Last updated:

October 27, 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 

The 2021 shortlist was announced in September with final winners announced via a video presentation on the 27th of October 2021. 

Tiriki Onus, Alec Morgan and Tom Zubrycki were awarded the Victorian Premier’s History Award for their documentary Ablaze. Ablaze tells the history of the first Aboriginal filmmaker William 'Bill' Onus and traces the origins of 1940s footage found within the National Film and Sound Archive. The award judges described the documentary as a “superbly researched and charmingly narrated film that makes an important contribution to Victorian history not only because it retrieves the voice and the resilience of Bill Onus, but also because it shows how he was sometimes misunderstood and often thwarted. This film prompts reflection and is history at its best.”

Other winners included:
Judges' Special Prize winners For the Fallen: The 1921-1922 Melbourne Public Library Mural Competition within the setting of Decorative Painting in Australian Art by Paul Paffen AND Under the Rainbow: The Life and Times of EW Cole by Richard Broinowski 
History Publication Award winner In the Shadow of the Prom by Michael McCarthy 
Local History Small Publication Award winner Places of Reconciliation: Commemorating Indigenous History in the Heart of Melbourne by Sarah Pinto 
Community Diversity Award winner On Taungurung Land: Sharing History and Culture by Uncle Roy Henry Patterson and Jennifer Jones
Digital Storytelling Award winner A Miscarriage of Justice by Atalanti Dionysus / Atalanti Films 
Collaborative Community History Award winner A History of LGBTIQ+ Victoria in 100 Places and Objects by Graham Willett, Angela Bailey, Timothy W Jones & Sarah Rood (For Australian Queer Archives)
Oral History Award winner End of an Era: The Last Gippsland Lakes Fishermen by Lynda Mitchelson-Twigg, representing the Gippsland Lakes Commercial Fishing Community, assisted by Nikki Henningham, Leigh Henningham, Tanya King, Donna Squire and Geoff Stanton 
Local History Project Award winner Victorian CEDT Index by Chinese Australian Family Historians of Victoria (CAFHOV)
Historical Interpretation Award winner Finding Fanny Finch by Commonplace Productions (Bill Garner and Sue Gore) with Kacey Sinclair, Alice Garner, Pat Furze and the Band Friends of Wendy Cotton 
History Article Award winner The Rise and Fall of Lady Gillott in Melbourne’s Turn-of-the-Century Society by Barbara Minchinton 

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.