Community Grants and Awards, Public Record Office Victoria

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COMMUNITY GRANTS AND AWARDS Public Record Office Victoria


Cover: Yallourn Primary School, 1939, Yallourn Association

DISCOVER YOUR LOCAL HISTORY Public Record Office Victoria is the archives of the State Government of Victoria. We hold almost 100kms of records from the mid 1830s to today which we manage for use by the people of Victoria. The Collection includes memories of events and decisions great and small that have shaped the history of the State of Victoria. The archives feature a vast array of records of immigration and shipping, criminal trials and prisons, wills and probate, health and welfare and much, much more. Public Record Office Victoria offers a range of funding to support Victorian community groups to preserve their local history and heritage. Our long-running Local History Grants Program supports community groups to interpret and care for their community’s history. This program provides small grants to community organisations to support the cost of any project that preserves, records or publishes Victorian local history. The Victorian Community History Awards recognise the outstanding work of community groups in the preservation of Victoria’s history. Public Record Office Victoria encourages you, the researcher, to utilise the State’s archival collection to find inspiration for your own projects. You never know, you may uncover your very own history within the archives. To see whether our collection can help you with your project visit or check out our events calendar for information on research seminars and training to help you delve deeper. For instant updates, become our friend on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.



LOCAL HISTORY GRANTS PROGRAM Victoria has a rich and diverse history with significant local collections scattered across the State, often cared for by local community organisations and each holding a wealth of stories waiting to be told. The Local History Grants Program provides small grants aimed at supporting local communities to fund the cost of projects that preserve, record, publish and present the history and heritage of our State. Open to not-for-profit community organisations throughout Victoria, the Program recognises the invaluable contribution made by volunteers and community groups to preserve and share our history within their local communities. The Program funds a vast variety of local history projects, encouraging communities to connect with their history in innovative and engaging ways including oral, written, and published histories; digitisation and multimedia projects; and specialist conservation work.


The Program is administered by Public Record Office Victoria who distributes $350,000 each year. Applications are assessed by an independent judging panel and their recommendations for funding are approved by the Minister for the Arts.


Blak Side Story

Footscray Community Arts Centre Multimedia and oral history project

Blak Side Story is a multimedia exhibition exploring contemporary Aboriginal identity and traditional stories reflecting the Indigenous community in Melbourne’s western suburbs. Participants from a range of backgrounds and ages were asked: ‘What does it mean to you to be Aboriginal?’ Local community Elders were also invited to share a story of significance that speaks to their relationship with the land. The responses were filmed and digitally sewn together to create a virtual quilt presenting a patchwork of voices and experiences exploring the heritage and aspirations of the local Indigenous community. The outcome also included an exhibition consisting of a series of photographic portraits. This project used digital media to capture and share stories about Indigenous identity in a contemporary urban context. Through their website, Blak Side Story enhances access to the experiences, perspectives and rich heritage of the Indigenous community in Melbourne’s western suburbs, offering an important record for future generations. The project was created and produced in partnership with Singing Bowl Media, and presented in association with Moondani Balluk at Victoria University. Interact online at

For further information about the Local History Grants Program and to join the mailing list to receive updates visit

Opening Blak Side Story 30 June 2011, Rachel Main.

Blak Side Story, Photos by Rachel Main.




Scene from race meeting at Manangatang, 1950s.

Manangatang Improvement Group Published history project

Made famous by the catchcry ‘They’re racing at Manangatang’, the history and resilience of this small Victorian Mallee township is celebrated in the publication Manangatang. The Manangatang Improvement Group partnered with author Adam McNicol to research, write and publish Manangatang to help commemorate the town’s centenary in April 2011.

Author Adam McNicol at book launch. Source: Adam Wells.

The book successfully depicts the cycles of remote rural life, including agricultural boom and bust periods. Tales of endurance and prosperity are told through personal anecdotes and provide an important record of Manangatang’s social history. The book chronicles the settlement of the region, the steady growth of the town following the establishment of soldier settlements in the post World War One period and adversity inflicted from years of drought and crop failure. Through these accounts the community spirit of the people and characters of Manangatang are told.


Although Manangatang has a population of less than 300 people, the project demonstrates that in spite of its size and diminishing number of residents, the town’s character remains robust and inspiring.

Manangatang front cover. Source: Phil Campbell.

Striking photographs of Manangatang’s rural landscapes and its residents, both past and present, are interspersed throughout the book and provide a photographic record of the town and its changes through the years.

