Events at the Stonnington History Centre

Discover Stonnington’s past with History Matters, a range of free workshops and presentations on a variety of history topics, led by Stonnington History Centre staff. We also run an exciting exhibition program and occasional tours of the building. For further information, please contact us.

Where bookings are required, they open at 10am on the first day of the month prior to the event.

All sessions take place at the Stonnington History Centre or at Northbrook Pop-Up Gallery, both at 1257 High Street, Malvern (behind Malvern Library), unless specified otherwise.

The City of Stonnington will be taking photographs and/or filming at events. Your image may be reproduced by the City of Stonnington in publications and/or promotional materials (including online publications), on its website and/or on social media. See for further information.

Map of History Centre and Northbook

Family group

Family History Club

Curious about your ancestors? Whether you are a beginner or an experienced family history researcher, come and join our friendly monthly group where you can meet with fellow enthusiasts and explore the many genealogy resources available at the Stonnington History Centre.

First Wednesday of the Month, 3-4.30pm: 7 February, 7 March, 4 April, 2 May, 6 June


Australian Government National Trust Heritage Festival logos

Australian Heritage Festival events in Stonnington

History Matters speaker

History Matters: Alicia Cerreto - Alice Meyer von Forell

Between the end of World War II and about 1980, hundreds of Stonnington residents would have had dance, deportment or debutante lessons with the formidable Alice Meyer von Forell. She and her husband Hans Meyer had a reputation as experts in the field of diplomacy and European languages, but their public face hid a private wartime story of life in internment camps in Australia.

Alicia Cerreto is a professional historian. Her most recent book is Berry Street 140 Years: Restoring Trust and Hope, a history of Berry Street, Victoria's largest independent child and family services organisation. Alicia is passionate about bringing stories from the past into the present and in working with community groups to share their histories with a wider audience.

Wednesday 18 April, 10am-11am

Book online or telephone 8290 1360.

Malvern Town Hall sketch 1885

Guided tour of Malvern Town Hall 

Come on a guided tour of the Malvern Town Hall with the Mayor Councillor Steve Stefanopoulos, and explore the beautiful interior architecture, which features Queensland maple panelled walls, terrazzo floors, intricate plaster ceilings and walls, and elaborate Victorian style staircase. Commence the tour with an illustrated talk showcasing historic photographs of the Malvern Town Hall from 1886 in the Council Chamber. 2 hours.

Wednesday 2 May, 10am – 12.00pm

Bookings required. Book online.             

Stonnington History CentreGuided tour of the Stonnington History Centre, Northbrook

Come on a behind-the-scenes tour of the working archives of the Stonnington History Centre, see some of our precious records, and learn about the programs and resources available for conducting your own research. The Stonnington History Centre manages the historic records of Stonnington Council and the former municipalities of Malvern and Prahran, and is housed in the Italianate villa Northbrook (designed by Charles D’Ebro and built in 1888-89), 1257 High Street, Malvern (behind Malvern Library). 1 hour.

Wednesday 9 May, 10am – 11am

Bookings required. Book online or telephone 8290 1360.

Malvern Town Hall 1920

Malvern Civic Precinct Heritage Walk

Come on a guided heritage walk of the Malvern Civic Precinct with the Mayor Councillor Steve Stefanopoulos. Beginning at the Stonnington History Centre (1257 High Street, behind Malvern Library), explore: Northbrook (the house, ballroom and stables); St Joseph’s Church and Presbytery (Stanhope Street); the former Malvern Fire Station (now Firestation Print Studio in Willis Street); the former ES&A Bank; Malvern Square and sculptures; St George’s Anglican Church (the church, hall and vicarage); Malvern Police Station and Court House; and finishing at Malvern Town Hall. 2 hours.

Wednesday 16 May, 10am – 12.00pm

Bookings required. Book online.

The Australian Heritage Festival is supported through funding from the Australian Government’s National Trusts Partnership Program.

History Matters: Janet Buick - Northbrook, who’s been sleeping in this house?

The History Centre’s Janet Buick tells the story of Northbrook and the people who designed, built and lived in the house. Janet will provide a glimpse of the high life, of the balls and social events held at Northbrook, before it was purchased by the Malvern Council in 1945. She will provide an overview of how the house has been used since the late 1940s. At the end of the talk Janet will conduct a tour of Northbrook, now home to the Stonnington History Centre.

Wednesday 20 June, 10am – 11am

Book online or telephone 8290 1360. Bookings open 10am on 1 May 2018

What's On at the Libraries 

Follow this link to see a list of other events held at Stonnington's Libraries, or download or print our What's On guide:

Whats On Program - January-June 2018(PDF, 1MB)

Past Events

Exhibition: Be Persuaded – A Jane Austen Experience Exhibition: Fashions From the Time of Jane AustenBe Persuaded exhibition postcard

To mark the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death, the Dressing Australia Museum of Costume has designed a rare and wonderful exhibition bringing Jane Austen to life in original fashion of the era. Hosted by the Stonnington History Centre, Be Persuaded features rare fashion, accessories and ephemera from the 18th century when Jane was born. Pieces such as these are rarely on display outside of major museums.

Mayoral postcard front edited CH.jpg

Exhibition - The Mayoral Office: more than robes and chains 

Meet the mayors who have served the municipalities of Stonnington, Malvern and Prahran for more than 160 years. Discover the responsibilities that come with the Head of Local Government and how the Mayoral Office has evolved through time.

Streets postcard front

Exhibition - Streets where we live: From Crown land to conservation

From the subdivision of the land to the creation of our residential streets, discover the evolution of our urban landscape through maps, mansions and the modern. Topics included: land subdivisions, architectural drawings, street names and numberings, floods, re-use and re-zoning, houses large and small, houses lost and some with heritage protections, and even a history of Northbrook, now home to the Stonnington History Centre.

Threads of History postcard Exhibition - Threads of History: Dressing Stonnington through time

Our second exhibition at the Northbrook Pop-Up Gallery – Threads of History: Dressing Stonnington through time – allowed visitors to wander through the work of the seamstress, the tailor, the fashion designer and tdiscover the clothing made and worn in Stonnington since the 1850s. A possum skin cloak, a wedding dress and exquisitely hand-stitched silk pyjamas were among some of our treasures never before seen on display.

A descriptive online exhibition catalogue is now available. 

History Matters postcard pic

Exhibition - History Matters: Treasures from Stonnington's Archives

Our first exhibition at the Northbrook Pop-Up Gallery – History Matters: Treasures from Stonnington's Archives – was a huge success, and hundreds of visitors shared their memories of the exhibits with us.

Although it has now closed, you can still view the descriptive exhibition catalogue here.