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Celebrating wetlands for Melbourne Day!

Happy Melbourne Day! 30th August. Not a day emblazoned on our consciousness, I must admit. It seems fitting that the RHSV’s Melbourne Day lecture last Friday should focus not so much on ‘founders’ but more upon what was ‘found’ i.e.  … Continue reading ?

the minister for women says

Everything the minister for women says is shit. One of the reasons why there’s so many abortions is because there’s a lot of unplanned and unwanted pregnancies, which could be significantly reduced by providing comprehensive sexuality...Show More Summary

‘Nail Can to Knighthood’ exhibition RHSV 15 July-18 December 2015

The Royal Historical Society of Victoria have a fantastic exhibition at the moment that draws on their collection of material about Macpherson Robertson – the source (bless him) of Australia’s oldest, and my very favourite chocolate bar: The Cherry Ripe … Continue reading ?

rissole shop closed

I’m not surprised at this one. Meatballs and Sons opened on Brunswick St about 18 months ago, and has never been busy, and now it’s closed. The proposed chain of 10 restaurants boasted about in Boredshit never eventuated of course. They’re dreaming.… This post was first published on Fitzroyalty. © Brian Ward.

‘Across the Seas: Australia’s Response to Refugees. A History’ by Klaus Neumann

2015, 300 p. plus notes There’s often a frisson of  defiance among non-Coalition voters when singing  the second verse of our national anthem, the dreadful ‘Advance Australia Fair’.  Irony of ironies, in our national anthem, we declare For those who’ve … Continue reading ?

Fitzroy history: from shop to cafe

In the early 1970s Kindness House contained a variety of shops on the ground floor, just as it does now. On the corner of Victoria St was what looks like a paint and hardware. It’s now the busy Stagger Lee’s cafe.… This post was first published on Fitzroyalty. © Brian Ward.

What would Willis do…..if he were Dyson Heydon?

Since my work on Justice John Walpole Willis, I find myself measuring current events in the judicial/political realm against the criterion of “What would Willis do?”  Justice  Dyson Heydon, the commissioner sitting on the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance … Continue reading ?

Fitzroy history: from feminism to retail

In a previous post about the Moran and Cato building on the corner of Brunswick and Victoria streets, I compared photos (from the same perspective) from its retail origins, its shabby appearance in the late 1970s and its current revival. Show More Summary

‘Friend or foe? Anthropology’s Encounter with Aborigines’ Gillian Cowlishaw

There’s a very interesting recent article on the Inside Story website. The article reprises many of the arguments and critiques that Cowlishaw has been making for the past thirty years (as this recent article about her shows) but its … Continue reading ?

Podcast: Linda Colley on Magna Carta

The Magna Carta has had a Big Year Out in 2015, the 800th anniversary of its signing.  A search on ABC Radio National’s webpage will bring up lots of podcasts and programs, and arguably there’s quite enough podcasts about Magna … Continue reading ?

Fitzroy history: from Greek press to Greek food

In the early 1970s a Greek commercial printing business operated at what is now the very busy and popular Jimmy Grant’s souvlaki on St David St. Courtesy of SLV / Committee for Urban Action (CUA) collection / Accession no(s): CUAFY55/4...Show More Summary


On the corner of George and Rose streets this house is undergoing a colour transformation. The ground floor was previously cement grey, with the upper level black. Relatively recently the whole thing was painted black, making it look severe. Now it’s changing again.… This post was first published on Fitzroyalty. © Brian Ward.

‘We That Are Left’ by Clare Clark

2015, 450 p. What’s not to like about this? It’s a ‘Big House’ book, set in the years following World War I, with blurbs by Hilary Mantel and Amanda Foreman.  I’m a sucker for Big House books- Brideshead Revisited, Atonement, … Continue reading ?

Fitzroy history: from wine shop to French restaurant

In the 1970s what is now Madame Sousou was then a wine merchant. I just realised it’s been over a year since I last did a history post and that I should research and write some new ones. Courtesy of SLV / Committee for Urban Action (CUA)...Show More Summary

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