The Heidelberg Historical Society Museum and research room are now closed for the rest of 2023.

Our regular Sunday afternoon openings will resume on 4th February 2024, 2PM - 5PM.

Where is Heidelberg?

  • Heidelberg is a suburb of Melbourne, Australia.
  • It is 11 km north east of central Melbourne, on the banks of the Yarra River.
  • In the past, the name "Heidelberg" has been applied to a wider area than the modern suburb.
  • It was the name of an early Road Board.
  • Heidelberg was the name of a Shire and later a City.
  • It gave its name to an artistic phenomenon, the Heidelberg School.

Exhibition for 2023

Eye Spy!
Waking our secret agents

Some museum objects seem to be asleep in our storage rooms. They are like "secret agents".

From the extensive array of objects collected over the past 55 years, this exhibition presents more than 150 secret agents. Their undercover identities slept in our store, preserved by our Society.

We have awakened an amazing range of gadgets, badges, fashion, plaques and quirky things.

Bring your family to play the “I Spy” game with our objects: amongst their names you’ll find something beginning with each letter of the alphabet. Can you identify the A to Z directory of secret agents?

Eye Spy offers multiple interpretations of our chosen objects to awaken your curiosity. New research findings will intrigue you. Recollections from our members and friends will enlighten and amuse. What ideas and memories will our secret agents stir for you?

Exhibition open from 2 pm to 5 pm on Sundays, 30 April to 3 December 2023.

Group visits at other times can be arranged by contacting the Society.

Next Speaker Meeting

Speaker: Dr Roslyn Otzen,
BA Hons, B Ed, PhD.

8 PM Tuesday 12 December,
Uniting Church Community Centre,
Seddon Street, Ivanhoe.

Dr Otzen used Co-vid lockdown productively to produce To Begin the World Anew: How Particular Nobodies Made Australia, a riveting history of her ancestors who came to Australia from Europe – from a First Fleeter to a Port Phillip Pioneer, and all varieties in between. It’s extraordinary what an ordinary family can be!

She is a retired educator, having taught at State & Independent schools. She was Principal of Korowa Anglican Girls’ School from 1991-2003. She was the inaugural President of the Alumni Council of the University of Melbourne and Deputy Chair of the Melbourne City Mission Board. She is the inaugural Chair of the MCM education arm, the Hester Hornbrook Academy, named for the founder of the MCM in 1854 and who opened nine schools for poor and disadvantaged children 1859-1862.

In 2008 Ros published a biography of another founder of the MCM, Dr John Singleton, Christian, doctor, philanthropist, and is currently working on a biography of Hester Hornbrook and the ladies she recruited to work with her, in setting up the key social supports for struggling people in Melbourne during the gold rush. These women are almost entirely unknown, even to historians of the time.

This is our last meeting for 2023, so a supper will follow the presentation. Please bring something to share.

Visitors welcome.

Our Country's History

Many attempts to describe the history of areas such as Heidelberg have restricted themselves to the story of the European settlers who started to arrive in the 1830s, a mere 200 years ago. However, human history in this area is at least 60,000 years old.

Introductions to the history of the district should include such sources as The Wurundjeri Website.

More information about treatment of First Nation people can be found at the Minutes of Evidence Site.

So much can be learned from First Nation history. While the struggles of European and later settlers is also of interest, this should not be the only history of Heidelberg to be considered.

Acknowledgement must be made of the treatment of First Nation people by government authorities and settlers, not just around Heidelberg, but in all parts of Australia.

Wurundjeri The First People of this Area

We acknowledge the Wurundjeri people who are the Traditional Custodians of this Land. We also pay our respect to the Elders both past and present of the Kulin Nation and extend that respect to all other Indigenous Australians. Our way forward is to look honestly at the past, avoiding the old distorted historical accounts as much as possible.

The Yarra.


Our Areas of Interest

Places of interest to Heidelberg Historical Society include anywhere that was ever in a local government area called "Heidelberg". Fairfield and Hurstbridge, have long ceased to share local governments with us, but we still have some historical information about them.


Upper Heidelberg Road, Ivanhoe,1920s, looking south-west. This continues to be a major shopping precinct.


Mount Street and Yarra Street intersection, Heidelberg, near the railway station. Area of car and bus park near station. Yarra Street runs top right to right side of photo. Date unknown but c1900.


By 1981 Rosanna had become a busy and fast growing residential suburb. The site of the famous Golf Course was now a park and a housing estate. In 2020, the railway formed an overpass above Lower Plenty Road, incorporating the Rosanna Railway Station.

More Areas of Interest


Viewbank in the 1950s. Not so many houses there then. Looking south from Lyon Street.


Yallambie is an historically important house, built in the 1870s, in Italianate style. It is also the name of the suburb.


The Treyvaud family lived in "Moora", 198 Upper Heidelberg Road, West Heidelberg, during the 1920s.


Aldermaston, located in Watsonia Barracks. was built in the 1930s and requisitioned by the army during WW11.

More Areas of Interest


An overhead view of the Australian Paper Manufacturers at Alphington in 1936.


Fairfield Railway Station was called Fairfield Park in earlier years. It was from there that the railway junction to the APM was managed.


"Moorawatha", 3 Wilmot Street, Macleod was buit in 1908.


Around 1900, a hot air balloon landed on Mt Eagle, attracting the interest of local residents.

Search this site using Google:

Heidelberg Historical Society (Inc. No. A0042118P)