EVENTS - Richmond & Burnley Historical Society

Lower Level, Richmond Library, Unit 3 - 415 Church Street Richmond 3121
OPEN BY APPOINTMENT - email or call
Phone : 03 94271800 Reg No: A000719 6B ABN: 55 900 596 374
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City of Yarra
Genealogical Society of Victoria
Our first event this year is the Annual General Meeting.
Nominations for committee positions to be sent to the Secretary,
Sunday 4 February, 2:15pm — AGM and Women in the Workforce—Cash’s and other Richmond Companies.  Studio One—Barnett Way, Richmond.
The following two events are hosted complimentary by Keyton - a leading owner and operator of retirement villages in Australia. For further details or to book via phone please contact Lincoln Emsley on 0447 272 714 or use the Eventbrite link
Saturday 17 February, 2:15pm —Richmond Racecourse—  the Richmond Racetrack grew in popularity to host football, athletics, cricket, car racing, rodeos and carnivals. From the early days of pony clubs, the Richmond Racecourse was leased by John Wren who transformed the course into a highly profitable and attractive location. John Wren operated other tracks such as Thornbury and Epson. The increased number of races and other community events were a highlight for many of Melbourne’s citizens . Limited bookings (30) - Theatrette, Ardency Kennedy  Place—1 Khartoum Street Richmond. Hosted by Keyton—with a Tour of Ardency Kennedy Place
Bookings: Go to Eventbrite website and type in : Richmond Racecourse
Thursday 18 April, 2:15pm -Richmond - a place of many firsts —. delve into the rich history of Richmond, one of Melbourne’s early suburbs, which was a place where many firsts took place. From the introduction of cable cars, the first balloon flight, its first Prime Minister, and much more. With change comes opportunity and innovation, as many firsts take off to lead the way in manufacturing and growth. — Theatrette, Ardency Kennedy Place, 1 Khartoum Street Richmond.—Limited bookings (30)
Bookings:  Go to Eventbrite website and type in : Richmond—a place of many firsts
Sunday 26 May, 2:15pm— Ray Watson will present his book ’ The Burnley Boy’ and growing up in Burnley. Ray was a teacher and then an inspector for the education department. He has written an amazing number of books on family history with the key focus on Burnley and Richmond.
Studio One—Barnett Way, Richmond.
To rsvp for these events, email: or call 9427 1800


30 April 2023 - Studio One - Barnett Way, Richmond  2 - 4pm
Celebrating National Trust Heritage Week
Richmond's Industrial Heritage  - David Langdon
Richmond’s industrial past grew from candles makers, brewers, tanneries and stone crushing.
The introduction of new machinery, technology and electricity transformed the area into a highly productive manufacturing hub.
The growth of industry created many employment opportunities – especially for women.
The integration of new immigrants provided the skills and capacity to support the growth of these industries.
Many of these industries provided goods and services to the local markets and also exported widely across the world.
The transformations and development provided opportunities at every level.
Many families established themselves through these industries and provided the grounding for growth in many ways.
A free event, to assist with catering:
Bookings online Book here
Or email  or phone 94271800

26 March 2023  - Studio One   Barnett Way Richmond   2 – 4pm

Discovering the great ‘Dame Nellie Melba GBE and her music’ by Albert Isaacs

Dame Nellie Melba GBE (born Helen Porter Mitchell; 19 May 1861 – 23 February 1931) was an Australian operatic soprano. She became one of the most famous singers of the late Victorian era and the early 20th century, and was the first Australian to achieve international recognition as a classical musician. She took the pseudonym "Melba" from Melbourne, her home town. Helen Mitchel was born and grew up in Richmond, at her father’s residence ‘Doonside’ – near the current site of Victoria Gardens shopping centre.
Melba studied singing in Melbourne and made a modest success in performances there. After a brief and unsuccessful marriage, she moved to Europe in search of a singing career. Failing to find engagements in London in 1886, she studied in Paris and soon made a great success there and in Brussels. Returning to London she quickly established herself as the leading lyric soprano at Covent Garden from 1888. She soon achieved further success in Paris and elsewhere in Europe, and later at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, debuting there in 1893. Her repertoire was small; in her whole career she sang no more than 25 roles and was closely identified with only ten. She was known for her performances in French and Italian opera, but sang little German opera.
During the First World War, Melba raised large sums for war charities. She returned to Australia frequently during the 20th century, singing in opera and concerts, and had a house built for her near Melbourne. She was active in the teaching of singing at the Melbourne Conservatorium. Melba continued to sing until the last months of her life and made a large number of "farewell" appearances. Her death, in Australia, was news across the English-speaking world, and her funeral was a major national event. The Australian $100 note features her image.

