The First Fleet Fellowship Victoria Inc. is an historical society formed in 1984 to provide an association for all those people who have ancestors who arrived in Australia in 1788 aboard one of the ships of the First Fleet.
The aim of the First Fleet Fellowship Victoria Inc. is to promote the social, cultural and historical important and significance of the settlement and establishment of modern Australia and to promote caring fellowship within all segments of the Australian community. It also communicates with other societies and associations with kindred aims and interests.
General Members Nights are held on alternate months, from February to December, in the meeting room, at Mission to Seafarers Victoria, 717 Flinders Street Melbourne. The evening begins at 7.30 pm with a guest speaker following a short business meeting. Supper and time for catching up with friends concludes the evening. Fundraising efforts have contributed to the establishment of a comprehensive library which is available for borrowing by members on Members Nights.
WITHIN THE COMMUNITY!
The First Fleet Fellowship attends many public functions, most often in costumes appropriate to the period. A trailor has been fitted out to be taken to these functions and a display tent can be assembled by members. The display tent contains maps, charts and photographs for viewing by the public. Members are available to answer questions about the First Fleet or genealogy in general.
Participating in Australia Day functions is a highlight of the First Fleeters calendar and the First Fleet Fellowship Victoria Inc was a keen supporter for the Australia Day holiday and celebrations to be held each year on the 26 January.
OUTSIDE THE COMMUNITY!
Many interstate trips have been organised for members of the First Fleet Fellowship to participate in. Some of these trips include a visit to Sydney for the Bicentenary Celebrations and to Hobart for the unveiling of a cairn commemorating First Fleeters who went to Norfolk Island then resettled in Tasmania. Members have travelled as far as Norfolk Island to celebrate the landing there of Philip Gidley King and other members of the First Fleet. It also allowed members to further their research and to identify land held by their ancestors during the first settlement of the Island.
Members of the Fellowship have participated in re-enactments at Sorrento Victoria with the replica of the sailing ship the 'Lady Nelson'. This area being the first white settlement in Victoria. When the replica of Captain Cook's sailing vessel 'H.M. Barque Endeavour' visited Melbourne on good will visits, members were able to become voluntary guides. With the Fellowship's close ties to the Polly Woodside Maritime Park members join in with their special days. For Australia Remembers, the First Fleet Fellowship donated a bronze plaque to commemorate Polly Woodside (Rona's) war service in New Guinea. From 1993 until 2001, the Fellowship was a member of the Living Past Association Inc. along with other Victorian historical and re-enactment groups. Many enjoyable re-enactments were attended during this period. A yearly event arranged by The Australia Day Council is an afternoon reception to honour the birth date of Captain Arthur Phillip RN. Members attend this function and have had the honour of proposing the toast to Captain Arthur Phillip.
Social activities are organized by the committee for the enjoyment of members and the promotion of fellowship within the group. 'First Fleet Folio' is published every alternate month as a general newsletter to members and historical groups. It features current activities as well as items of historical interest.
HOW TO BECOME A MEMBER OF A VIBRANT GROUP!
If you know or believe that your forebear/s arrived in Sydney Cove in 1788, just fill in the Membership Application form. A Joining Fee of $5.00 each applies for all new members and their children. Membership is $25.00 per annum for Descendant Members, Spousal Members and Friends of the Fellowship. $10.00 for dependant children.