Local history & cultural heritage organisations

A number of museums, historical societies and local heritage groups work within the City of Port Phillip. Below are links to some local places of interest to visit, and sources of local history and cultural heritage. Through research, publication and exhibition these not-for-profit organisations increase our knowledge and understanding of the history and heritage of the Port Phillip area.

St Kilda Historical Society

The St Kilda Historical Society Inc. is a not-for-profit organisation that wa founded in 1970 to foster interest in the history and heritage of St Kilda, Elwood, Balaclava and surrounding areas. The Society's website is a treasure trove of information about past and present St Kilda and its landmarks.


Port Melbourne Historical and Preservation Society

The Port Melbourne Historical & Preservation Society was formed in August 1993 to foster interest in and knowledge of the history of Port Melbourne; collect & preserve items of historical interest relevant to Port Melbourne and to compile and keep historical records of the area.


Middle Park History Group

The Middle Park History Group aims to promote awareness and the preservation of Middle Park history; involve and encourage the Middle Park community to actively participate in historical research; seek from the community oral histories, photographs and moving images, documents and artefacts relevant to Middle Park history; encourage research by government, educational institutions and others that can illuminate Middle Park history and culture and seek resources, both financially and in-kind to enhance the work of the Group.

Armstrong Street, Middle Park

Friends of St Kilda Cemetery

St Kilda Cemetery was established in 1855. It was one of the principal burial places south of the Yarra River during the nineteenth century and its heritage values have been recognised by the Commonwealth and State Governments. Friends of St Kilda Cemetery Inc is a not-for-profit incorporated association. It was formed in 1998 and incorporated in 1999 with the aim: To promote the conservation and appreciation of the St Kilda Cemetery as a place of remembrance, of historic importance and of natural beauty.


Alliance Francaise de Melbourne

The Alliance Française de Melbourne is an Australian non-profit association dedicated to the promotion of the French language and culture. Founded in 1890, the Alliance Française de Melbourne is the oldest in Australia (there being 33 Alliances in the Federation) and one of the oldest in the world. It belongs to a world network of 1,400 Alliances Françoise set up in 138 countries.


Friends of St Kilda Botanical Gardens

The St Kilda Botanical Gardens are bounded by Blessing, Herbert, Dickens and Tennyson Streets, St Kilda.The Gardens were first established in the 1860s and have a rich and colorful history. The Friends of the St Kilda Botanic Gardens Inc was established to sustain the bond between the St Kilda Botanical Gardens and surrounding community. Projects include maintenance and restoration of these heritage gardens by encouraging community members to become involved in the gardens and participate in activities including hands-on gardening, social events, skills building, fund-raising and advocacy.


Geoffrey Kaye Museum 

Founded in 1935 by Dr Geoffrey Kaye (1903-1986), the Geoffrey Kaye Museum of Anaesthetic History chronicles the history of anaesthesia, intensive care medicine and pain medicine. It is one of the largest and most comprehensive anaesthetic history collections in the world. Through its many activities, the museum explores the important impact the specialty of anaesthesia has had on society and its continuing contribution to the advancement of medicine.

Jewish Museum of Australia 

The Jewish Museum of Australia is an award-winning cultural museum showcasing the rich history and diverse culture of the Jewish people with a particular focus on Australian Jewish life, past and present. Discover Jewish traditions, learn about the migration of Jewish people to Australia, and explore Jewish culture and Australian Jewish life in the 21st Century. History is brought to life through permanent exhibitions as well as regularly changing temporary exhibitions. A range of participatory programs, short courses and educational tours are also available.

Experience Jewish culture. Engage in ritual. Participate in the journey of discovery.


 Friends of Luna Park

The Friends of Luna Park formed in 1991, united by a passion for Melbourne's Luna Park and concern for its survival. Volunteers set about gathering as much history as possible and successfully applied for national heritage protection of the site. We are proud to have instigated and helped direct the massive restoration of the 1913 merry-go-round (carousel), led by Friend and artist, Patricia Mullins, while Leigh Hobbs created the entrance colour scheme. We guided the recreation of the face; created the concept for the Ghost Train makeover, and found sympathetic artists to create the scenic art. We hope to see the Park again be a wonderland for both adults and children, with purpose built structures and brilliant illusions.


Elwood High School history blog and Elwood Central School blog

The Elwood Central and High school history blogs are pure nostalgia. They are an invitation to record what past students recall from their time at Elwood Central and Elwood High Schools (now Elwood Primary and Elwood Secondary College). 

All contributions welcome.