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 - new timeslot

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. Note our new time, 2pm - 4pm.

First Wednesday of the month, 2pm-4pm: 4 July, 1 August, 5 September, 3 October, 7 November, 5 December. No bookings required.

 Willis familyPeter King: conserving your family photos

Photographer Peter King explains how to look after your irreplaceable family photos, both prints and digital files. This very popular session is a must for family historians and custodians of treasured photographs.

Wednesday 8 August, 10am – 11am

Book online or telephone 8290 1360.

Open House Melbourne logo

The Stonnington History Centre is proud to be a part of Open House Melbourne again this year.

Portico.jpgNorthbrook and former stables

Northbrook is a Victorian Italianate villa built in 1888–1889 to the design of architect Charles D’Ebro. The house was originally set on 2.5 acres of gardens facing High Street and included a 160-square-metre ballroom, timber outbuildings (since removed) and brick stables. Features include: a small portico with pressed-metal ceiling, elaborate mouldings and a balustrade parapet; interior timber panelling, including built-in sideboards and large over-mantles, stencilled ceilings. The Stonnington History Centre has occupied the building since 2008, managing the extensive Council Archives.

Sunday 29 July, 10am – 4pm

Guided tours run for 20 minutes and will commence at: 10.30am, 11.30am, 12.30pm, 1.30pm, 2.30pm, 3.30pm. Visit the Open House Melbourne website for more information.

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 - July-December 2018(PDF, 775KB)

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 discover 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.