Photo of Tara Oldfield

Author: Tara Oldfield

Senior Communications Advisor

Records recently added to the PROV collection include records and photographs of Mordialloc-Cheltenham Community Hospital, records of the Kingston Centre (opened in 1851 under the name of the Victorian Benevolent Asylum), West Wimmera Shire Rate Books dating back to 1875, and two series from the State Electricity Commission of Victoria dating back to 1940.   

Mordialloc-Cheltenham Community Hospital records and photographs

The Mordialloc-Cheltenham Community Hospital was opened in March 1953 in Parkdale by the then-Governor of Victoria, General Sir Reginald Alexander Dallas Brooks.

The hospital closed in 1996 at which time the Monash Medical Centre (Moorabbin campus) became the custodian of the hospital's records.  

Records now transferred to our collection include board of management minutes, general correspondence, Mentone Ladies’ Auxiliary minute books and photographs. The photographs include staff, kitchen and lunchrooms, and nurses and nursing equipment in action. 

heart monitor
Heart monitor. VPRS 19578 C1 Nursing 1969-c1995.


defib machine and 1980s waiting room
Portable ECG Defibrillator machine on the left and attractively furnished waiting room for midwifery patients and visitors. This room was renovated from funds raised by the Parkdale Ladies Auxiliary. VPRS 19578 C1 Nursing 1969-c1995.


hospital corridor
This photo is listed on back as ‘20’s corridor’. VPRS 19578 C1 Nursing 1969-c1995.

Find all Mordialloc-Cheltenham Community Hospital records and photographs in VA 1251 here. These are physical records and can be ordered and viewed in the North Melbourne reading room. 

Kingston Centre records

The Kingston Centre has had many names. The Victorian Benevolent Asylum from 1850 to 1868, the Melbourne Benevolent System up to 1924, Melbourne Benevolent Asylum and Hospital for the Aged and Infirm 1924 to 1949, Melbourne Home and Hospital for the Aged until 1965, and the Cheltenham Home and Hospital for the Aged from 1965 to 1970. On 21 October 1970, the hospital was renamed the Kingston Centre.

Back when it first opened as the Benevolent Asylum, it was the only building standing in North Melbourne, bordered by Abbotsford, Elm, Curzon and Miller Streets. The foundation stone was laid by Superintendent La Trobe. By 1909 the institution was on the move, with foundations laid in Cheltenham. New buildings were added to the Cheltenham site in the 1960s.

The Kingston Centre currently provides integrated aged care services including cognitive dementia and memory services, clinics for falls and balance, and treatments for continence, pain, dental and movement. 

Records now in our collection include annual reports, correspondence, minutes and report books, staff registers, visitors book and newsletters. The matron’s book, dated 1953-1959, features pages of handwritten, dated, descriptions of the running of the institution. Dated 23.9.54:

“Last week some members of the Hawthorn branch of the C.W.A visited here and distributed pots of home made jam and a few dozen handkerchiefs to some of the womens’ wards. They were greatly impressed with the place and intend making further visits…The work of the hospital seems to be going along smoothly and I am pleased to report that the staff position still remains satisfactory.”

hand flipping through a diary
Matron’s book, VPRS 19722 C1 Box 1.

Find all Kingston records in VA 1278 here. These are physical records and can be ordered and viewed in the North Melbourne reading room. 

West Wimmera Shire rate books

Rate books from the Shire of Kowree, one of the predecessor councils to West Wimmer Shire, dated from 1875 to 1957 are now a part of our collection. These are physical records and can be ordered and viewed in the North Melbourne reading room, with digitised copies to be added to the PROV website soon.

You can find these rate books at VA 3724 here.

Kowree became a shire in 1872, surviving until 1995 when it was merged to create the West Wimmera. It was bordered by the Glenelg River and the Little Desert, covering 5379 sq km. When it was merged, 66 per cent of its land was occupied by farming.

State Electricity Commission of Victoria letter books

Letters books (pictured at top) and a card index to the letter books, from the Mt Beauty office of the State Electricity Commission, are now in our collection, as physical records available to order and view in the North Melbourne reading room. 

The letter books are dated by month and year, with each book generally spanning one to three months. The volumes are thick, with the letters comprising various outgoing correspondence ranging from staff matters to supply of work gear.

The letter books can be found under VPRS 19607 here. 
And the index can be found at VPRS 19608 here. 

The State Electricity Commission was first established in 1918 as a government electricity company developed to “free Victoria from its reliance on imported fuel.” The Commission was disbanded in the 1990s but returned last year to “speed up Victoria’s transition to renewable energy.” 

Material in the Public Record Office Victoria archival collection contains words and descriptions that reflect attitudes and government policies at different times which may be insensitive and upsetting

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples should be aware the collection and website may contain images, voices and names of deceased persons.

PROV provides advice to researchers wishing to access, publish or re-use records about Aboriginal Peoples