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Victorian Archives Centre public opening hours

Monday to Friday: 10:00 am to 4:30 pm
(excl. public holidays)
The second and last Saturday of every month

Finish Writing Your Book with Hazel Edwards

A photo of Hazel Edwards standing at the lecturn ready to speakIn conjunction with Public Record Office Victoria, Hazel Edwards is offering a year long non-fiction Master Class with the aim of participants completing their books by December 2017.

Due to the ongoing popularity of Hazel’s ‘Writing a Non Boring Family History’ workshops and talks at the Victorian Archives Centre, there have been requests for longer mentoring. With over 200 books published and a teaching career spanning 40 years, Hazel has advice to share with writers wanting to see their book published.

This year-long master class will appeal to procrastinators and those involved with a non-fiction book length project who wish to finish their manuscripts within the year. 

Subjects can include memoir, autobiography, ‘How To’ books and family histories. A copy of Hazel’s latest book, ‘Not Just A Piece of Cake: Being An Author’ will be given to each master class participant. Past participants include many published authors in multiple genres. Current students may start with a partly completed project. Participants will be required to present a draft chapter each session.

The 2017 Hazelnuts Master Class will be:

  • Limited to 24 participants.
  • Include 3-hour monthly sessions on the first Friday of each month throughout 2017, 10am to 1pm on the following dates:
    6th January,
    3rd of February,
    3rd of March,
    7th of April,
    5th of May,
    2nd of June,
    7th of July,
    4th of August,
    1st of September,
    6th of October,
    3rd of November,
    1st of December.
  • Hazel invoiced fee to be paid in full at first class. $600 plus GST ($660) for the year i.e. $50 (plus GST) per monthly 12 X 3 hour session per individual.

No refunds if student drops out.

Topics to be covered:

  1. Pitching proposal
  2. Synopsis
  3. Title importance & Non Boring elements
  4. Possible structures and narration perspectives
  5. Anecdultery & Story Shaping
  6. Formats (story telling formats)
  7. Themes
  8. Research skills including interviewing
  9. Value of work-shopping chapters
  10. Editing
  11. Query letters
  12. Publishing processes and options

Check for other resources.

To register for this course please contact Tara Oldfield, preferably via email: alternatively on 9348 5704. 
Once we have reached 24 attendees we will update this webpage as “booked out” so get in quick! 

Local history projects honoured at the 2016 Victorian Community History Awards

19-these-walls-speak-volumesA book about the history of Mechanics’ Institutes of Victoria has been awarded top prize at this years’ Victorian Community History Awards at a ceremony held at the Arts Centre today.

Mechanics’ Institutes in Victoria have historically been meeting places for adult education, entertainment and the arts. The book These Walls Speak Volumes: A History of Mechanics’ Institutes in Victoria by Pam Baragwanath and Ken James, provides an insight into their pioneering role as one of Victoria’s earliest community organisations.

Magda Szubanski was awarded the Judges’ Special Prize for her autobiography Reckoning, delving into her father’s dark past, while Anne Doyle’s book about the Somali community of West Heidelberg, Wadaddi Nabadda. Paths to Peace, won the inaugural Cultural Diversity Award.  

Other winning entries included a book about activism during 1970s Melbourne, the story of Hector Crawford and documentaries about Malvern’s gifted Jewish sculptor Karl Duldig. 

Special Minister of State Gavin Jennings congratulated the winners on their contribution to Victorian history.

“These fantastic award winning projects document our history and the development of Victoria as we know it today.”

“I want to congratulate every winner on their contribution to detailing the many stories and perspectives of Victoria’s rich history,” Minister Jennings said.

Justine Heazlewood, Public Record Office Victoria Director and Keeper of Public Records acknowledged the great range of entries seen this year.

“From books about citizens and institutions, to documentaries, websites and valuable online databases – these projects provide the entire community with rich and diverse resources for learning about the history of Victoria.”

The Victorian Community History Awards are presented by Public Record Office Victoria in partnership with the Royal Historical Society of Victoria, and funded by the Victorian Government.

A major event of History Week, the annual Victorian Community History Awards recognise the work of individuals and organisations committed to telling stories of local history.

