Walking Tour - Untoppled Statues with Graeme Davison

Saturday, April 10, 2021 at 02:00 PM


Parliament House, Spring Street, East Melbourne

Event contact

Alicia Cerreto

0422 519 322

Join the History Council of Victoria for a walking tour of Melbourne with Graeme Davison.

Please note this event is now at capacity. To join the waiting list, email [email protected]

The Black Lives Matter movement has focused public attention on the history and enduring significance of public monuments and statues.  Who we select for honour, and how they are represented, can tell us much about our changing values. This walk, which progresses from Parliament House by St Patrick's Cathedral and through the Treasury and Fitzroy Gardens to the MCG, reviews statues and memorials of a range of local heroes from Pastor Doug Nicholls to James Cook, George Higinbotham to Henry Bolte, the Women's Suffrage Petition to Betty Cuthbert and Shane Warne.  On the way, we will discuss how to read statues and debate how best to conserve, interpret and augment our monumental heritage.

Graeme Davison has been walking the city and interpreting its built heritage for more than 50 years. A former Chair of the History Council of Victoria, he was editor of Melbourne on Foot (1980), co-creator of Melbourne's Golden Mile walking trail and author of The Use and Abuse of Australian History, and other books on the monumental history of Australia. 

Participants will meet outside Parliament House and the tour will conclude near Richmond Station.

This event will be conducted according to Victorian Government COVIDSafe guidelines. An email will be sent on the morning of the event if the weather or any other changes means we can’t go ahead.

Revisit our July 2020 event: Public Monuments - Contested Histories

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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.

If you are organising an event that relates to History, we encourage you to publicise it on our website.

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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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Ways to support us:

Subscribe to our free newsletter: https://www.historycouncilvic.org.au/subscribe
Endorse the Value of History statement: https://www.historycouncilvic.org.au/endorse
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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