Join us on Saturday 26 April at the E. J. Tippett Library, Lydiard Street South, Ballarat CBD (through the old gaol gates at SMB) for a FREE workshop. Learn how to research WWI veterans. Get advice on how to look after your precious WWI memorabilia. Have your photos scanned. Reproduction services available.
Our Sunday morning session will take place in The Lawless Room at Jackson & Co. on the corner of Lydiard St Nth and Mair Street. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear three excellent WWI historians speak on Australian Army Tunnellers, and others who served on the Western Front in Belgium and France. See our ANZAC Weekend page for full details.
Join us on Sunday afternoon at the Regent Theatre where the film Beneath Hill 60 will be shown on ‘the big screen.’ This session will be introduced by Ross Thomas, the film’s executive producer.
Bookings open shortly
Prices per Session: $15 conc, $20 adult
All Day Pass: $25 conc $35 adult
Contact Victorian Interpretive Projects Inc.
BALLARAT MILITARY HISTORY MUSEUM FUNDRAISER – ALL WELCOME
DATE & VENUE: Friday 15 November 2013 at 7:30 pm – Ballaarat Mechanics’ Institute
BOOKINGS REQUIRED – SEE DETAILS BELOW
As you all may know the Ballarat Military History Museum Steering Committee have looked at a number of options to double the storage & display area of the current Museum at the Ranger Barracks to allow co-displays of Ballarat’s Military History.
To that end, a Memorandum of Understanding was reached in October 2011 between the Steering Committee, The Ballarat Collection of Wartime Memorabilia (sometimes called the RSL Collection), the Ballarat Ranger Military Museum Foundation and the Sovereign Hill Museums Association-Gold Museum.
Following recent discussions between the BRMM Steering Committee and the former Uni of Ballarat’s School of Mines Carpentry Section, Federation University Australia has now agreed to build a similar sized building using Apprentices. Apprentices from the Lydiard Street Campus will use the construction of the building as part of their practical experience. The cost is anticipated to be approximately $75,000, and possibly less, if in-kind donations of materials and cash donations are forthcoming.
To commence our fundraising activities the Steering Committee through Neil Leckie has been fortunate to gain the services of Lambis Englezos AM who will be giving a talk on his passion, ‘The Lost Diggers of Fromelles’. Lambis is an amateur historian and school teacher who was instrumental in the discovery of the mass War graves from World War 1, near Fromelles in France.
Please join us at the Ballaarat Mechanics’ Institute (117 Sturt Street, Ballarat CBD) at 7.30 pm on Friday the 15th November 2013. Please be seated by 7.15pm.
The cost is $10 per person which includes a light supper. As this will be a popular event you are advised to book ASAP.
Bookings can be made at David Wright Medals and Memorabilia, 6A Shepperd St (behind the old barracks), or by phoning (03) 5338-4377.
You are also encouraged to share this information with others who may be interested in hearing about ‘The Lost Diggers of Fromelles.’
Members of the Australian Mining Corps were commonly known as ‘tunnellers’. They worked continuously in wet and muddy conditions, under constant enemy threat. Pneumonia and bronchial illnesses, as well as wear and tear injuries from hard, physical work in close conditions also took their toll. They fought on many battle fronts – from Gallipoli, to France and Belgium – even Mexico.
During WW1 mining engineers, miners, electricians, carpenters and soldier miners, tried to drive their, often narrow tunnels, under no man’s land. A silent and savage war; silent [as] because of the vital need to ensure the enemy couldn’t hear where ANZACs were tunnelling. Savage, because discovery close to enemy lines often meant death by mustard gas, close combat fighting or simply being blown up by enemy mines. The hostilities weren’t just above ground; fighting also took place in closed and cramped spaces underground where the hunters were also being hunted.
Members of the Mining Corps belonged to specialist units: for example, of the Corps of Royal Engineers within the British Army provided skilled men who dug attacking tunnels under enemy lines during the First World War. They worked in guarded silence, with the constant threat of being found and killed by the enemy, in extremely claustrophobic conditions. Both sides had embarked on mining operations, with a determined struggle for tactical superiority.
The Ballarat Electorate enjoys a long history connected with mining and its three Schools of Mines at Ballarat, Clunes & Daylesford. Many talented members of their alumni enlisted during WWI, and history proves these men came with significant levels of experience which then enabled them to deliver vital expertise to the Australian Mining Corps.
Members of the Victorian Interpretive Projects Inc (VIPs) recently created a facebook site designed to highlight the role of the ANZAC tunnellers in WW1 – especially those who haled from the Ballarat Electorate. This facebook site now connects with similar groups on many levels, for example, it is regularly updated with news items, hyperlinks to handy research websites, specialist information, photos, and advance notices about ANZAC related events. Anyone interested in the history of WW1 will find a plethora of interesting items on this site which is aptly named: Mining Mud & Medals.
