Lilydale & District Historical Society Inc - museum Lilydale Melba
Lilydale & District Historical Society Inc - museum Lilydale Melba

Events 2018

Talks and society activities

The following short talks will start at 2.15pm after our general meeting which starts at 1pm:
Saturday, July 7:
The guest speaker on July 7 will be secondary school history teacher Jenny Cassidy one of the authors of WW1 Researcher: Australia - an app for iPads.
Jenny has also extensively researched family history; including the stories of family members who fought in World War 1.
While the app was primarily developed for students who have WW1 as a compulsory part of their studies, local historians would also be interested in these case studies and the talk.
Two of the case studies will feature on the proposed Seville War Memorial and two more are from Healesville. 

Saturday, September 1:
History of Early Live Theatre in Victoria 1840-1920
Russ Haines from the Ringwood & District Historical Society.
European settlers brought Western traditions of theatre to Australia in the 1780s. Like other art forms, Australian theatre has built on previous traditions and developed over time.

Victorian theatre history incorporates the stories of many actors, entrepreneurs, playwrights, directors and others, working behind the scenes and on stage. Countless performances have entertained, enchanted, captivated and confronted Victorian audiences. There have been amateur and professional groups, local performers and artists visiting from other countries, lavish large-scale productions and small community-based shows featuring plays and performances written by Australians and imported from other countries.

Focusing on cities in Victoria, Russ will take you through a timeline and the personalities who developed this important form of entertainment.
Saturday, November 5:

Author James Nicholas will be giving a talk on his recent book The Mystery of Fairyland, Kew. It is a truse story set mainly in Melbourne's post war suburbia.
The book has been positively reviewed by The Herald Sun, Senior, Progress Leader and 3AW's Nightline.

Saturday, May 19 talk:
The day Melba arrived in town

As part of the National Trust's Australian Heritage Festival, Lilydale & District Historical Society will be celebrating Melba’s 157th birthday with a special talk, cuppa and a guided visit to Melba’s grave at Lilydale Cemetery. After morning tea, presenter Sue Thompson will tell some stories about Melba’s 1909 Back Blocks tour of New South Wales and Queensland.

In 1909 the then Madam Melba set out on a Back Blocks Concert tour. In three months travelling mostly by train the concert party spent 3 months giving 31 concerts in 25 different towns in New South Wales and Queensland. Presenter and Melba historian Sue Thompson drove 11,000kms and spent six months visiting each of those towns which stretched as far north as Townsville and Charters Towers. Each town had its own story about the people, about Melba, the concert and her concert party. Sue met with over 50 different groups – historical societies, family history groups, libraries, university archives and museums.

Using images and research in her own unique way, Sue will retell some of the stories about the day Melba arrived in town. Afterwards, everyone is welcome to drive to the Lilydale Cemetery and share a short, guided tour to the graves of Melba and her family.

The event will start at The Old Lilydale Court House, 61 Castella St, Lilydale at 10am and finish at Lilydale Cemetery at 12 midday.

The cost is $10 adults and call Sue Thompson for bookings which are limited, on 0475 219 884.


Following requests from our members, the society is organising workshops on Fridays from 1 to 4pm.

Following requests from our members wanting to gain new skills and learn more about the society’s collection, we are holding cataloguing workshops once a month. This is an ideal way to meet other members, learn how to catalogue and make a valuable contribution to the society and the wider community.
The workshops will be from 1 to 4pm on the following Fridays for the rest of the year:

If you would like to join the group or want more information, call Phil Burton on  9735 3942.

Book Indexer

Prompt, comprehensive and professional book indexing. Make your work more accessible with a well crafted index. Local and general histories a speciality. Modest rates. Contact: Judy Macdonald, mob. 0428263929

Judy is a highly valued member of our society as our librarian and indexer. Currently, Judy is heading up our book indexing team.


Our February edition of Now & Then newsletter is now available for download. Simply click on this link.

To download back copies of Now & Then, go to our newsletters pages and select the edition you wish to read.

Cave Hill Redvelopment Submission

The society made a submission to the Heritage Council of Victoria on the inclusion of the heritage features of Cave Hill being included in the state's Heritage Register. The Council has now considered and added Cave Hill Quarry and the associated historic buildings and feature to the Heritage Register. This will allow the new owners to proceed with their development of the site. However, they will have to obtain Heritage Victoria's approval for any changes to the historic features.

Link to our submission

Cave Hill Submission

The Heritage Council of Victoria has issued a Determination to include the Cave Hill Quarry in Victorian Heritage Register. The society put in a detailed submission to the Heritage Council on the Register listing urging the filling of the quarry while retaining key elements which demonstrate the operation of the quarry and the protection of many heritage structures on the site.

Since community discussions were initiated by previous owners and operator Sibelco, the society has worked with the Shire of Yarra Ranges and various consultants evaluating various aspects of the site including its rare heritage features. The society has also had discussions with the new owners of the site and offered to our assistance to help them secure the heritage of the Cave Hill for future generations to learn more about this vital early industry and its role in our development.

Read our submission


Contacts: Sue Thompson (President) 0475 219 884, Joy Gothe 0405 128 964 or  Lorraine Smith (Court House Manager) 03 9735 1104.


Our home is the Old Lilydale Court House at 61 Castella Street, Lilydale 3140.
© Copyright Lilydale & District Historical Society Inc. Lilydale, Yarra Valley 2015

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