Last updated:

15 October 2019

A book that tells the story of Ballarat’s famed Avenue of Honour and Arch of Victory has earned the top gong at the Victorian Community History Awards.

Historian Phil Roberts was awarded the Victorian Premier’s History Award for his book Avenue of Memories in a ceremony at the Arts Centre on the 14th of October.

Chloe Hooper and David Sornig took out the Judges’ Prizes for their respective, highly acclaimed books, The Arsonist and Blue Lake.

Avenue of Memories was produced to mark the centenary of Ballarat’s Arch of Victory and Avenue of Honour, which runs for 22 kilometres and is considered the longest avenue of its kind in Australia.

Close to 4,000 trees were planted on the avenue to pay tribute to the 3,912 men and women from the district who served in World War One, 528 of whom died.

The judges described the book as an example of “community history at its best”.

Another winning entry was The Blackburns by Carolyn Rasmussen about Maurice and Doris Blackburn’s lives and impact on Australia from their community activism to civil rights and benefits for working men and women.

La Nostra Storia, a book about Italians in Ballarat and an exhibition about renowned civil engineer Carlo Catani from the CO. AS. IT Italian Historical Society were also on the winner’s list.

The Victorian Community History Awards recognise the work of individuals and organisations that keep Victoria’s history alive by acknowledging those who work to preserve it.

The full list of winners is available here.

Photos from the ceremony will be available on our Flickr page later today.

Quotes attributable to Special Minister of State Gavin Jennings

“This year’s stories are wonderful reminders of how communities can come together in times of crisis and how individuals can transform our lives for the better – this is Victoria’s rich and diverse history.”

“I congratulate all of this year’s winners for telling these remarkable stories and ensuring our shared history is not forgotten.”

Quote attributable to Public Record Office Director Justine Heazlewood

“Congratulations to all the winners, particularly the many volunteers who give up their precious time and creative talents to tell and share important stories and perspectives of local Victorian history.”

Quote attributable to Royal Historical Society Victoria President Emeritus Professor Richard Broome

“Our best wishes go to all participants – we’re celebrating the 21st year of a much-esteemed community history competition that is unique in Australia.”

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