Last updated:

October 25, 2021

The Victorian Community History Awards are presented by Public Record Office Victoria and the Royal Historical Society of Victoria to recognise the work of individuals and organisations that preserve and share Victoria’s history. 

The 2021 Victorian Community History Awards shortlist

The shortlisted publications and projects have been announced. View the full list as a PDF here or in the table below. 

The 2021 nominees tell stories ranging from war and industry, to pandemics, sport and murder, and include biographies, articles, feature-length documentaries and interactive digital experiences.

The rich histories of Aboriginal and LGBTIQ+ people across Victoria feature prominently in the shortlist, alongside many untold stories, including the hidden past of Little Lon in Melbourne and the fishing families of Queenscliff. Projects also explore the histories of major Indigenous cultural leader Bill Onus, prominent Goldfields businesswoman Fanny Finch, bookseller EW Cole, and the last man to be legally executed in Victoria, Ronald Ryan.

All shortlisted nominees are up for prizes ranging from $500 to $2,000 – with one to be named the winner of the $5,000 Victorian Premier’s History Award.

Final award winners will be announced 4.30pm 27 October on YouTube as part of History Month. 

History publications History projects

Albert Pompey Austin: A Man Between Two Worlds 
Roy Hay 

The Architecture of Manufacturing: Design for Making in Post-War Victoria in the RMIT Design Archives Journal
Philip Goad 

Blak Cook Book: New Cultural Perspectives on Cooks’ Cottage (A Set of Provocations) 
Clare Land, Paola Balla, Kate Golding, Letterbox, City of Melbourne 

Changing Fortunes – Ebb and Flow of People and Place in a Pocket of Port Melbourne 
David F. Radcliffe

‘The Dreaded Pneumonic Influenza Has Made its Appearance Amongst Us’: The Influenza Pandemic of 1918-19 in Gippsland, Victoria in the Australian Historical Studies Journal 
Erik Eklund, Federation University Australia 

Dwellers of Fisherman’s Flat 
Maggie Stowers 

Family History and the Long View of the Great War in the Victorian Historical Journal
Fiona Gatt 

For the Fallen: The 1921-1922 Melbourne Public Library Mural Competition within the setting of Decorative Painting in Australian Art 
Paul Paffen

A History of LGBTIQ+ Victoria in 100 Places and Objects  
Graham Willett, Angela Bailey, Timothy W Jones & Sarah Rood (For Australian Queer Archives)

In the Eye of the Storm: Volunteers and Australia’s Response to the HIV/AIDS Crisis
Robert Reynolds, Shirleene Robinson, Paul Sendziuk

In the Shadow of the Prom 
Michael McCarthy 

Jas A Munro & Co: The Largest Garage in Melbourne 
Ian Berg 

Kurrburra (Koala) the Boonwurrung Wirrirrap and Bard (1797-1849) – A Man of High Degree in the Australian Journal of Biography and History 
Ian D. Clark, Rolf Schlagloth, Fred (David) Cahir, Gabrielle McGinnis

Labassa: House of Dreams 
Vicki Shuttleworth (for the National Trust of Australia VIC)

Little Lon 
Andrew Kelly, Illustrators Heather Potter and Mark Jackson

Made in Lancashire: A Collective Biography of Assisted Migrants from Lancashire to Victoria 1852-1853 
Richard Turner 

One Hundred Years in the Making: Box Hill RSL 1920-2020 
Steven Cooke

On Taungurung Land: Sharing History and Culture 
Roy Henry Patterson, Jennifer Jones 

Places of Reconciliation: Commemorating Indigenous History in the Heart of Melbourne 
Sarah Pinto 

Save Our Sons: Women, Dissent and Conscription During the Vietnam War
Carolyn Collins

The Rise and Fall of Lady Gillott in Melbourne’s Turn-of-the-Century Society in the Victorian Historical Journal
Barbara Minchinton 

Under the Rainbow: The Life and Times of EW Cole 
Richard Broinowski 

Victoria’s Transgender History 
Noah Riseman and Transgender Victoria 

Ablaze – A Feature Documentary 
Alec Morgan, Tiriki Onus, Tom Zubrycki 

Beats, Ballads and Ballrooms: Darebin Live Music Venues 1955-2020 
Iain McIntyre, Kirstyn Lindsay, Teishan Ahearne 

COVID Kids Oral History Project 
Way Back When Consulting Historians 

Eastern Market Murder 
Emma Ramsay and Andy Yong (True Crime Games)

End of an Era: The Last Gippsland Lakes Fishermen 
Lynda Mitchelson-Twigg, representing the Gippsland Lakes Commercial Fishing Community, assisted by Nikki Henningham, Leigh Henningham, Tanya King, Donna Squire and Geoff Stanton 

Finding Fanny Finch 
Bill Garner and Sue Gore (Commonplace Productions) with Kacey Sinclair, Alice Garner, Pat Furze and the Band Friends of Wendy Cotton 

The Geelong Honours Them Project 
Geelong Regional Library Corporation – Geelong Heritage Centre 

A Miscarriage of Justice 
Atalanti Dionysus / Atalanti Films 

On the Land: Our Story Retold 
National Wool Museum, City of Greater Geelong 

Ordinary People in Extraordinary Circumstances: “The Missing” 
Fred Cahir, Lucinda Horrocks & Jary Nemo with Federation University, Wind & Sky Productions, Australian Red Cross Society and Ballarat RSL 

Stories of Chinese ANZAC and Chinese Australian WWII Soldiers 
Museum of Chinese Australian History 

Through Childhood Eyes: Hidden Stories of World War Two 
Way Back When Consulting Historians, Russell Goldsmith, and City of Port Phillip 

Understanding Through Testimony 
Jewish Holocaust Centre 

Unmasked: Celebrating Nursing and Midwifery, Victoria and Beyond   
Her Place Women’s Museum Australia with Dr Madonna Grehan, Professor Odette Best and Penelope Lee 

Victorian CEDT Index 
Chinese Australian Family Historians of Victoria (CAFHOV)

Wadawurrung Country 
Wadawurrung Aboriginal Corporation and National Wool Museum


Images of the shortlisted projects

Vcha entries


About the Awards

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

The 2021 award categories include:

  • Victorian Premier's History Award ($5000 prize)
  • Collaborative Community History Award ($2000)
  • Local History Project Award ($2000)
  • History Publication Award ($2000)
  • Local History - Small Publication Award (1500)
  • Community Diversity Award ($1500)
  • Digital Storytelling Award ($1500)
  • Historical Interpretation Award ($1500)
  • Oral History Award presented in collaboration with Oral History Victoria ($1500)
  • History Article Award ($500)

For more information, call the Royal Historical Society of Victoria on 03 9326 9288 or email

The Victorian Community History Awards are supported by the Victorian Government through the Community Support Fund.