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.)

  • Saturday, September 14, 2019 at 02:30 PM
    Heidelberg Historical Society Museum in Heidelberg, Australia

    Heidelberg's Busy Bee Signature Quilt 1895-96

    Friends of the History Council of Victoria are warmly invited to visit the Heidelberg Historical Society where the current exhibition interprets an intriguing document of social history: a signature (or autograph) quilt that resulted from a nineteenth-century fundraising campaign.

    The quilt is constructed from 213 embroidered squares. It carries 139 legible names plus many initials and decorations. Contributors to the quilt lived in various Melbourne suburbs and elsewhere in Victoria. They came from church groups, community organisations, businesses and government, and through family and social networks.

    The Society is located at the Old Heidelberg Courthouse and received the quilt by donation last year. Members have investigated the why, how and when of the quilt’s creation, and have researched the stories and connections of the eight women from Heidelberg’s Scots Church who formed a ‘Busy Bee’ group and made the quilt. Representatives of the Society will be on hand to introduce the exhibition.

    To learn more about the exhibition and the Society, visit this website:

    Admission: $5 (includes afternoon tea), payable on arrival at the museum. You are welcome to bring 'Future Friends', people who share your interests and might join the Friends in the future. The RSVP form makes it easy to register your +1. If you wish to bring more than one guest, please email the Executive Officer (

    Also in the area: Heide Museum of Modern Art is a 20-minute walk from the Heidelberg Historical Society, across the Yarra River. You may wish to visit its exhibitions in the morning. It has an excellent Cafe where you may like to have lunch. 

    Our visit to the Heidelberg Historical Society is a special networking event for HCV Friends and their guests.

    If you are not yet a member of the HCV Friends, please click HERE to sign up now! Then return to this page to RSVP.

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

    To assist with catering, please book before 10 am on Tuesday 10 September.

    Postcard promoting the quilt exhibition   Archibald Cameron's square   Postcard promoting the quilt exhibition - reverse

    All images courtesy Heidelberg Historical Society Inc. No. A0042118P

  • Tuesday, November 12, 2019 at 06:00 PM
    Old Treasury Building in East Melbourne, Australia

    Ephemera as historical sources

    Paint label      Showbag


    Historical sources' survival may be the result of chance rather than deliberate and careful preservation. How do historians locate and use material that was never designed to be retained? This seminar considers the importance of ephemera: material that carries printed information that was not intended to be kept or preserved.

    The seminar will be facilitated by Mandy Bede, President of the Ephemera Society of Australia. We will hear three presentations, followed by questions from the audience and opportunity for discussion. The presentations are:

    Out of the bag and into the archive: Royal Melbourne Show ephemera

    Abstract: From tickets, posters, prize cards and maps to the ubiquitous showbag, the Royal Melbourne Show is a treasure trove for the ephemerist. As collection objects and historical resources, Show ephemera are both invaluable records of a community event and evocative snapshots of life.

    Presenter: Dr Annette Shiell, Senior Curator Heritage, Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria

    Where worlds collide: ephemera in science

    Abstract: Charged with the history of collections at Museums Victoria, Rebecca researches the people and motivations that shaped the collection. In this talk she reveals the surprising depth that can come from using the often ignored ephemera of science.

    Presenter: Rebecca Carland, Senior Curator, History of Collections & Scientific Art at Museums Victoria

    Hazardous goods: the case of white lead in household paint

    Abstract: We tend to associate household paint charts and advertising leaflets with choice of colour or homemaking aspirations. Using ephemera as a primary documentary resource, this presentation will, however, chart another story—the popularity and decline of toxic lead-based paint.

    Presenter: Richard Aitken, a Melbourne-based historian, curator, and writer


    Bookings for this free event are now open. To reserve your seat, click on the RSVP button at the foot of this page.


    With thanks to the series sponsors, Monash University Publishing and the Monash University History Program:

    Monash University Publishing - some current titles   Monash University History Program 

    and to the organising partners:

    Old Treasury Building     Monash University History Program      HCV

    The seminar is part of an ongoing series, Making Public Histories, that is offered jointly by the Monash University History Program, the History Council of Victoria and the Old Treasury Building. Each seminar aims to explore issues and approaches in making public histories. The seminars are open, free of charge, to anyone interested in the creation and impact of history in contemporary society. Click HERE to learn about other events in the series.

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