Photo of Tara Oldfield

Author: Tara Oldfield

Senior Communications Advisor

colour photo of the avenue of memories book cover

An impressive book that tells the story of Ballarat’s Avenue of Honour and Arch of Victory has earned top prize at the Victorian Community History Awards today, Monday 14 October. 

Historian Phil Roberts was awarded the Victorian Premier’s History Award for his book Avenue of Memories in a ceremony at the Arts Centre Melbourne, with Chloe Hooper and David Sornig taking out 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. It’s about the ongoing dedication of the entire Ballarat community to continue to honour those who served. The judges described the book as an example of “community history at its best.”

Other winning entries included 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 about Italians in Ballarat and an exhibition about renowned civil engineer Carlo Catani from the Co. AS. IT Italian Historical Society. 

The Victorian Community History Awards are presented by Public Record Office Victoria in partnership with the Royal Historical Society of Victoria, and are funded by the Victorian Government. A major event of History Week, the annual Awards recognise the work of individuals and organisations committed to telling stories of Victoria’s diverse local history in a variety of ways. 

This year’s event was attended by 220 writers, historians and community history makers with speeches by Richard Broome (President, Royal Historical Society of Victoria), Catherine Andrews, and our keynote speaker Lyn Gallacher from ABC Radio National who spoke about oral history including her recent work with an award-winning project from last year, Secrets of the Mallacoota Bunker

The awards were presented by Judy Maddigan (President, Public Records Advisory Council), and Catherine Andrews presented Phil Roberts with the Victorian Premier's History Award. 

The 2019 Victorian Community History Award winners are:

Victorian Premier’s History Award
Avenue of Memories
Phil Roberts, published by the Arch of Victory/Avenue of Honour Committee

Judges’ Special Prizes
The Arsonist: A Mind On Fire
Chloe Hooper, published by Hamish Hamilton/Penguin

Blue Lake: Finding Dudley Flats and the West Melbourne Swamp
David Sornig, published by Scribe

Collaborative Community History Award
Mont Park to Springthorpe Heritage Project
Springthorpe Heritage Group 

Local History Project Award
When Roads Were Tracks: A History of the Roads of Monbulk, Kallista, The Patch and Sherbrooke
Jill A’Vard and Armin Richter, published by the Monbulk Historical Society

History Publication Award
The Blackburns: Private Lives, Public Ambition
Carolyn Rasmussen, published by Melbourne University Press

Local History – Small Publication Award
More Than Just Housing: The South Port Community Housing Group Story 1983-2018
Beris Campbell, Janet Goodwin, Heather McKee and editor Helen Penrose, published by the South Port Community Housing Group

Cultural Diversity Award
La Nostra Storia: The Story of Italians in Ballarat
Jan McGuinness, published by the Ballarat Italian Association

Multimedia History Award
If These Walls Could Talk: Ballarat Town Hall Audio Tour
City of Ballarat and Way Back When

Historical Interpretation Award
Carlo Catani: Visionary, Creator, Genius 
Exhibition by the CO.AS. IT Italian Historical Society

Oral History Award
Black Saturday: Not the End of the Story
Peg Fraser, published by Monash University Publishing


For more information go to the Community History Awards section of our website here.

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