Tuesday, February 02, 2016


The first meeting for Heidelberg Historical Society will feature author Jennifer O'Donnell about the research for her book Ravenswood. She will discuss the mansion's design and decoration and the changes made over time, culminating in detailed descriptions of the restoration work undertaken by skilled artisans. Ravenswood located in Beauview Parade, Ivanhoe was built by Robert Kennedy. The property, originally 16 acres, fronted onto Lower Heidelberg Road and was a venue for many social and charity functions, later a home for elderly ladies, now privately owned.
This free talk will be held at Uniting Church Community Centre, Seddon Street, Ivanhoe on Tuesday 9 February at 8 pm.

Monday, February 01, 2016

YPRL CEO Farewelled

Staff and local, state and international colleagues farewelled Yarra Plenty Regional Library’s Chief Executive Officer last week.
Christine Mackenzie has retired after a 41 year career culminating with 12 years in “the best job in Australia”. Prior to joining YPRL, Christine worked at the State Library of Victoria, Mordiallic Chelsea Library, Mornington Peninsula Library and Brisbane Libraries.
Christine followed Craig Anderson as CEO in 2004 at a time when technology was about to impact people’s lives as never before. YPRL staff were only the second library in the world to undertake online Web 2.0 training. A new Strategic Plan was soon adopted by the Library Board and the wireless wide area network was initiated. A supplier aided shelf ready collection was also initiated with savings from this directed into the establishment of a Community Engagement team based at Library Support Services.
In 2006 a new mobile library fleet was launched. In 2007 Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) was initiated enabling customers to borrow their own items, thus freeing staff for customer service and programming. Wikinorthia, a website designed to document life in Melbourne’s north was launched, in partnership with Darebin and Moreland libraries.
In 2008, Yarra Plenty Regional Library was the first library to procure and start loaning ebooks in a consortium with Brisbane Libraries. In 2009 following Black Saturday, YPRL was a major partner with the ALIA Disaster Recovery Project. In 2011 a staff branch restructure took place. In 2012 the National Broadband Network Project was implemented.
In 2013 Whittlesea Library, the newest branch opened and our first makerspace at Mill Park Library were opened. The Reading Rover was launched.
A number of major refurbishments have taken place across all eight branches of the Region.
Christine has always been a strong advocate of staff development supporting a number of staff in attending the State Library of Victoria Shared Leadership program, encouraging attendance and often making presentations at both local and overseas conferences. She introduced a program which made YPRL unique - the international Staff Exchange program. Several exchanges were conducted between sister library services in Europe and the USA.
Christine has been a supporter of the Global Libraries’ initiative INELI (International Network of Library Innovators) with a representative of YPRL taking part in the second program. This is a regional leadership program for emerging library leaders. Christine’s involvement resulted in YPRL hosting the INELI – Oceania in 2015.
She has been an active member of the Public Libraries Victoria Network and the Public Lending Right Committee. She remains a governing member of the International Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA).
The organisation has developed a strong vision and direction under Christine’s guidance and the latest Strategic Plan 2013-2017 will see her work continued.
Yarra Plenty Regional Library welcomes new CEO Di Shaw on 15 February 2016

New Nillumbik Heritage Guide

Are you a resident or neighbour of the Shire of Nillumbik? It has never been easier to explore the history of where you live with the new Nillumbik heritage guide which has been published by the Shire.
Pick up this handy, well set out and illustrated booklet which highlights important sites within the Shire. Four maps identify the location of the sites in different areas. These maps can be used as the basis for self- guided tours. Sites of interest include cemeteries, historic houses and museums and memorials.
The Shire has an active community of volunteers who work hard to preserve our local stories. Various groups are listed together with their websites.
Further information can also be found in our local history collections at Eltham and Diamond Valley Libraries, in addition to our website and Wikinorthia.
Copies of this free booklet can be picked up from the Shire of Nillumbik, Eltham and Diamond Valley Libraries and local history groups throughout the Shire.

Honour to Local Historian

Congratulations to Bruce Batten of the Whittlesea Historical Society who was recently honoured by the City of Whittlesea Australia Day Awards. Bruce was named co citizen of the year with Joy Chatfield. Bruce is the current President of the Whittlesea Historical Society but also an active member of the City of Whittlesea Cultural Heritage Program, Wollert Country Fire Association, Whittlesea Agricultural Society, Whittlesea Courthouse Association and Woodstock Hall Committee. He was personally instrumental in ensuring that Wollert maintained their mail delivery service. Congratulations Bruce.