February 2022: AGM – Let’s Enhance Gleadell Street project (Steven Vaughan)
March 2022: Walk – Where the River Runs (David Langdon)
March 2022:  Guided walk for 180 students from Richmond West Primary School (David Langdon)
April 2022:  Lighter than Air - Early Ballooning (Helene Rogers)
May 2022:  Ghost Signs and the Melbourne Circle (Nick Gadd)
May 2022:  Presentations for Lend Lease (Claire Levi)
July 2022:  Antiques and Collectables – A Valuations Expo (Leski Auctioneers and Albert Isaacs)
August 2022: Bridge Road History and the Plaques (Claire Levi)
October 2022: Australian Chinese Writers Association presentation (David Langdon)
October 2022:  YWCA – ‘Y Girls Just Want to Have Fun’ (Rosalie Webb)


20th June 2021 2.30pm
Nick Gadd - Ghost Signs and the Melbourne Circle.
Meeting dferred due to COVID restrictions
LOOK What I Found!
The Past Awakens - Helena Kidd
Town Hall Walk

due to the COVID 19 restrictions and vunerability of speakers and participants.
We hope to recommence our events in September, pending the requirements
of social distancing and containment of the virus.

SUNDAY November 17th.   2.30PM
Annual General Meeting
At Studio 1   22 Bendigo Street Richmond (Channel 9 Site)
Bookings essential - email or call 03 94271800

Friday 18th October  10am to 12 noon
Richmond Racecourse Walk
Richmond Community Learning Centre
Barnett Way Richmond

Sunday 19th May   2pm
Bookies, Punters and the Richmond Racecourse
At Studio 1   22 Bendigo Street Richmond (Channel 9 Site)
Bookings essential - email or call 03 94271800

Sunday April 28th, 2.30pm.  
Chris Manchee, RHSV Tour Guide
History of the Flagstaff Gardens
Richmond Library,415 Church Street Richmond - Charlotte Street entrance

Sunday 24th  March, 2.30pm
Richmond Library, 415 Church Street Richmond
Dr Gary Presland:  Pre-European Culture in the Richmond area.
For thousands of years before European settlement,
the area of Richmond was part of the estate of the Wurundjeri-willam clan.
Through marriage, shared beliefs and related languages,
these people were members of the Kulin nation.
Their connection to other clans extended as far away as the Murray River.

Friday March 8th
12 noon to 1pm
Richmond Dispensary 150th Celebrations
385 Church Street Richmond

Sunday February 24th,
10.30am to 12 noon

Richmond Hill Walk (from Society rooms)
Isabel Simpson—Professional tour Guide
About 1.5 hours, easy walk.
Booking essential by email or phone 94271800

Sunday February 10th, 9.30am to 12 noon.
Volunteer Training, Society rooms.

SUNDAY NOVEMBER 25th   2.30pm   
Richmond Library  (Charlotte Street entrance)

Topic: The natural history of pre-European Richmond - Dr Gary Presland
At the time Europeans first settled in what is now Richmond, it was a place of diverse natural history.
Perched partly on the volcanic river flats, and partly on a sandstone ridge,
the area supported a range of vegetation types—riverine, grasslands and wooded slopes;
these, in turn, provided habitats for a diverse faunal suite.
Gary Presland will provide an overview of the complete natural history,
from the underlying geology to the birds and animals, to be found in the Richmond area when non-Indigenous people first settled there.
Dr Gary Presland is the prize-winning author of The Place for a village: how nature has shaped the city of Melbourne.
He has written and spoken extensively about the natural history of the Melbourne area, and also about Indigenous history and culture.

He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society of Victoria, an Honorary Fellow of The University of Melbourne, and an Associate of Museums Victoria.

SUNDAY OCTOBER 14th   2.30pm   Richmond Library

AGM & BOOK LAUNCH: Martha Needle Book by  Dr Brian Williams  
( New Holland Publishers)
The extraordinary Martha Needle was not only the most treacherous poisoner in Australian history
she clearly stands out as one of the nation's worst murderesses
of all time.
And from an international perspective, she still ranks among the world's
most prolific female killers.

In her day, Martha was as big as Ned Kelly   and she even shared the same pugnacious lawyer.
Throughout late 1894, her epic tale kept the Australian community transfixed and
was dramatically reported around the globe as 'the story
of the century'.

Even in more modern times, the story of Martha Needle continues
to be widely chronicled as one of the most
mind boggling poisoning cases in the
annals of crime and she remains a polarising figure in Australian history.

Luridly dubbed the 'Black Widow' by the world's press, this manipulating young woman deviously used arsenic
to exterminate all those around her who stood in the way of her personal
ambitions  which ultimately even included her own children.

Sunday 15th July - 2.30pm  Society Rooms
Robert Gray  -  Bridge Road History and the Ghost Signs in Bridge Road
One of the earliest tracks from Melbourne to Richmond, Bridge Road continues to undergo transformation.
Many of the buildings reflect the history and changes to the street.
Robert has researched and uncovered the street's development - with a focus from Hawthorn Bridge to Church Street.