Victorian Interpretive Projects Inc would like to thank all presenters and delegates who attended the VAFHO State Conference ‘Under the Southern Cross: A Goldfields Experience. We have had a quick look at the feedback and are gratified to discover delegates enjoyed the two day event and rated the conference and calibre of presenters very highly. If you want to follow up anything conference related please contact VIPs via this website, our Facebook page, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
A few photos of delegates registering before the Official Welcome in the beautiful Ballarat Town Hall:
To receive your discount show your VAFHO State conference credentials.
We thank Sovereign Hill for this generous offer.
A PDF of the VAFHO State Conference Programme has been sent to delegates (a printed version will be found in the conference bag). If you do not receive your conference program please let us know by emailing email@example.com
Nathaniel Buchanan and Suzanne McRae are the operators of Eerie Tours one of the largest privately owned dark tourism businesses in Australia. At the VAFHO State Family History Conference Under the Southern Cross Nathaniel is speaking on insanity on the goldfields and Victoria’s lunatic asylums. Like Cold Case he uncovers stories and facts that have been hidden from the ‘normal’ community and brings evidence to light that is often a ‘gem’ for family historians. Nathaniel is also acting as compere for the Goldfields Dinner where the Frances Brown Award for excellence in family history will be presented.
Black Gold: Aboriginal People on the Gold Fields of Victoria.
Fred Cahir, Senior Lecturer at University of Ballarat will talk about his book: ”Black Gold: Aboriginals on the Gold Fields Victoria”. The book documents the role of Aboriginal people on the Gold Fields of Victoria during 1850 to 1870.
Fred Cahir tells the story about the magnitude of Aboriginal involvement on the Victorian goldfields in the middle of the nineteenth century, such as their extensive involvement as miners, police, traders, entertainers and activists. The first history of Aboriginal–white interaction on the Victorian goldfields, Black Gold offers new insights on one of the great epochs in Australian and world history—the gold story. Many Aboriginal families remained in the gold areas, participated in gold mining and interacted with non-Indigenous families in a whole range of hitherto neglected ways, whilst maintaining many of their traditional customs.
In newspaper articles, reminiscences, letters and diaries are many inferences to Aboriginal miners on Australian goldfields. For example, some gullies, leads or mines are believed to be named after their Indigenous discoverers or at least attributed to Aboriginal people because of their proximity or some fact connected with them.
In vivid detail it describes how Aboriginal people often figured significantly in the search for gold and documents the devastating social impact of gold mining on Victorian Aboriginal communities. It reveals the complexity of their involvement from passive presence, to active discovery, to shunning the goldfields.
Running through Fred Cahir’s book are themes of Aboriginal empowerment, identity, integration, resistance, social disruption and communication. Aboriginal voices occasionally not only decried the loss of their land to the white people but also demonstrate their incredulousness and poor opinion of non-Indigenous people’s bush skills It was food that provided the most potent motivation for non-Indigenous miners to explore, adapt and adopt parts of Aboriginal culture. The exorbitantly high prices of food during the initial alluvial gold rush period prompted many miners to try Aboriginal foods.
The gold rushes were the precursor for ‘a world turned upside down’ not just for the immigrant colonists but for Aboriginal people as well.
For more on Fred Cahir or other speakers at the upcoming VAFHO Conference: Under the Southern Cross – A Goldfields Experience:
On May 4, after an interesting day 1 of the VAFHO Conference: Under the Southern Cross – a Goldfields Experience in Ballarat, a very special dinner will be held in G Place (Formerly Golden Point Primary School).
The catering is being cared for by Spade to Blade. Spade to Blade is based in nearby Daylesford and has been catering in the area since 1993.They concentrate on preparing the very best and freshest organically grown foods in the area. Most of us forget how many farms surround Ballarat and nearby towns, with some great produce.
Spade to Blade use suppliers such as: Fernleigh Farm, Captain’s Creek, Daylesford Organics, Powlett Hill and Red Beard Bakery amongst others. Foods freshly harvested – straight to the table! Spade to Blade also prides itself on their skill of collecting wild mushrooms (When in season).
The Conference dinner has a special Goldfields theme running through it and Spade to Blade will be preparing a very special dinner. What’s on the menu – we’ll keep a secret for a little longer, but be assured it will be special!
To book for the VAFHO Conference: Under the Southern Cross – a Goldfields Experience dinner (places are limited so don’t wait too long)
or for more information about the Conference:
for Spade to Blade information: