Friday, 21 October 2016 05:00

History of Victorian Mechanics' Institutes wins top Victorian Community History Award

A book about the history of Mechanics’ Institutes of Victoria has been awarded top prize at this years’ Victorian Community History Awards.

Mechanics’ Institutes in Victoria have historically been meeting places for adult education, entertainment and the arts. The book These Walls Speak Volumes: A History of Mechanics’ Institutes in Victoria by Pam Baragwanath and Ken James, provides an insight into their pioneering role as one of Victoria’s earliest community organisations.

Magda Szubanski was awarded the Judges’ Special Prize for her autobiography Reckoning, delving into her father’s dark past, while Anne Doyle’s book about the Somali community of West Heidelberg, Wadaddi Nabadda. Paths to Peace, won the inaugural Cultural Diversity Award.

Other winning entries included a book about activism during 1970s Melbourne, the story of Hector Crawford and documentaries about Malvern’s gifted Jewish sculptor Karl Duldig.

The Victorian Community History Awards are presented by Public Record Office Victoria in partnership with the Royal Historical Society of Victoria, and funded by the Victorian Government.

To view commendations and for more information go to

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