Can I be a volunteer with the Malvern Historical Society?

The Malvern Historical Society welcomes volunteers and invites them to be part of the activities regularly organized by the Society.

Volunteers from the Society also work in the Malvern Archives, which is managed by the Stonnington Local History Service.

Tasks include cataloguing, filing, research and general typing. Volunteers have completed major cataloguing projects including indexing over 5000 early building plans.

David Hyslop’s workmen c 1930

Who manages the Malvern Historical Society volunteers?

The Local History Officer, employed by Stonnington Council, co-ordinates all volunteers in the Archives.

The Historical Society actively encourages new volunteers through the newsletter and regularly advertises 'working bees'.

All volunteers sign a volunteer registration form and are then protected by Council's workplace health and safety policies.

Kempton’s Boundary Store 1880

What is the Stonnington History Committee?

With the announcement of the amalgamation of Malvern and Prahran in June 1994, the new City of Stonnington responded immediately to ensure the preservation of the City's historical assets. It was important to establish the Collection for the new City, and at the same time residents needed a positive reassurance that the past was being valued.

The Stonnington History Committee was formed as a direct response to amalgamation and the need to protect the historical assets of the newly formed City of Stonnington.

Prior to amalgamation, these historical assets were managed by separate bodies including the Malvern History Committee (the archives of the Malvern Council, Malvern Library and the Malvern Historical Society Inc had been combined, under the Local Government Act in1988) the Prahran Council, Prahran Library, and Prahran Historical and Arts Society Inc. The Committee is chaired by a Councillor and membership of the Committee consists of representatives from the Malvern Historical Society, Prahran Historical and Arts Society, Stonnington Library and Information Service, Prahran Mechanics Institute, a community representative and the two Stonnington Local History Officers. The Committee meets every two months and discusses issues relating to local history in Stonnington.

‘Black Bridge’ East Malvern 1924 painting by Len Fox

What is in the Stonnington History Collection?

The historical assets of the above groups have been combined to form the Stonnington Local History Collection.

This Collection is now the property of the City of Stonnington and the Collection's management is the responsibility of the Stonnington History Committee. Responsibilities include management of the Stonnington Local History Collection, provision of local history information, promotion of the collection and local history service and working on local history based programs for both Council and the Society.

The subsequent partnership that has been formed between Council and the Malvern Historical Society and the Prahran Historical and Arts Society ensures the preservation and quality management of the City's cultural heritage.

Opening of Run - Malvern Harriers 1915

What is the Stonnington Local History Service?

The Stonnington Local History Service, with two members of staff, acts as custodian for the history and historical archives of the City, to acquire and preserve the Stonnington Local History Collection and to provide information about the collection and local history to the public.

A far broader range of services and expertise is provided by the service than those traditionally provided by libraries. Archival storage areas and work-rooms in both the Malvern and Prahran districts have been provided by Council and an acquisition and preservation program is well established.

The existing service is greatly assisted by the volunteers from the Malvern Historical Society and the Prahran Historical and Arts Society. The importance and role of the Unit within Council and its relationship with the Historical Societies is well defined, as the Service takes management advice from the Stonnington History Committee.

Merriman’s Dairy Union Street 1912

What have been the benefits for the wider community?

The establishment of the Stonnington History Committee and the resulting partnership of Council and community groups has resulted in the following benefits:

Mullet and Burns families, Emo Road c1896

  1. All historical assets of the City are under the one management.
  2. There is one service to handle all local history inquiries from Council staff and the Community.
  3. Council staff and the Community have become more aware of the value of historic records and the Stonnington Local History Collection provides residents and donors with long-term security for their donations.
  4. Web access to the Stonnington Local History Collection database, including catalogued photos, documents and plans, is well established through the City of Stonnington Home Page.

How can the benefits be assessed?

The benefits and resulting innovative practices can be clearly seen:

  1. The Stonnington Local History Collection has become a very valuable and important Council asset.
  2. The Council has demonstrated to the Community its long term commitment to the Stonnington Local History Collection through the provision of secure premises, permanent staff and ongoing funding.
  3. The results are already evident by the increase in the number of valuable donations and the increase in the number of volunteers willing to assist on a regular basis.
  4. By working in partnership with the Historical Societies, the opportunity exists for preservation grants and funding of special projects.

Thomson’s Removals c1890