Emeritus Professor Graeme Davison AO

Photo of Graeme Davison

Graeme Davison AO FAHA FASSA FFAHS joined the History Council of Victoria in November 2018 and served as Chair from September 2019 to March 2020. He is Emeritus Sir John Monash Distinguished Professor of History at Monash University. 

He was born in Melbourne and educated at the universities of Melbourne and Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar, and at the Australian National University. He taught at the University of Melbourne from 1970 to 1982. From 1982 to 2005 he was Professor of History at Monash University. He has held visiting appointments at Harvard, Edinburgh, ANU, Tübingen and King’s College, London.

His books include The Rise and Fall of Marvellous Melbourne (1978 and 2004), The Unforgiving Minute: How Australia Learned to Tell the Time (1994), The Use and Abuse of Australian History(2000), Car Wars: How the Car Won Our Hearts and Conquered our Cities (2004) and University Unlimited: The Monash Story (2012) (with Kate Murphy). He was also a co-editor of The Oxford Companion to Australian History.

His most recent publications are Lost Relations: Fortunes of My Family in Australia’s Golden Age (2015), Trendyville: The Battle for Australia’s Inner Cities (2015) (with Renate Howe and David Nichols), City Dreamers: The Urban Imagination in Australia (2016) and, as an editor, Hugh Stretton: Selected Writings (2018).

He is a former President of the Australian Historical Association, Chairman of the Heritage Council of Victoria, a Fellow of the Australian Academies of Social Sciences and Humanities, and a prominent advisor and commentator on museums, archives, heritage and urban policy. In 2011 he was made an Officer in the Order of Australia.


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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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