Australia’s deadliest flood

The 1850s were a time of great challenge for Australia’s European settlers, as the new migrants struggled to grapple with a land so foreign to their own back home. In particular, the Australian river systems proved to be a great mystery to the settlers as they were prone to both drying and flooding. The small … Read on

Alfred in Australia: the first royal visit down under

Australia’s very first royal visit was full of controversy, tragedy and huge crowds – both in support and in riot.  On 31 October 1867, Queen Victoria’s second-eldest son Prince Alfred embarked on the first British royal tour of the new land down under.  After joining the Royal Navy at 14, Prince Alfred attained a captain … Read on

Our grandparents’ footsteps in Ukraine

By Elisa and Anna Jakymin Several years ago, when we reached out to a Ukraine-based genealogist to track down our long-lost family, we could never have imagined where the journey would take us, and we wrote about it in an earlier blog post. To think that we would have the fortune of meeting relatives in … Read on

A short history of Ukraine

By Elisa and Anna Jakymin ‘It’s Ukraine, not The Ukraine.’ Following the collapse of the USSR, Ukraine’s declaration of independence in 1991 marked a turning point in a centuries-long and turbulent history fought for by our forefathers. Given that the prefix was used by Soviet Russians to refer to Ukraine as one of its own, … Read on

Australia’s deadliest cyclone

Australia’s far north is renowned for its wild weather. Each year, up to 10 cyclones develop in Australian waters, with around six of those hitting land. Unfortunately, some of those cyclones prove to be deadly, too. Australians have witnessed the devastation that came with Darwin’s Cyclone Tracy in 1974, and with Queensland’s Cyclone Yasi in … Read on

Sneak Peek: Melbourne’s Pentridge Prison

For many years after its construction in 1850, Melbourne’s Her Majesty’s Prison Pentridge was a place of dread. Today, though it has a grim and violent history, Pentridge is an entirely different place. Inmates inside the controversial housing facility have included some of Australia’s notorious criminals – among them Ned Kelly and Chopper Read – … Read on

Fitzroy stories part 1: a First Nations history of Fitzroy

During the 1920s, many Aboriginal people moved to Fitzroy, Victoria, attracted by job prospects and cheap rent. Now replete with wine bars, bakeries and fancy restaurants, Fitzroy was once known as ‘Melbourne’s worst slum,’ but it was a thriving First Nations space with a real sense of community. By the 1940s, Fitzroy had the largest … Read on

Egyptomania in the Victorian era

In the Victorian-era, England was swept with a new craze for ancient antiquities ­– in particular, those originating from Egypt. The fascination has become known as ‘Egyptomania’, and it reveals the culture of curiosity, discovery and exploration that exemplifies the Victorian era. Egypt had entered international news in 1822, when the Rosetta Stone was translated, … Read on

The world’s first feature film

Australia’s contributions to filmmaking are significant – for example, we were the first in the world to extend films to feature-long narratives. Very few people know that Australia is also responsible for the world’s first feature-length film – The Story of the Kelly Gang. It’s also the first ever film about Ned Kelly, the first … Read on

‘The Black Pub of Melbourne’

Melbourne’s Fitzroy drinking hole, the Builders Arms Hotel, was built in 1853 and is one of Melbourne/Narrm’s oldest pubs. It might seem like any of the other pubs pouring craft beers for an inner-city crowd but in a former life, this pub played a significant role in First Nations history. To understand why, we must … Read on

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