police’s most notable investigations.


    • Dyson’s: Moving with the Times – a rare opportunity to go ‘behind the scenes’ of this iconic local, Australian family-owned and operated business.
    • Whittlesea Crime Tour – take a bus trip to uncover Whittlesea’s criminal past. Visit sites of infamy and uncover stories of crime and mayhem from days gone-by.
    • Learn How Gunpowder was Made – see the restored Black Powder Mill in operation and learn about the history of the production of gunpowder and explosives.

    Events take place all across the city of Melbourne and the countryside. Many of the events are free, but some require bookings and/or have a cost. For information on the above events and all the others on offer, please visit

    People with a special interest in history are invited to join the Royal Historical Society of Victoria and take advantage of additional benefits, such as free monthly talks, assistance with historical research, subscriptions to historical publications and free admission to society exhibitions. 

  • Wednesday, October 18, 2017 at 12:00 PM


    DR BEN MOUNTFORD (La Trobe University) will deliver this year's lecture, which is entitled 'The Sydney Ducks are Cackling in the Pond' - Colonial Australia and the Making of the Californian Gold Rush.

    Drinks and nibbles will be served at 5.30pm, lecture starts at 6pm, evening concludes at c.7.30pm



  • Wednesday, October 18, 2017 at 06:30 PM
    Kathleen Fitzpatrick Lecture Theatre in University of Melbourne, Australia

    The Russian Revolution after 100 Years

    On 25 October 1917, the Bolsheviks took power in Petrograd. For the following 74 years this date would mark one of the foundational events of global history: the establishment of the world's first socialist state. Red October inspired high hopes in some and terrible dread in others. For better and for worse it shaped the twentieth century in fundamental ways. But what does the revolution mean over a quarter century after the breakdown of the Soviet Union?

    In this lecture, historian Mark Edele argues that in order to understand the significance of the Russian revolution today, we need to broaden our view well beyond the events in Petrograd in 1917. The October uprising was but one moment in a larger, violent process of destruction and reforging of empire. The results continue to shape the region, and indeed the world.

    Professor Mark Edele is the inaugural Hansen Chair in History in the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies at the University of Melbourne, as well as an Australian Research Council Future Fellow. His latest book is Stalin's Defectors (Oxford University Press, 2017).

    For full publication details, links to sources on Soviet history, and links to community engagement events please visit Professor Edele's website. Professor Edele is on Twitter as @EdeleMark.

    The lecture is a free event, organised by the Faculty of Arts at The University of Melbourne. Please click HERE to register your attendance.

    This event is co-hosted by the Australian Book Review.


  • Wednesday, October 18, 2017 at 06:45 PM · $5.00 AUD

    The Cars That Made Monash

    History Monash Inc presents Professor Graeme Davison of Monash University, the author of Car Wars and Australia’s leading urban historian. His presentation will be a fascinating insight into how the car changed our way of life, our suburbs and the landscape - for car lovers, history buffs and all suburbanites.

    $5 entry fee towards the preservation of the History Monash Inc Collection (formerly Oakleigh & District Historical Society est. 1961)

    Ample parking next to Oakleigh Pioneer memorial park and 200 m from Oakleigh Railway Station

  • Thursday, October 19, 2017 at 06:30 PM · 64 rsvps
    Old Treasury Building in Melbourne, Australia

    Launch of the Friends of the HCV

    The Chair, Dr Liz Rushen, and Board of the History Council of Victoria extend a warm invitation to all HCV Friends to attend the official launch of the Friends program.

    The guest speaker will be Professor Emeritus Stuart Macintyre AO, FAHA, FASSA, the HCV’s first Chair and one of Australia’s most influential historians. Professor Macintyre is currently the Chair of the Heritage Council of Victoria. His talk is entitled 'History and Heritage'; here is the abstract: 

    Heritage is in the news as Melbourne’s growth threatens places that people want to keep. History, an awareness and appreciation of the past, receives less attention. How might Victorians make more of their history?

    Light refreshments will be provided.

    The launch is part of History Week in Victoria.

     History Week 2017 logo

    This is a special event, free of charge, for the HCV's Friends. If you are not yet a member, please click HERE to sign up now!

    If you are already a Friend of the HCV, please click on the RSVP button below to accept this invitation. 


  • Friday, October 27, 2017 at 09:00 AM
    State Library Victoria in Melbourne, Australia

    Marvellous Melbourne - The challenge of change

    The 38th Annual Conference of the Australian Garden History Society will be held in Melbourne from Friday 27 to Sunday 29 October 2017.

    Friday 27 October (all day lectures) – State Library of Victoria

    Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 October – Garden Tours

    Monday 30 October – Optional Day Tour

    The program is currently being finalised. Visit for more information.

  • Wednesday, November 08, 2017 at 06:00 PM
    State Library Victoria in Melbourne, Australia

    How did Science come to be associated with Civilization? The Enlightenment and the shaping of Modernity

    Monash Arts is delighted to invite you to the Louis Green Memorial Lecture, an annual public lecture on intellectual and social history in honour of the late Monash University historian Louis Green. 

    This year, eminent moral philosopher Professor Stephen Gaukroger of the University of Sydney presents a fascinating new perspective on intellectual history and accounts of human behaviour.

    Admission is free, but bookings are essential via this website.

    Please arrive at State Library Victoria's Entry 3 in La Trobe Street for registration from 6.00 pm. The lecture will commence in Seminar Room 1 at 6.30 pm sharp. Following the lecture, you are invited to stay for drinks, canapes and networking.

    About the lecturer:

    Professor Stephen Gaukroger is Professor Emeritus of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Sydney. He has written nine books in the history of science and the history of philosophy, including an intellectual biography of Descartes, as well as translations of the works of Descartes and Arnauld.

    Stephen Gaukroger is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Humanities, a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, a Fellow of the Royal Society of New South Wales, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and a Corresponding Member of l'Académie Internationale d'Histoire des Sciences. In 2003 he was awarded the Australian Centenary Medal for contributions to the history of philosophy and the history of science. 

    Professor Gaukroger’s research is centred on a long-term project on the emergence and consolidation of a scientific culture in the West in the modern era. This research has resulted most recently in The Natural and the Human: Science and the Shaping of Modernity, 1739–1841 (Oxford, 2016).


  • Monday, November 13, 2017 at 09:00 AM through November 14, 2017

    Critical Archives Conference

    New practices, new interpretations and new lives for archival materials

    Recent scholarship has marked a turn away from treating archives as repositories of factual knowledge to a focus on sites of archival practices and knowledge production. In the words of Ann Laura Stoler, archives provide access not only to records of rule, they are places where ‘the force of writing’ ‘the ‘feel of documents’, ‘lettered governance’ and ‘written traces of colonial lives’ all come together. 

    Critical interest in archives also draws attention to the transformative effects of digitisation, to contradictory forces that allow archived materials to be accessed outside of the material (in both architectural and paper-based) forms that house ‘originals’, through online databases and virtual museums, while also making the management of collections precariously vulnerable to shifting regimes of governmental support. 

    While archival research has traditionally been the purview of historians, since the 1980s the postcolonial politics of community engagement and repatriation have triggered a variety of new kinds of research engagements between institutions, community stakeholders and scholars, often resulting in new forms of archival production. Indigenous communities especially —historically subject to sustained archival attention — call for decentring and decolonising practices to transform institutions.

    Informed by histories of the production of colonial knowledge, and responding to new and interdisciplinary directions in archival theory and research this conference will bring together researchers, practitioners, industry partners and creative Indigenous responders to the archive to discuss the critical elements of working with and through archives in the present. 

    Keynote speakers

    Professor Jeannette Bastian, Simmons School of Library and Information Science, Boston USA

    Professor Tony Ballantyne, University of Otago, New Zealand

    Dr Natalie Harkin, Flinders University

    Dr Chris Owen, University of Western Australia

    Dr Rachel Buchanan, Curator, Germaine Greer archive, University of Melbourne

    Further information

  • Tuesday, December 05, 2017 at 06:00 PM · 46 rsvps
    Old Treasury Building in Melbourne, Australia

    1917: Melbourne at War

    Melbourne was at war in 1917 – though you might not know that from the Anzac centenaries and their focus on Anzacs fighting on foreign fields. In this seminar three distinguished historians illuminate aspects of Melbourne’s war.

    Judith Smart (Adjunct Professor at RMIT University and co-editor of Victoria and the Great War) will explore a year of domestic disintegration in the national capital of Melbourne, culminating in the bitterness of the second conscription referendum. 

    Joy Damousi (Professor of History, University of Melbourne and co-editor of The Conscription Conflict and the Great War) will examine the 'yes' campaign at Melbourne University. 

    John Lack (Associate Professor, University of Melbourne and co-editor of Victoria and the Great War) will probe home front ferment in Melbourne’s western suburbs.

    The seminar will be chaired by Alistair Thomson (Professor of History, Monash University).

    A new exhibition at the Old Treasury Building, ‘A Nation Divided: the Great War and Conscription’, will be open for viewing before the seminar (from 5.30 pm).


    The Making Public Histories series, now in its tenth year, is offered jointly by the Monash University History Program, the History Council of Victoria and the Old Treasury Building. 

    The seminar is free of charge but seating is limited, so we ask you to RSVP. Please book your place using the RSVP form, below.

    Images courtesy State Library Victoria.

    Image courtesy State Library VictoriaImage courtesy State Library Victoria

  • Wednesday, January 31, 2018 at 08:30 AM through February 02, 2018
    RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia

    Remaking Cities Conference

    Remaking Cities, the 14th Urban History Planning History (UHPH) conference is inspired by Melbourne as an exemplar of cities that are continually remade: as a centre of manufacturing, as a city built on land and infrastructure speculation, and as a place that has been remade over the long-established land-based practices of the Kulin nation.

    Manufacturing was central to the social, spatial and economic development of Australasia’s nineteenth-century cities. The decline of manufacturing has had a significant effect on urban environments and urban lives, as has the rise of the financial, service and cultural sectors. In the post-manufacturing era, cities have had to again reinvent themselves in response to the challenges of new internal circumstances and of external forces of change.Underpinning the making and re-making of Melbourne and other Australasian cities are the processes of settler colonialism and speculation on stolen Indigenous lands. The long shadow cast by colonisation challenges us to imagine how cities can be remade in a just and shared future, and the role of planning within this.

    Keynote Speakers:

    • ROSE HOLLEY Special Collections and Digital Curator, UNSW Canberra
    • CHRIS GIBSON Professor of Human Geography and Director, UOW Global Challenges Program
    • BEN SCHRADER Wellington Author and Historian
    • JEFA GREENAWAY Founding Director of Greenaway Architects & Indigenous Architecture and Design Victoria

    The conference is hosted at RMIT University by the RMIT Centre for Urban Research in Melbourne. Click HERE for more information, and HERE to register your attendance.



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