Victorian Community History Awards 2016 full list of winners:

Victorian Community History Award
These Walls Speak Volumes: A History of Mechanics’ Institutes in Victoria by Pam Baragwanath and Ken James
Published by the authors

Judges’ Special Prize
Reckoning: A Memoir by Magda Szubanski
Text Publishing

Collaborative Community Award
Breaking Out: Memories of Melbourne in the 1970s edited by Susan Blackburn
Hale & Iremonger

Local History Project Award
‘We Are All of One Blood’. A History of the Djabwurrung Aboriginal People of Western Victoria, 1836-1901 by Ian D. Clark

History Publication Award
Hector: The Story of Hector Crawford and Crawford Productions by Rozzi Bazzani

Local History Small Publication Award
The Village of Ripponlea by Judith Buckrich
Lauranton Books

Cultural Diversity Award
Wadaddi Nabadda. Paths to Peace. Voices of the Somali Speaking Community by Anne Doyle
Olympic Adult Education

Multimedia Award
We Remember: Honouring the Service & Sacrifice of Local Veterans and the Wangaratta Community During WW1, DVD and Website
Rural City of Wangaratta

Historical Interpretation Award
Duldig Studio Documentaries by Eva de Jong-Duldig and Dr David Smith
Duldig Studio

Centenary of WW1 Award
Home Front Ballarat WW1 Website:
Ballarat & District Genealogical Society

History Article (Peer Reviewed) Award
Beyond Failure and Success: The Soldier Settlement on Ercildoune Road by James Kirby
Provenance Journal

Download the winners-booklet to learn more about each winner and view the list of commendations.

View photos from the event on Flickr. 

For more information about the Victorian Community History Awards visit

New Standard Setting and Organisational Performance Monitoring Functions RDA

Shredded paperA new Retention and Disposal Authority (RDA) is now available, PROS 16/06 RDA for Records of the Standard Setting and Organisational Performance Monitoring Functions

Agencies are encouraged to consider this new RDA for use as it may partially or fully eliminate the need for your agency to develop an agency or function specific RDA, reducing cost and effort.

The new RDA was developed to meet an objective of the PROV Disposal Remodelling Program which is to issue disposal authorities that can be used in multiple settings whenever possible. This RDA was commissioned by the Victorian Public Sector Commission to authorise disposal of its records. However the content has been phrased to remove agency and/or function limits so that its scope can be extended over time to include other agencies that develop standards/codes and monitor performance against the codes, a very common activity of government.

Your agency can apply to PROV for inclusion within the scope of PROS 16/06 by demonstrating its validity to your agency environment. Once your agency is included formally in scope, PROS 16/06 can be used to authorise disposal of your records.

PROS 16/06 is to be used in conjunction with PROS 07/01 Common Administrative Functions RDA and your agency/function specific RDA (if applicable).

Please contact us if you require further information about this RDA.

Unboxing the rules of storing public records with commercial providers

Classic blue file cabinet isolated on white backgroundWhere public records are no longer being actively used and managed, Victorian Government agencies may decide to store them in a commercial storage facility.

Agencies can only store records with commercial storage providers which qualify as an Approved Public Record Office Storage Supplier (APROSS). The APROSS programme is managed by Public Record Office Victoria (PROV) to ensure that public records are maintained and continue to be retrievable in appropriate storage conditions.


What records can be stored in an APROSS facility?

Agencies often ask which records can be transferred to an APROSS. Agencies can transfer records which have been sentenced as temporary records at any time. However, it is important to note, prior approval must be obtained from Public Record Office Victoria (PROV) for transferring:

  • Records awaiting sentencing.
  • State Archives (permanent value records).

Agencies can transfer unsentenced records if they have a plan in place to sentence them, approved by the Keeper of Public Records. PRO 41 Request for Approval of Sentencing Plan, must be submitted to request approval.


Records identified in a current disposal authority as being permanent may only be sent to an APROSS if a plan to transfer the records to PROV has been approved by the Keeper of Public Records. PROV form PRO 42 Request for Approval of Transfer Plan should be completed by the agency and submitted to PROV for approval. The records must only be transferred to the APROSS once approval has been granted.


