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Victorian Community History Awards

And the winner is…

81 - Jean Galbraith
















Jean Galbraith – Writer in a Valley

Meredith Fletcher – Monash University Publishing in association with State Library of Victoria, Clayton, 2014

Jean Galbraith is widely renowned as one of Victoria’s (indeed Australia’s) most loved gardeners and garden, nature and botanical writers. Her life and interests, and her influential writing, are all captured in this biography by Meredith Fletcher.

Galbraith was born into a farming family in Gippsland and spent her life there, a single woman devoted to her garden and appreciating the surrounding bush. When possible, she travelled interstate and overseas to experience other gardens and other environments. Writing for more than fifty years from ‘Dunedin’, her cottage and magical garden in her valley in Gippsland, Jean Galbraith reached out to generations of gardeners and nature lovers and inspired them with her craft and her insights into the Australian environment. She developed an acute capacity to observe nature, an understanding of botany and a power of description that led to her being compared with English writer Gilbert White. Galbraith not only developed a garden that was rich in cottage garden plants, she loved Australian flora, especially wildflowers, and wrote extensively about them. Her concern at their loss has led to her being recognised as an early conservationist.

 The judges agreed that Meredith Fletcher’s sensitive and insightful biography of this remarkable woman deserves the highest accolade in this year’s VCHA.

The Victorian Community History Awards 2015

Established in 1999, the Victorian Community History Awards (VCHA) are held annually to recognise the contributions made by Victorians in the preservation of the State’s fascinating history.

Presented by Public Record Office Victoria in partnership with the Royal Historical Society of Victoria, the Awards celebrate the people involved in community history projects who are dedicated to telling local stories which help all Victorians to better understand their past.

History can be interpreted and shared in a variety of ways. This is reflected through the diversity of the award categories which encourage nominations for innovative projects by groups and individuals across the State.

Judges reported that the calibre of this year’s entrants was at all-time high, making the job of selecting winners exceedingly challenging. The 2015 VCHA’s saw a record number of entries with over 200 organisations entering, many of them for the first time.

Awards are given for work across the following categories:

  • Victorian Community History Award – $5000
  • Collaborative Community History Award – $2000
  • Local History Project Award – $2000
  • History Publication Award – $2000
  • Local History Small Publication Award – $1500
  • Multimedia History Award – $1500
  • Historical Interpretation Award – $1500
  • Centenary of ww1 Award – $1500
  • History Article (Peer Reviewed) – $500

The 2015 Awards ceremony was held during History Week on Monday 19 October at the Arts Centre Pavilion in Melbourne.

We would like to congratulate all of the winners.

See full list of winners here.

Download the 2015 Winners Booklet