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The Heidelberg Historical Society Museum and research room is open on Sunday afternoons, 2PM - 5PM.

The Museum is located at the corner of Jika Street and Park Lane, opposite Heidelberg Park.

Where is Heidelberg?

  • Heidelberg is a suburb of Melbourne, Australia.
  • It is 11 km north east of central Melbourne, on the banks of the Yarra River.
  • In the past, the name "Heidelberg" has been applied to a wider area than the modern suburb.
  • It gave its name to an artistic phenomenon, the Heidelberg School.

Heidelberg Museum
& Research Centre

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Heidelberg Museum is located in the old Heidelberg Courthouse, Jika Street, Heidelberg. Here we have collections of historical records and objects with facilities for researching subjects of interest.

Periodic exhibitions of special interest are also held at the Museum.

Normal opening hours are 2PM-5PM on Sundays, COVID permitting.

During the year, arrangements can generally be made for visits at other times. A small charge is made for entry to the museum, except for Members, who can enter free of charge.

In addition to physical records and objects, museum volunteers have entered large quantities of records on computer databases, which are also available to visitors and to members.

Volunteers meet at the museum on other days to work on the collections, maintenance and care of the museum's exhibits.

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June Speaker Meeting
7.30 PM, Tuesday 11 June 2024.

Garryowen and his connection to St John's, Heidelberg

Garryowen’ was the pen-name used by Edmund Finn (1819-98) who migrated to Melbourne from Ireland in 1841. He joined the staff of the Port Phillip Herald as a general reporter in 1845. From his vantage point as a journalist, he knew all the public figures and gossip swirling around pre-Gold Rush Melbourne. These eyewitness anecdotes formed the basis for his two-volume work The Chronicles of Early Melbourne 1835-1852, a humorous and quirky eye-witness account published in 1888 which captured the flavor and vitality of the early Port Phillip District.

But what was his connection with Heidelberg?

This is the topic of our presentation at 11 June meeting.

ALSO NOTE : Between 2nd-23rd June Heidelberg Historical Society is pleased to host an abridged version of the ‘Garryowen’s Melbourne’ exhibition, previously on view at RHSV. You can see visit this exhibition at the HHS Museum on Sunday afternoons in June, between 2PM and 5PM.

June 11 Speaker: Dr Liz Rushen

          Dr Liz Rushen                             Edmund Finn

Dr Liz Rushen AM is a former Chair of the History Council of Victoria and currently serves on the Editorial Board of the Australian Dictionary of Biography.

Liz is widely published in the field of migration history, particularly the migration of Irish women to Australia in the nineteenth century. Her latest book, Garryowen Unmasked: the life of Edmund Finn received a commendation at the recently-held Victorian Community History Awards.

In 2021, Liz was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for significant service to community history and heritage preservation.

Meeting Details
All meetings are held in the Uniting Church Community Centre, Seddon Street, Ivanhoe, starting at 7.30pm.
(Please note the new starting time.)
Enter from the car park at the rear.
Visitors are most welcome.

Our Country's History

Some accounts of Australian history have tried to restrict our interest to the last 200 years, since Europeans arrived. This ignores the rich history and guardianship of the land by the First Nations people. So much can be learned from First Nation history.

There is evidence of human activity in Australia for at least 60,000 years. At the mouth of the Hopkins River in Western Victoria, middens have been dated as far back as 120,000 years. At the very least, First Nations people have lived here for tens of thousands of years. European settlers only began to arrive in the this area in 1830s.

Another matter of concern is the struggles between settlers and First Nations people. Some accounts downplay the suffering of the First Nations people, while many more recent historians acknowledge this and seek for better treatment of those who still suffer the effects of their loss of culture and way of life.

Introductions to the history of the district should include such sources as The Wurundjeri Website.

More information about treatment of First Nation people can be found at the Minutes of Evidence Site.

Wurundjeri The First People of this Area

We acknowledge the Wurundjeri people who are the Traditional Custodians of this Land. We also pay our respect to the Elders both past and present of the Kulin Nation and extend that respect to all other Indigenous Australians. Our way forward is to look honestly at the past, avoiding the old distorted historical accounts as much as possible.

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The Yarra
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Our Areas of Interest

Places of interest to Heidelberg Historical Society include anywhere that was ever in a local government area called "Heidelberg". Fairfield and Hurstbridge, have long ceased to share local governments with us, but we still have some historical information about them.


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Upper Heidelberg Road, Ivanhoe,1920s, looking south-west. This continues to be a major shopping precinct.


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Mount Street and Yarra Street intersection, Heidelberg, near the railway station. Area of car and bus park near station. Yarra Street runs top right to right side of photo. Date unknown but c1900.


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By 1981 Rosanna had become a busy and fast growing residential suburb. The site of the famous Golf Course was now a park and a housing estate. In 2020, the railway formed an overpass above Lower Plenty Road, incorporating the Rosanna Railway Station.

More Areas of Interest


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Viewbank in the 1950s. Not so many houses there then. Looking south from Lyon Street.


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Yallambie is an historically important house, built in the 1870s, in Italianate style. It is also the name of the suburb.


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The Treyvaud family lived in "Moora", 198 Upper Heidelberg Road, West Heidelberg, during the 1920s.


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Aldermaston, located in Watsonia Barracks. was built in the 1930s and requisitioned by the army during WW11.

More Areas of Interest


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An overhead view of the Australian Paper Manufacturers at Alphington in 1936.


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Fairfield Railway Station was called Fairfield Park in earlier years. It was from there that the railway junction to the APM was managed.


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"Moorawatha", 3 Wilmot Street, Macleod was buit in 1908.


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Around 1900, a hot air balloon landed on Mt Eagle, attracting the interest of local residents.

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Heidelberg Historical Society (Inc. No. A0042118P)