Agencies are responsible for records in APROSS storage and must take measures to document and track which records are transferred to which location and when. Every agency must therefore document which records are being stored in each box and record where each box is currently located. For more information, please see PROS 11/01 G1 Approved Public Record Office Storage Suppliers (APROSS) Guideline.

Current approved APROSS facilities

The commercial storage suppliers listed on the PROV website have been approved by PROV for the storage of sentenced temporary records, unsentenced records (subject to approval of sentencing plan by PROV), and permanent records (subject to plan of transfer approval by PROV). To join the APROSS programme, commercial storage providers must have their facilities assessed against PROS 11/01 S3 APROSS Specification. APROSS facilities also undergo regular inspections by PROV and submit an annual attestation.

See PROS 11/01 G1 Approved Public Record Office Storage Suppliers (APROSS) Guideline for information about selecting a supplier and what an APROSS storage agreement should cover.

  • Carly Godden, PROV Legislation and Policy Officer

Try our new website and search

new-websiteA new PROV website is now available to provide you with a faster search experience and simpler navigation options, making finding what you’re looking for a lot easier. You’ll also be able to search directly through topic pages making our most popular collections much easier to access.

The new website features include:

  1. Searchable topic pages for our most popular collections
  2. A handy list of common questions new and experienced researchers often ask us
  3. A photographic page listing both our digitised and non-digitised collections
  4. A page featuring online exhibitions about Victorian state history
  5. Get a sense of what we hold using our data visualisation tool

The test (beta) version of the site will be available for everyone to have a look at until November. To provide feedback simply email it to, including the Subject heading Beta Site please.


From Mos to Mullets: now showing at the Victorian Archives Centre

Black and white photo of a woman with very long straight hair

“Hippy Hair” Victorian Railways Board 1973-1983, Photographic Negatives: Railways, Sante Fe Railway’s First Woman Engineer Christine Gonzales, 1976. VPRS 12903 P1/ Box 703-51. 

Your hair is your own. At the same time, hair forms part of our shared experiences as diverse communities. When brought under the gaze of others, hair becomes a marker of identity, gender and culture. In archival photography, hair also functions as a kind of visual time stamp. Wondering when a photo was taken? Well, take a look at the hair!

New photographic exhibition now showing at the Victorian Archives Centre

A new photographic exhibition about the history of hair is showing at the Victorian Archives Centre North Melbourne from 26 September to February 2017, Monday to Friday 10am to 4.30pm and second and last Saturday of every month.

In the exhibition, photos featuring historic hairstyles from Public Record Office Victoria’s state archives are displayed alongside photos from community street photographers.

“Hippy Hair”

This photo of Christine Gonzales from the state archives is one of the photos featured in the exhibition. 

Young people involved in the protest movements of the 1960s used head hair, body hair and facial hair as a symbol of their political and ideological beliefs. Un-styled hair became a powerful symbol of the ‘hippy’ counter-culture and a sharp contrast to the shorter, controlled styles of the previous generation. Feminism inspired women to grow their body hair as a symbol of the equality and freedom they hoped to achieve.

Many in the anti-Vietnam war movement grew their hair long as a visible rejection of the short Buzz Cut style sported by soldiers. Some Vietnam veterans – many of whom were conscripted – grew their hair long when they returned in an effort to disassociate themselves from the unpopular war. Their long hair sometimes resulted in them being shunned from RSLs. By the late 1970s the fashion for long hair had crossed into mainstream fashion and was not indicative of political beliefs, but a matter of personal style.

Government photography

By the 1860s Governments began to include photographers within their teams, and the timing for Melbourne couldn’t have been better. Unlike Sydney, Melbourne’s foundational development was captured in photographs – many of which are preserved here at the Victorian Archives Centre.

Although family portrait photography was popular with the middle class, government photographers were tasked with recording major developments like railroads, ports and new schools. The consequence of these early street landscapes is the inclusion of the average person: the newspaper seller, women rushing to work, or men on the docks. Usually nameless, government photographers were focussed on the task of capturing public projects rather than individuals. 

