Last updated:

October 5, 2020

Victorian Premier’s History Award shortlist announced

The contributions made by Victorians who are preserving the state’s rich and diverse history are being celebrated and recognised. 

Minister for Government Services Danny Pearson has announced the 48 projects and publications that have made the shortlist for this year’s Victorian Premier’s History Award and Victorian Community History Awards. See his announcement here.

The shortlist includes books, articles, exhibitions, websites and a digital tour that tell the stories of WWII, histories of Melbourne suburbs, regional towns, Chinese and Jewish communities, the arts and the environment across Victoria. Many local historians have also adapted their projects due to the coronavirus pandemic with heritage walks designed with social distancing in mind, virtual building tours and online works. A total of 32 publications and 16 history projects have been shortlisted for prizes ranging from $500 to $2000, and all are in the running for the $5,000 Victorian Premier’s History Award major prize. Final award winners will be announced online in October as part of History Month:

Join us for the 2020 Victorian Community History Awards virtual announcement on Wednesday the 28th of October. Tune in on YouTube or Facebook at 4.30pm, and Tweet your reactions and support for all the winners using the #VCHA2020 hashtag. Let's celebrate community history together!   

Flick through photos of the shortlisted works below, or scroll further down the page to see the full list. 

Victorian Community History Awards Shortlist 2020


Victorian Community History Awards Shortlist:

History publications

A Guide to Historic St Kilda
David Willis

A Networked Community: Jewish Melbourne in the Nineteenth Century
Sue Silberberg

Annie’s War: The Story of One Boroondara Family’s Wartime Experience
Lucy Bracey and Gregory Mackay

Blood, Toil, Tears & Sweat: Remembering the Pakenham District’s WW2 Service Personnel, 1939-1945
Patrick Ferry with Wally Nye

“Bonleigh” Grand Dame, Beloved Home
Abigail Belfrage

Breaking New Ground: Biographies of Women Agricultural Science Students. University of Melbourne 1942-1965
Helen Billman-Jacobe and Ann Westmore

Clunes Cemetery, Victoria, Headstone Register 1861-2020 (Vol. 1 on Presbyterian Section)
Peter Spark

Cockatoo – Voices from the Past
Dot Griffin, Jan Shaw, Ruth South, Arthur Wintle

Cremorne Gardens, Gold-rush Melbourne, and the Victorian-era Pleasure Garden, 1853-63 in the Victorian Historical Journal
James Lesh

Democratic Adventurer: Graham Berry and the Making of Australian Politics
Sean Scalmer

Fire on the Plateau: A History of Fire and its Management in Stanley
Jacqui Durrant

Gariwerd: An Environmental History of the Grampians
Benjamin Wilkie

Geelong’s Changing Landscape: Ecology, Development and Conservation
David S. Jones and Phillip B Roös

Gita: Melbourne’s First Yoga School – 65 Years of History
Fay Woodhouse

“I am proud of them all & we all have suffered.” World War I, the Australian War Memorial and a Family in War and Peace in the Australian Journal of Biography and History
Alexandra McKinnon

In the Name of Theatre: The History, Culture and Voices of Amateur Theatre in Victoria
Cheryl Threadgold

Journeys into Chinese Australian Family History
Sophie Couchman

Maldon: A New History 1853-1928
Brian Rhule

Maurice Blackburn: Champion of the People
David Day

Mining Mud & Medals
Damien Finlayson, Clare Gervasoni, Simon Jacks, Dr Janice Newton and Dr Michael Taffe

Mogullumbidj: First People of Mount Buffalo in the Victorian Historical Journal
Jacqui Durrant

No Regard for the Truth: Friendship and Kindness. Tragedy and Injustice. Rowville’s Italian Prisoners of War
Darren Arnott

Out of the Madhouse: From Asylums to Caring Community?
Sandy Jeffs and Margaret Leggatt

Printed on Stone: The Lithographs of Charles Troedel
Amanda Scardamaglia

Solicitors and the Law Institute in Victoria 1835-2019: Pathway to a Respected Profession
Simon Smith

The Accidental Town: Castlemaine, 1851-1861
Marjorie Theobald

The Case of Eichengruen-Edwards and Continental Tyres
Andrew J. Kilsby

The Convent: A City Finds its Heart
Stuart Kells

The Invention of Melbourne: A Baroque Archbishop and a Gothic Architect
Jaynie Anderson, Max Vodola and Shane Carmody

The Totem Poles of Ouyen United: Travels in Country Footy
Paul Daffey

Visions of Victoria: The Magic of Kodachrome Film 1950-1975
Nick Anchen

When the Past Awakens: A Mother’s Pain
Maria Avraam and Helena Kidd

Woman’s Sphere Remodelled: A Spatial History of the Victorian Woman’s Christian Temperance Union 1887-1914 in the Victorian Historical Journal
Ruby Ekkel

History projects

Ask a Survivor
Jewish Holocaust Centre

Cape Otway Lightstation
WWII Memories

Cape Otway Lightstation and Victorian RAAF Radar Association

Colour and Fantasy, Australia’s First Colonial Art Potters 1896-1910
Gregory Hill

Designing a Legacy
Tim Ross

Heritage Walks for the Time of COVID-19 Social Distancing
Springthorpe Heritage Group

Jewish Holocaust Centre Virtual Tour
Lisa Phillips, Jennifer Levitt Maxwell, Robbi Simons, Gozer Studio

La Mama: The Biggest Little Theatre in Australia
Rachel Fensham and Andrew Fuhrmann

Memories of the Women’s Royal Australian Air Force 1951-1977
Jessica Ferrari, Memento Media

Misadventure in Little Lon
Emma Ramsay and Andy Yong

Montague: A Community Lost and Found
City of Port Phillip

Munitions Industry Commemoration Heritage Panels
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West

Reimagining the Women’s Mural – A Digital Tour
Her Place Women’s Museum Australia, and the Women’s Mural Documentation Project in collaboration with artists Megan Evans and Eve Glenn

Rock on Murchison
Murchison & District Historical Society

The Boite: History Through Music, Song and Story
Jen Rose, Well Chosen Words in partnership with The Boite

The POWER of Water
The History of the Kiewa Hydro Electric Scheme

Kiewa Valley Historical Society




















About the Victorian Community History Awards

Established in 1998, the Victorian Community History Awards are held annually to recognise the contributions made by Victorians in the preservation of the state’s fascinating history, published during the previous year. Presented by Public Record Office Victoria in partnership with the Royal Historical Society of Victoria, the awards 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 2020 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