Wattle Street, Manangatang 1959.



Our Journey

Members of the Association recorded oral histories, collected archival footage, photographs and documents to help tell this important story.

The Association of Turkish Cypriots Abroad Multimedia documentary Our Journey is a multimedia documentary detailing the stories and experiences of Turkish Cypriots who migrated from Cyprus to Melbourne. Produced by the Association of Turkish Cypriots Abroad, the project captured and shared migration stories of the Turkish Cypriot community and their contributions to the fabric of Australian culture. Members of the Association recorded oral histories, collected archival footage, photographs and documents to help tell this important story. The project provided learning opportunities for younger members of the Australian Turkish Cypriot community who gained skills in documentary production, filming, sound editing and post production. This participation also facilitated an enhanced understanding of their own heritage and culture.

Turkish Cypriots involved in the multicultural Moomba Parade in 1961, The Association of Turkish Cypriots Abroad.


Turkish Cypriots congregating at the banks of the Yarra River in the early 1950s before establishing the first Turkish organisation at Rathdowne Street in Carlton in 1956, The Association of Turkish Cypriots Abroad.

Cyprus Turkish Islamic Society Mosque in Sunshine (also known as the Sunshine Mosque), The Association of Turkish Cypriots Abroad.



Virtual Yallourn Yallourn Association Interactive Website

Virtual Yallourn is an interactive website which encourages users to explore this once bustling Victorian township. Constructed between the 1920s and 1950s to house employees of the State Electricity Commission of Victoria, Yallourn was demolished in the early 1980s to make way for further mining. Through an interactive online map, users can explore the town and visit former streets and houses. Past residents are encouraged to contribute personal reflections and upload content such as photographs and documents. Oral histories also provide a first-hand account of life in Yallourn including interviews with former residents about the town’s eventual demise. The website has become an important repository of information where memories are shared, people can connect and the history of Yallourn is recorded. Importantly, future generations now have the ability to see what Yallourn once looked like and how the townspeople lived.

The project is the brainchild of the Yallourn Association who sought to develop a place where former residents could share their memories and preserve the history of Yallourn for present and future generations.

La Trobe Avenue Yallourn, Yallourn Association.


Interact online at

Corner Garden Street and Railway Avenue 1925, Yallourn Association.

SEC typists, c1960s, Yallourn Association.




Audio Tours of Local History 3CR Community Radio Audio Tours

3CR Community Radio’s audio tours focus on Melbourne’s social, activist and cultural past and offer an innovative way to share local history. Available online and as podcasts, the Audio Tours of Local History are accessible to a global audience.

Sleep is my friend. Photo by PC from Tom Sevil’s tour of Carlton lesser known street art, 2009.

Local History Grant applications are judged against the assessment criteria, as well as against other applications seeking funding. To help you submit the best possible application, Public Record Office Victoria has practical information available online including:

Listeners can explore local areas and discover hidden histories including sites of anti-eviction battles in Brunswick during the Great Depression; Carlton’s backstreets and alleyways; the history of the Maribyrnong River; and one musician’s journey of musical inspiration.

– Useful Resources – Guidelines – Sample Application

The diverse subject matter of the audio tours is designed to appeal to a wide audience. Told from the personal perspectives of the audio guides, the tours are insightful and share individual stories about local places. Despite the different interpretations there is one thing that all the tours have in common – people telling stories.


Have a listen at

We encourage you to check it out!

HOW TO APPLY Tom Sevil, tour guide. 3CR Audio Tours of Local History.

Canada Lane street art, 3CR Audio Tours of Local History.

For details about how to apply for our grants or awards and to join our mailing list visit


VICTORIAN COMMUNITY HISTORY AWARDS Established in 1997, the Victorian Community History Awards are held annually to recognise the contributions made by Victorians in the preservation of the State’s fascinating history. Presented 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 understand and celebrate their past. History can be interpreted and shared in a range of formats with the aim of reaching and enriching a broad audience. This is reflected through the diversity of the Awards categories which encourage nominations for innovative projects by groups and individuals from across the State.