The camera also served a practical purpose for police departments in the late 1800s, with the emergence of forensic photography and mug shot (rogue) galleries. Today, these police photographs are significant as a time machine into the underclass of early Melbourne or, in the case of Ned Kelly, the plight of the Irish poor, or even early Chinese immigration. 

By the 20th Century the power of photos to influence behaviour began to creep into government collections. Although government photographers continued to document public works, agencies were also commissioned to shoot staged models for advertising or social campaigns, promoting anything from milk to train travel.

Today, they’re fashionable. These black and white images of early Melbourne decorate expensive note pads and tote bags. They appeal to our need for connection, bringing us together over a shared love of the place we live and a fascination with its history. 

From Mos to Mullets

When: Now showing until February 2017, Mon-Fri 10am to 4.30pm and every second and last Saturday of the month. 
Where: Victorian Archives Centre, 99 Shiel Street, North Melbourne
No bookings required, free entry. 

The next RMN to be held mid October

Basic CMYKThe next Records Management Network forum will be held at the Victorian Archives Centre, 99 Shiel St, North Melbourne on the 14th October 2016.

This RMN program will feature some of the distinguished Sir Rupert Hamer Award public offices including Department of Education and Training, Agriculture Victoria and Wannon Water.

Please RSVP by clicking on this link by 10 October 2016.

If you have further questions, please email

The full program is outlined below:

9:30am Registration

10:00am Introduction

10:10am Kieran Murphy and Richard Vines from Agriculture Victoria

Kieran Murphy leads a small Knowledge Management team within Agriculture Victoria at the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources. Richard Vines has, for over 20 years, been leading and brokering knowledge related programs, projects and consultancies, spanning industry, government, academia and the community services sector. Kieran and Richard will unpack the challenges of integrating approaches to records and knowledge management, from the perspective of a client facing business unit.

10:45am Jacinta Jubb and Alison Toohey from Wannon Water

Alison Toohey is the Records Team leader at Wannon Water and has worked in records and information management within the water industry for nine years. Jacinta Jubb is the Plans Database Administrator and has worked with Wannon Water plans for eight years. Alison and Jacinta will talk about their project to identify the best solution for Wannon Water’s outdated system, allowing the organisation to access quality information, maximise business efficiency and deliver better value for customers. Wannon Water Managing Director Andrew Jeffers said the Plans Database Project was part of the corporation’s commitment to streamline processes and become more efficient.

11:20am Morning tea

11:35am Juliette Cox from DET

Juliette Cox is the Manager, Information Strategy, Policy and Governance at the Department of Education and Training. Juliette has the responsibility for developing and implementing information strategy and related projects across the Department. Juliette will present the Department’s Enabling Collaboration and Compliance program, which was designed to enhance organisational awareness of document and records management and build a set of information tools that would make managing information easier for users.

12:10pm Alan Kong from PROV on the new PROV website 

12:15pm Justine Heazlewood, Keeper of Public Records, closing

12:20pm END


Updated Capture Standard and Specification Released

Rear view of sitting financial analyst. A huge digital screen with the range of graphs, charts, and arrow. Forex trading concept.In December 2015, Public Record Office Victoria commenced a review of the Capture Standard suite of documents

Following consultation with voluntary stakeholders, we developed a staged approach for reviewing the documents. 

As a result of the first stage, we’re pleased to release the updated PROS 11/07 Capture Standard and PROS 11/07 S3 Capture Specification. The revised documents are intended to reduce overlap and respond to new developments in the government recordkeeping environment since the previous documents were created.

We would like to thank all stakeholders who contributed to the review process.

What’s next?

The Capture Standard Refresh team have commenced the second stage of reviewing and updating the remaining capture products, which will focus on aspects of digitisation. It is anticipated that this next phase will be completed by mid-2017. 

PROV is committed to supporting best practice records management through the PROV standards continuous improvement program. If you would like any further information about the Capture Standard refresh, please contact Carly Godden, Senior Officer Legislation and Policy on 9384 5659 or email


Discover new stories of Victoria’s bushrangers at the Old Treasury Building

160811 Foyer Poster cropped again

If you thought you knew all about Victoria’s bushrangers, think again. There’s far more to it than the story of Ned Kelly.

