Handle With Care: Making Bendigo's Health History Public

Thursday, April 20, 2023 at 05:30 PM


Bendigo Library
259 Hargreaves St
Bendigo, VIC 3550
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Desiree Pettit-Keating

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Public Records Act with a new record release showcasing Bendigo's rich history of healthcare

Just how did the Great War impact the mental health of the families of Bendigo boys at the front – and those very same men after they returned home? What led an abandoned wife to an early grave via the Benevolent Asylum's Lying-In Hospital and Bendigo Hospital, and what happened to her children? What volume of people were the hospital handling? Who were they, and how was this managed? Learn more about Bendigo Regional Archive Centre’s latest collection of records, how they link to other resources, and the questions they might answer - and raise - for genealogists, academics and other history researchers.

Guest speakers will discuss the recent record transfer from Bendigo Health’s archive, touching on the importance of the collection, its context within the Public Record Act, and look at the evolution of Bendigo Health from its inception as the Bendigo Gold District General Hospital in 1856, and stories about local people that can be found in these records.

Speakers: Justine Heazlewood (Director & Keeper of Public Records, PROV), Bruce Smith (Consultant Archivist), Dr Susan Walter (Archive Coordinator, BRAC) & Desiree Petit-Keating (Archive Officer, BRAC).

This event is FREE but bookings are required. This is an in-person event only and light refreshments will be available.

An Australian Heritage Festival event.

Posted by on March 01, 2023


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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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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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