The construction of Victoria’s Great Ocean Road

It’s nearly the school holidays and, in Victoria at least, that means thousands of travellers will be making their way down one of the state’s most iconic roads – The Great Ocean Road. While images of this stretch of famous coastline have been made famous on postcards and calendars worldwide, the history behind it may be … Read on

Starting your family tree

Assembling a family tree can be a daunting task, especially as we are so often faced with more questions than answers. As long as you know how to harness the many resources at your disposal, uncovering your roots can be a rewarding and fascinating experience. Here are some tips to get you started. Start with … Read on

Three tips for restoring Art Deco furniture

Looking back in time from a 21st century vantage point, there’s perhaps no era that better evokes a sense of nostalgia than the 1920s. Thousands of immigrants – many of them women – were drawn to Australia by the promise of job opportunities, decent wages and a better life, and luxury goods were becoming more … Read on

Bourke Street: then and now

In most major cities, if you’re looking closely, every now and then you’ll come across an enchanting little detail that brings to mind images of the city’s past: an antique light fixture hanging discreetly over a storefront, an intricately patterned row of tiles, or faded patches of paint where the name of a local business … Read on

A South Australian railway history

South Australia was one of Australia’s youngest colonies, and the only colony for which the British made meticulous settlement plans – including a master infrastructure plan – before arrival. When South Australia’s first Governor, Sir John Hindmarsh, was appointed in 1836, global advancements in agriculture, transport and technology were helping the colony to thrive on … Read on

No swimming allowed: when Sydney banned swimming

Today, Australia is known throughout the world for its warm sunny climate, pristine beaches and coastal cities. But, in an episode that has become an integral piece of national folklore, between 1838 and 1902, swimming during the day was declared an illegal activity by New South Wales authorities, for fear that it raised ‘morality concerns’. … Read on

Death and Freedom in the Queensland Times

While it’s no surprise that monumental events like wars, accidents and assassinations often make the history books, there is something immensely satisfying about trawling through the archives for the histories of everyday people and events – those at risk of becoming lost in stacks of archives and quiet corners of the internet. One such event … Read on

Australia’s country within a country: the Principality of Hutt River

When the Western Australian Government introduced stringent wheat production quotas in 1970, they came as a harsh blow to the Casley family who, at the time, had 9,900 acres of wheat ready to harvest. Under the new quotas, the family was permitted to sell only a measly 99 acres of their produce. The Casleys have … Read on

When Western Australia fined NASA

In 1979, headlines were made around the world when NASA’s first attempt at a manned space station, Skylab, came crashing back down towards the earth. When fragments of the colossal experiment landed on the eastern coast of Western Australia, the parks authority issued NASA with a $400 littering fine for leaving a trail of space … Read on

The pillars of coin collecting

For as long as coins have circulated, collectors have coveted them. In Renaissance Europe, coin collecting was the ‘hobby of kings’, because it was a favourite pastime of royalty and those with hefty disposable incomes. Nowadays, just about anyone with an interest in coins can start a collection, but it’s a good idea to stick … Read on

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