Were they Colonial ‘Robin Hoods’ or murderous thugs?

From the 19th of September, a new exhibition at the Old Treasury Building will reveal the long history of bushranging in Victoria, with some new and little-known characters from our frontier past.

Meet the first bushrangers convicted in 1842 who were tried and executed publicly as an example to others. And the audacious gang who held up travelers on St Kilda Road in the 1850s of which William Strutt’s famous work, Bushrangers (pictured below Courtesy of the Ian Potter Museum of Art), was inspired.

Painting by William Strutt of bushrangers

At the time it was reported:

“They found themselves surrounded; guns were placed at each of their heads, and that of the horse… The attack was so outrageous, that they thought it was a joke; but as they were addressed in the most abusive language and told that their brains would be blown out if they delayed, they got out of their dray…”

Who was the Wild Colonial Boy?

the mugshot of a young James DoolanVisitors can also meet the youngest bushranger, Jack Doolan (pictured), who inspired part of the well-known bushranging song The Wild Colonial Boy

“It’s of a wild colonial boy Jack Doolan was his name
Of poor but honest parents he was born in Castlemaine
He was his father’s only hope his mother’s pride and joy
And so dearly did the parents love their wild colonial boy…
He’d rob the largest squatters, their stock he would destroy, a terror to Australia was the wild colonial boy.

Wild Colonial Boys is presented by the Old Treasury Building in partnership with Public Record Office Victoria. It features records from the state’s archives and other intriguing artefacts, including Mad Dan Morgan’s death mask from the collection of the Museum of Anatomy and Pathology at the University of Melbourne and Dan Kelly’s armour, on loan from the Police Museum.

And it asks us to think about how we see the bushrangers today. Were they indeed nineteenth century ‘Robin Hoods’ – or just common criminals? We’ll leave you to judge.

What: Wild Colonial Boys: Bushrangers in Victoria
Where: Old Treasury Building, 20 Spring Street, Melbourne.
When: From 19 September 2016 to August 2017. Open Sunday through Friday 10am-4pm (closed Saturdays).
Bookings: This is a FREE exhibition. Bookings not required. 

An exciting public program accompanies the exhibition, see for details. Visitors can also access additional digital content by downloading the ‘Layar’ app and scanning codes hidden throughout the displays.

Ned Kelly

By far the most famous of them all! Get a taste of Ned Kelly’s story (below) before you see the exhibition. Click here to open the gallery in a new window.

What do you think of our Standards and Specifications for government?

iStock_000075065811_MediumSome years ago, archives and records management professionals from across the Victorian public sector worked with PROV to develop a set of Standards and Specifications. These were then established by the Keeper of Public Records, Justine Heazlewood, as mandatory Standards under the Public Record Act (Vic) 1973.

Since then PROV has been progressively reviewing the Standards and Specifications, with valuable input from stakeholders across government, to provide appropriate guidance to agencies.

The feedback we receive in conversation with agency staff is that the Standards and Specifications are comprehensive and most of the Principles set out in the 7 Standards remain current and meaningful.

But we are also told:

  • there are a few Requirements which are repetitive, inconsistent, redundant or focus too heavily on EDRMS;
  • some of the Requirements need to vary based on the value and criticality of the records;
  • PROV should make the requirements easier to find and use by developing multiple pathways and demonstrating how they can be used in different scenarios; and
  • PROV should develop a Records Management Assessment Tool which agencies can use.

We are planning to address these issues and would like some more feedback to ensure we have a full understanding of agency perspectives and priorities.

To provide your feedback, please fill in this short survey by Friday 21 October.

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3 4 5 6 7 8* Saturday opening at 10:00 am
10 11 12* Read All About It! at 9:30 am
13 14* Records Management Network at 9:30 am
15 16
17 18 19 20* Mining the Geelong Archives at 9:30 am
21 22 23
24 25* Read All About It! at 6:00 pm
26 27 28 29* Saturday opening at 10:00 am
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