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Spade to Blade

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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.

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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).

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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!

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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:

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for Spade to Blade information:




Conference speaker Dr Anne Doggett

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Just imagine no CD players, Ipods, or radio; however there was a great deal of music to be enjoyed on the Goldfields.  Dr Anne Doggett, will be able to take you through a musical journey of colonial Australia, specifically the music practiced on the Goldfields in the first 2 decades until 1871. Dr Anne Doggett has published articles in national and international journals, has an MA in Japanese literature and a PhD in musicology.

Part of knowing the different styles of music throughout history helps to reflect the spirit of the age and will give us a better understanding of what life was like during the gold rush. The enormous amount of music performed in Ballarat during the gold rush period, is a rich source through which to explore many diverse aspects of this colonial society. Music was a way of engaging with people and ideas; it helped people identify with cultural norms. Music was a shaping influence on people and communities, not forgetting the influences of the many cultures on the goldfields.

Dr Doggett will be looking at some of the performers, visiting and local, the venues (Some are still in use today) and playing examples of pieces that were performed as well as the differences with music practices of today.

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Dr Anne Doggett is also a keen bell-ringer. She has rung several peals on tower bells and hand held bells and has co-authored a book about the history of bells in Melbourne, as well as writing a history of the bells in the Ballarat Town Hall. After co-authoring “See How They Ring! -Travelling Bell ringers on the Australasian Popular Stage”, she is currently busy working on a history of town criers in Australia.

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For more on the conference speakers:


VAFHO State Conference Ned Kelly


Forthcoming VAFHO State Conference 4-5 May 2013 in BALLARAT.

LeighLeigh Olver, one of the Keynote Speakers at the VAFHO Conference on 4 May, talks about his role in using DNA to trace an ancestor resulting in family reconnections.


Senior Collections Advisor Charlie Farrugia will also be attending the Conference. Charlie has written that “During my 25 year career here at Public Record Office Victoria I have undertaken as much intensive work on our Kelly documents than on any others in our collection. … Over the last decade or so, scarcely a year has passed without something relating to Ned occupying a portion of my time. The enormous academic and legal interest in the Kelly story occupies a lot of my time because Public Record Office Victoria holds the world’s largest accumulation of original records related to the Kelly Gang. The Kelly Historical Collection is recognised by the UNESCO International Memory of the World Register.” Read about Charlie’s role in the SBS documentary Ned’s Head.

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