Monday, April 11, 2016 at 10:00 AM through May 08, 2016


Royal Historical Society of Victoria
239 A'Beckett St

Melbourne, VIC 3000
Google map and directions

Event contact

Gerardine Horgan


Victorians are invited to explore 175 years of the Supreme Court’s fascinating social history as the Royal Historical Society of Victoria commemorates the anniversary with their Judging for the People exhibition.

Open to the public from Monday 11 April, the exhibition will bring to life stories of judges, vexed relations and the movable feast of buildings that the court has called home over the years. The media’s relationship with the court, the system of sentencing and the evolution of how divorce is handled will also be in the spotlight.

Items featured in the exhibition include:

  • Diaries and notes from the first lawyer in Melbourne, William Meek – a casualty of the first economic downturn of the 1840s
  • The first bible used for swearing-in, dated 1841 and signed by Sir Redmond Barry
  • Handwritten notebooks and musings by the controversial Judge John Walpole Willis
  • Elaborate judicial robes and wigs.

Event:                          ‘Judging for the People’ Exhibition

Dates:                          11 April – 7 June

Time:                           10am – 4pm Monday-Thursday; 10am – 3pm Friday

Venue:                         239 A’Beckett Street, Melbourne

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Will you come?


The History Council of Victoria Incorporated (HCV) is the peak body for history in the Australian state of Victoria. Its vision is to connect Victorians with history and to inspire engagement with the past, their identity and the world today. The HCV champions the work of historians and the value of history. It recognises that history can be written about any place, any person, any period. The HCV advocates why history matters.

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Our calendar lists all upcoming public events arranged by the History Council of Victoria (HCV), plus events in Victoria, Australia, that are added by our Friends and Members.

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As the peak body for history in Victoria, the History Council makes submissions on current issues. In doing this, the HCV Board is guided by its Advocacy Policy and by the Value of History, a statement developed co-operatively by the HCV and the History Councils of New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia.

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Since 2015, the HCV has been pleased to sponsor the Years 9 and 10 category of the Historical Fiction Competition organised by the History Teachers' Association of Victoria.

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The HCV was formed as an advisory body in 2001 and incorporated in 2003. It comprises representatives from cultural and educational institutions and heritage bodies; history teachers and curriculum advisors; academic and professional historians; and local, Indigenous, community and specialist history organisations.

As the peak body for history, the HCV has both ‘outward-looking’ roles (including advocacy and representation to government and the wider community, consultation, community education, and networking with allied interest groups) and ‘inward-looking’ roles (including member support, information dissemination, and networking between members).



The History Council of Victoria acknowledges the State Library of Victoria and the Public Record Office Victoria for supply of the archival images that appear on this website.

We acknowledge the National Film and Sound Archive for the right to use of the video footage on the home page, titled "Melbourne: Life in Australia (1966)".

Image credits

  • Italian sailors on ship at Port Melbourne 1938, Argus Newspaper Collection of Photographs, State Library of Victoria
  • Chinese procession in Collins near Elizabeth Street 1901, Harvie & Sutcliffe, photographers, State Library of Victoria
  • People’s homes, Aboriginal station Coranderrk 1878, Fred Kruger Photographer, State Library of Victoria
  • Chinese nurses at Children’s Hospital under scholarship 1947, Argus Newspaper Collection of Photographs, State Library of Victoria
  • Ladies physical culture class VRI Melbourne c1931, Public Record Office Victoria VPRS 12903/P0001, 011/02
  • Melbourne Cup, Derby and Oaks Day, Flemington Racecourse 1936, Public Record Office Victoria VPRS 12903/P0001/4802, 372/30
  • Flinders Street viaduct at foot of Market Street with advertisement for McRobertson’s Chocolate on bridge, Public Record Office Victoria VPRS 12800/P0003, ADV 1342