SUNDAY 17th June 2018  - 2.30pm  Society Rooms

Dr Juliette Peers - Making Women's History in Richmond for 40 Years. ( Women's Art Register)
Discover the diversity of talent of hundreds of Women Artists.
The Women's Art Register has compiled thousands of records, images and collections of women artists across Australia.
Hear and see this amazing collection and compilation of extensive records that reflects the amazing talent of many women artists.

Sunday March 25th  - 2.30pm Richmond Library
Helen Harris, OAM,
The Open Air School in Blackburn

Sunday May 27th   - 2.30pm - Richmond Library
Women in World War 1
Associate Professor Judith Smart
Richmond Library


Sunday 17th September:  Richmond in the 1840s
David Langdon - Learn about the development of Richmond from the first land sales in 1839.

Sunday October 15th, 2.30pm, Richmond Library
Annual General Meeting
Guest Speaker :  Richard Broome
Emeritus Professor of History, Latrobe University
Aboriginal History -  Melbourne and Surrounds

Sunday November 26th. 2.30pm  - Richmond Library
Guest Speaker:  Peter Fitton
Book Launch —  'Richmond Son' by Peter Fitton
The launch of my childhood memoir 'Richmond Son'.
Peter Fitton lived in the home of his grandmother at 144 Burnley Street, Richmond on the corner of Burnley and Murphy Streets.
His family lived at that address for 42 years.   His recollections are of the life and times during the 1950s when he attended St James Catholic Primary School on the corner of Kent and Davison Streets, North Richmond.

Peter's website is


Sunday 20th November  2.30pm
History of 22 Bendigo Street  - Television City  = 60 Years of Television
Richmond Library  - Entrance from Charlotte Street
Sunday 4th December
Train Trip to Warrnambool
Contact Daryl McMahon for bookings and costs
Phone : 03 94287686

17 July  2.30pm -4pm  History of the Burnley Horticultural Gardens

2016 marks 125 Years of Horticultural Education.

Associate Professor,  Don Garden, OAM  - to be held in the society rooms.

Sunday June 19   2.30pm -4pm  History of the Hawthorn Bridge, Ken McInnes

to be held at the Hawthorn Rowing Club, located on the south east side of the Hawthorn Bridge

Saturday 27th February:  Volunteer Training orientation

Sunday May 22nd,  2.30pm - 4pm Coach Builders of Richmond  Dr Jim Badger

to be held in the Society rooms.

Saturday 28th May - New Volunteers Training Day  2-4pm  in the society rooms

Sunday 13th December - Christmas meeting  - Facebook - Look what we've dscovered - Pamela Damokas
Sunday 11th October 2.30pm -4pm - Annual General Meeting
- Guest Speaker Barbara Armstrong - TIME Detective
Sunday 13th September 1pm -3.30pm - Richmond Mystery Walk - Tour Guide: Isabel Simpson
Sunday 23rd August  2.30pm -4pm - Digitising and Saving Your Family History
Sunday 19th  July 1pm - 4pm:  The Boer War - research and workshop
Saturday 16th  May 2pm - 4pm: Volunteer Training Day


Sunday Feb 16, 2pm-4.30pm  - Volunteers Training ( Researching the Collection)
Saturday Feb 22nd,  2pm-4-30pm - Project Meeting (Digitisation of the Richmond Rate Records)
Sunday Feb 23rd, 2pm
- Bicycle Collection Tour
Sunday April 27th  2.15pm- 4pm -  Richmond RSL - The Silk Road - Visit the RSL Museum and Rooms
Sunday June 29th 2.15pm-4pm -  Growing Up in Richmond - Cr Phillip Vlahogiannis , Facebook - Catchng the Wave of History on Line - Panela Damokas
Sunday July 27th  2pm -4pm - Richmond Racecourse Walk & Television City - Meet at the foyer of the Amora Hotel (Cnr Bridge Rd & River St) Booking  9428 6231
Sunday August 17th  2.15pm - 4pm - Launch "Answering the Call" - commemorating 100 years since WWI - Richmond Project. Guest Speaker: David Howell  - Level 3  415 Church Street Richmond.

December 8th:
Richmond Films and Photos  - Do Your Remember When ?
November 10th:  AGM and  Society 40 Year Celebrations
Augiust 25th :   Book Launch - Redemption on the Diamond Creek and Richmond Flat - by Allan Meiers
June 30th:  Helen Hart - Founder of Women's Suffrage in Australia - by Helen Harris  OAM
April 21st:  Salvation Army at the Front Line - Lindsay Cox
Feb 24th :
 Cremorne Discovery Walk -  Penny Shore


150th Anniversary of the First Flight in Australia - February 2008

Happy 150th Birthday Richmond - April 2005

Richmond 3121 - June 2005


The Corner Hotel - November 2005

Squizzy Taylor   - 1921

11 Goodwood Street -  2013  Squizzy's escape tunnel discovered

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