For further information about the Victorian Community History Awards


Mameloshn: How Yiddish Made a Home in Melbourne The Jewish Museum of Australia Exhibition

Mameloshn documented the journey of Eastern European Jews who came to Melbourne to recreate their lives before and after the Second World War. The exhibition featured almost 200 items, with the majority of works on display for the first time. Half of the items came from the Jewish Museum of Australia’s collection and were complemented with works from private community lenders and organisations. The exhibition featured a variety of readings from Yiddish literature available through iPads; audio recordings of various Yiddish dialects, relating accent to place in Europe; a continuous soundscape which traced the evolution of the Yiddish language through song; and four commissioned films featuring interviews with Yiddish-speaking community members. These interviews and visual oral histories were complemented by photographs, documents and other footage reinforcing that Yiddish continues to be a living language connected to a vibrant community. The exhibition was created in consultation with a committee which included writer Arnold Zable, historian Andrew Markus and klezmer musician Freydi Mrocki.

In 2011, Mameloshn won a Victorian Community History Award in the Best Exhibit or Multimedia category.

Mameloshn: How Yiddish made a home in Melbourne, The Jewish Museum of Australia.



Discover the Other Side of the Tracks in Flemington Flemington Association Inc Self Guided Walking Tour

Each year thousands of people converge on the Flemington Train Station en-route to Flemington Racecourse. Many of these visitors never venture beyond the racecourse to discover the rich history and fascinating stories that await them on the other side of the tracks. Discover the Other Side of the Tracks in Flemington was born from a desire to stimulate local interest in the history of Flemington through a self-guided walking tour.

56 Baroda Street, Travancore 1921. Photo by John Dickie.

Produced by the Flemington Association Inc, the interpretive brochure directs the self-guided walk through Flemington, Newmarket and Travancore covering significant heritage sites and local features. Users can either follow the mapped route, or choose their own adventure discovering historic landmarks along the way. Flemington Association Inc received a commendation in the category of Best Walk/Tour in the 2011 Victorian Community History Awards for this project.


Download the walking guide and let your feet go where your imagination takes you!

The “Doot” – Doutta Galla Hotel. Photo by John Dickie.

The former Newmarket Saleyards Administration Building, Racecourse Road c1903. Photo by John Dickie.

The former Girdwood Hygienic Library (now Pepper Cafe) at 44 Pinoak Crescent, Flemington. Photo by John Dickie.

Produced by the Flemington Association Inc, the interpretive brochure directs the self-guided walk through Flemington, Newmarket and Travancore covering significant heritage sites and local features.



Casting the Net – Pioneer Fishing Families of the Gippsland Coast

Lakes Entrance Family History Resource Centre Oral history and multimedia project Casting the Net is an history project created by the Lakes Entrance Family History Resource Centre. The personal stories and images showcase the rich history of the fishing industry in the Gippsland Lakes district, and provide an important glimpse into the past. The project celebrates the pioneers of one of Australia’s most important commercial fisheries. Through the reflections of members of founding fishing families we gain a sense of the lives and characters who fished the waterways. Their voices speak of the challenges and hardships associated with an industry dependant upon the weather, their ingenuity, triumphs and the cycles of change. An historical overview of the early fishing industry provides context to the individual memories which are complemented by historic photographs, maps and drawings. As the viewer, you cannot help but imagine what life was like for the pioneers who cast their nets upon the Gippsland Lakes and feel grateful that their memories and stories have been recorded and shared.

Fishing boat, Cunningham Post Office Jetty, 1910. Lakes Entrance Family History Resource Centre Incorporated.

Fishermen opposite Mosquito Point, Metung c.1890s, showing wicker fish baskets used in the late 1800s. Lakes Entrance Family History Resource Centre Incorporated.


In 2003 Casting the Net was awarded a Victorian Community History Award in the category of Best Audio Visual Multimedia project. The project comprised four components including a book, interactive CD Rom, audio CD and cassette.

The project celebrates the pioneers of one of Australia’s most important commercial fisheries.

Fishermen opposite Mosquito Point, Metung c.1890s, showing wicker fish baskets used in the late 1800s. Lakes Entrance Family History Resource Centre Incorporated.

To find out more about Grants and Awards at Public Record Office Victoria visit and uncover your local history. FIND US Victorian Archives Centre 99 Shiel Street North Melbourne 10am–4.30pm Monday to Friday (and the second and last Saturday of the month) Ballarat Archives Centre Cnr Mair and Doveton Streets Ballarat 9.30am–4.30pm Mondays and Tuesdays Old Treasury Building 1 Spring Street Melbourne 10am–4pm Sunday to Friday Entry is free.

CONTACT US 03 9348 5600