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Tue 15 Mar 2016, 5:15pm–6:45pm

Where: Royal Historical Society of Victoria (RHSV), A'Beckett Street, Melbourne CBD, Victoria

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free
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Listed by: sam612

Victorians are invited to explore the very first roots of our State’s grassroots culture, as the Royal Historical Society of Victoria’s March lecture takes us on a journey back to where it first sparked.

Professor Weston Bate OAM will highlight many rare and important interactions between economic, social and political forces lying at the heart of Victorian democracy.

“Our unusually strong local history network may be seen as a parallel to the nineteenth century emphasis on Victoria’s grassroots,” explained Professor Bate.

“Beneath the ferment that produced Eureka, the Eight Hours’ Movement and the remarkable Land Convention – supported by the democratic constitutional framework of manhood suffrage and vote by ballot – there lay the distinct grassroots ambitions of a lower middle class migrant society.

"The desire to build a strong, educated and fair community produced, for instance, the Mechanics’ Institutes".

"Desire for land was also a key definer and battleground with activists responding to the groundswell of the new society".

"Overarching, was the Radical Liberal political movement, driven by Professor Charles Pearson and his pupils, Alfred Deakin and Henry B Higgins in a characteristically Victorian alliance of capital and labour".

"Our talk will bring to life these characters and events as we explore where grassroots activism in Victoria began".

About the speaker

Weston Bate is an unusual grassroots man. He taught at every level from sub-primary to PhD, and bravely used his academic training to transform despised local history. He was an athlete, an accomplished amateur footballer, intervarsity (winning) golfer, shop assistant, farmhand, and Lancaster pilot. At 91 he became C Grade champion of the Metropolitan Golf Club. A past president of the Royal Historical Society of Victoria, he instigated History Week and championed our local history network. His sixteen books include the pace-setting A History of Brighton, the prize-winning Lucky City, histories of two schools, two golf clubs, two volumes in the Museum’s Photographic Archive Project and the story of Melbourne’s lanes, as well as a book of poems.

Cost: Free for members of the RHSV, $10 for non-members.

Enquiries: t: (03) 9326 9288 e:

About the RHSV

Formed in 1909, the Royal Historical Society of Victoria (RHSV) is committed to collecting, researching and sharing an understanding of the history of Victoria. Housing the most extensive single information resource on the history of Melbourne and Victoria, collections are open Monday to Friday, 10am – 4pm. The RHSV is a community organisation that relies on membership subscriptions. Join today and help promote and preserve the history of Victoria. You can also keep up to date with the past via the RHSV’s Twitter and Facebook page.