Public Record Office Victoria announce the 2014 Victorian Community History Award winners
20 October, 2014
As part of History Week celebrations, Public Record Office Victoria today honours the winners of the 2014 Victorian Community History Awards.
The annual Awards, funded by the Victorian government, and coordinated by the Public Record Office of Victoria recognise the people and projects that helped preserve and share Victoria’s history in 2014. The Awards have grown since their conception in 1999 and this year they attracted a record 167 entrants over eight categories.
The overall prize was awarded to an impressive publication which celebrates Australia’s gardening culture. Anne Vale’s, Exceptional Australian Garden Makers is a thoroughly researched book which explores the global influence on Australian garden styles and trends over the past two centuries and the pioneers who shaped them. It beautifully illustrates the adaptability of early gardeners to merge European styles with the dry yet beautiful Australian landscape.
Other winners include an exhibition showcasing the history of the Mornington Peninsula, an interactive website which invites users to explore the history of the buildings and people of John St, Lilydale, and a personal memoir on the challenges of maintaining identity following the Black Saturday bushfires.
This year’s winner of the local history project category will be of particular interest to historians. Marguerita Stephens has published the first transcription of William Thomas’ diaries, the Assistant Protector of the Aborigines of Port Phillip Victoria 1839-1867, an important resource on early Victorian history.
Minister for the Arts, Heidi Victoria MP said the Awards highlighted the importance of local history in shaping Victoria’s identity.
“Our identity as Victorians is shaped by our collective stories and experiences. These Awards recognise and celebrate the passionate community historians who are dedicated to researching and sharing local stories and in doing so, supporting all Victorians connect with the past,” Ms Victoria said.
This year honours a range of projects including exhibitions, history publications, phone apps, websites and DVDs. By interpreting our stories in different ways we will continue to attract new audiences and keep Victoria’s rich history alive.
Justine Heazlewood, Director and Keeper of Public Records, Public Record Office Victoria congratulates the winners of this years award.
“Many of these projects utilised local historical collections to help preserve and tell stories. It highlights the importance of local collections in shaping our State’s history,” said Ms Heazlewood.
The Victorian Community History Awards are managed by Public Record Office Victoria in partnership with the Royal Historical Society of Victoria.
Rebecca Young, Media Advisor, 03 9348 5722 / 0418 698 364 / email@example.com
Kate Follington, Co-ordinator Communications, 0412 328 632
Victorian Community History Award ($5000) – Anne Vale
Exceptional Australian Garden Makers
This beautifully presented book is an overview of garden history that reinforces the importance of gardens and gardening in Australian life and culture. Vale explores the major influences on Australian gardening and designs. Particularly from significant individuals like Ferdinand von Mueller to the present and the enormous literature to which many of them contributed. She researched in depth the early women gardeners who have largely been unrecognized for their influence over domestic and public gardens.
Local History Project Award ($2000) – Marguerita Stephens
The Journal of William Thomas, Assistant Protector of the Aborigines of Port Phillip & Guardian of the Aborigines of Victoria 1839-1867, 4 volumes
The diaries of William Thomas have long been recognised as an important source for contact history, For the first time, these four volumes make Thomas’ hand written diaries accessible and easy to interpret. Each volume is annotated and indexed and the fourth volume collects language material from Thomas and others. Overall this is an enormously useful publication which will have a big impact anyone wanting to research Aboriginal history.
Historical Interpretation Award ($2000) – Friends of La Trobe’s Cottage
The Garden at La Trobe’s Cottage, Kings Domain, Melbourne
This is an intriguing historical project – the recreation of the garden that surrounded Charles and Sophie La Trobe’s Jolimont cottage 1839-1854. While the cottage is not on its original site, contemporary paintings and references from written sources have been used to discover, and as closely as possible duplicate, the original plantings including a number of heritage species and garden features.
Multimedia History Award ($2000) – Lilydale & District Historical Society Inc.
Gun Alley: The Forgotten Story of Lilydale’s Back Streets 1880 to today
This remarkable website is the result of an ambitious project to capture online the history of the people and buildings in John Street, Lilydale. The website is cleverly designed, its various layers enabling the viewer to select a time period and then delve into the history of individual properties and their residents through a combination of maps, images, interviews and other presentations.
Judges’ Special Prize ($1000) – Mornington Peninsula Local History Network and Lavender Hill Multimedia
Postcards: Stories from the Mornington Peninsula (DVD)
This travelling exhibition and DVD brings together stories from eight local historical societies. Each society focused on a local heritage theme, for example the development of holiday attractions and local industries in the Mornington Peninsula.
History Publication Award ($2000) – Robert Kenny
Gardens of Fire: an investigative memoir
This book is a moving account of the authors experiences during and after the devastating Black Saturday bushfires of 2009 in the small central Victorian community of Redesdale. The book focuses on the author’s experiences of the bushfires and the rebuilding process and includes reflections of the consequences of loss of identity. The book also includes discussions on the nature of fire in Australian ecosystems, history, society and culture.
Local History – Small Publication Award ($1500) – Margaret Bowman
Cultured Colonists: George Alexander Gilbert and His Family, Settlers in Port Phillip
This book follows the life of artist and teacher, George Gilbert and his family who arrived in Melbourne in 1841. By using a wide range of sources the author traces the lives of these ‘cultured colonists’ as they make their way in the developing society of Port Phillip, Victoria in the 1840s and 1850s.
Collaborative Community History Award ($2000) – Gerry Robinson and friends
From Apples…To Coffee, the first 90 years of the Heathmont shopping centre, 1923-2013
This book, the result of collaboration between the author and a group of four friends, focuses on the Heathmont shopping centre and tracks its development from 1923; post World War Two all the way up to 2013. The book includes photos, paintings, newspaper clippings and more to tell the story of the Heathmont area and its people over the past 90 years.