2022 Heritage Festival Program


Heritage Hobsons Bay

Part of the Australian Heritage Festival

18 April to 2 May 2022

The community was able to explore the history behind the iconic spaces and common places of Hobsons Bay during the Australian Heritage Festival. The theme for 2022 was 'curiosity’.

View the digital brochure here: Heritage Hobsons Bay 2022 Digital Brochure by Creative City - Hobsons Bay City Council - Issuu


2022 Heritage Hobsons Bay Program

Williamstown Film Society Exhibition

Presented by Williamstown Film Society and Hobsons Bay Libraries

The Williamstown Film Society celebrates its ‘official’ 25th anniversary with an exhibition at the Williamstown Library. Beginning as the Williamstown High School Ex-Students' Association Film Group in 1949, it evolved into the Williamstown Film Society in the mid-1950s before winding down at the end of the decade.

In 1996 the Film Society re-formed and remains active today with film screenings at the Williamstown Town Hall and Willy's Coffee House at St. Johns Uniting Church.

30 March – 2 May, during library hours

Williamstown Library 104 Ferguson St Williamstown 3016 


Hands on History: Recreate a 1000-Year-Old TRUE story!

Presented Hobsons Bay Libraries

Did you know that 1000 years ago Port Phillip Bay was a dry, grassy plain? Come and find out how this transformation happened by creating your own version of the flood that took place. We will create a model Port Phillip Bay out of playdough and see how the landscape changed after a sea wall was breached while also learning about the Boon Wurrung people’s story of the flood, which has been passed down for generations since the event occurred.

Wednesday 20 April 10am to 12pm

13 Mason St Newport 3015


A Glimpse of Victorian

Presented by Altona Laverton Historical Society

Join the Late Victorian Society of Melbourne and the Altona Laverton Historical Society for a fully immersive Victorian experience at the Altona Homestead. Living historians dressed for the era will present life in that period, giving visitors a sense of stepping back in time to Victorian Melbourne. Built in 1840, the Altona Homestead was the first homestead built on the Port Phillip foreshore and is an important part of the heritage of Altona and Melbourne’s west. Its rooms portray everyday life from 1840 through to the mid 1900’s.

At 11am and 1pm you can enjoy a guided tour with a member of the Altona Laverton Historical Society who will talk about the Homestead, its occupants, a brief history of the area and the Homestead’s importance to the development of Altona.

Tuesday 19 April 10.30am to 2.30pm

128 Queen St, Altona VIC 3018

Free/Gold Coin donation

More info: www.alhs.com.au


Step Back in Time - Williamstown Guided Walking Tours

Presented by Hobsons Bay City Council

Unlock the secrets of the historic Williamstown waterfront and seaport. One hour in duration and catering to all abilities, explore the historic seaport of waterfront Williamstown, as well as its hidden lanes, monuments and buildings.

Tuesdays and Fridays, 19, 22, 26 and 29 April, 11.45am to 12.45pm

Meet at the Visitor Information Centre, Commonwealth Reserve, Cnr Syme Street and Nelson Place, Williamstown


Secrets of the Pinetum

Presented by Hobsons Bay City Council and the Friends of Williamstown Botanic Gardens

Follow the historic, winding pathways of Williamstown Botanic Gardens through the recently rejuvenated Pinetum to discover the origins of the tree collection and the fascinating stories behind how they came to be here. Join us on this walking tour as we discover lost garden structures, the elegance of Edward La Trobe Bateman’s garden design and how the garden is preparing for the future while honouring the past.

Wednesday 20 April, 10.30am to 11.30am

Williamstown Botanic Gardens, Giffard St &, Osborne St, Williamstown VIC 3016

Meet at the Williamstown Botanic Gardens gates on the corner of Giffard and Osborne Streets, Williamstown. Event will go ahead if the weather is showery, we encourage visitors to bring an umbrella. 


Newport Archives

Presented by The Substation

Newport Archives is an audio walk created for The Substation, which contemplates the connections between time, place and memory. Inspired by The Substation building’s own story, the work draws on interviews with local residents to open small windows into a Newport of a different era… an era of ships and trains. Equipped with headphones and an mp3 player as their guide, participants walk unaccompanied through Newport’s streets immersed in a sound world that uncannily knits the present with the past and memory with imagination.

Creator/Director: Tamara Saulwick

Audio Design: Joe Talia 

Duration: 40 mins (1 participant per session)

Please note, this activity is not wheelchair accessible and takes place both indoors and outdoors. We recommend that you wear comfortable shoes. 

For bookings and more info please email info@thesubstation.org.au

Entry: Free 


Wed 20 April - Thurs 21 April, 12pm-6pm (last session at 5.15pm)

Fri 22 April - Sat 23 April, 12pm-8pm (last session at 7.15pm)

Wed 27 April - Thurs 28 April, 12pm-6pm (last session at 5.15pm)

Fri 29 April - Sat 30 April, 12pm-8pm (last session at 7.15pm)

Attendance Limit: 1 participant per session, with sessions running every 10 minutes


Homegrown Heritage

Presented by Hobsons Bay Libraries

Join Homegrown Hobsons Bay writers, Leigh Hobbs, Dr Chris Ringrose, Dr Kerry Fowler, Dr Sherryl Clark, Lucia Nardo and Vicki Milliken for the launch of their filmed stories of the place they call home, as part of the Australian Heritage Festival.

Wednesday 20 April, 6.30pm to 7.30pm



Sons of Williamstown: A Labour of Love

Presented by Hobsons Bay City Council and the Australian Anzac Centenary Local Grants Program

Of the 1,800 Williamstown men who enlisted during World War I, 265 would not return. In 1917, at the request of local families, Councillor William Henderson, a Williamstown councillor from 1916-1928 and Mayor from 1919-1920, collected the names and portraits of each of those men who gave their lives. In May 1919 Governor Sir Arthur L Stanley proclaimed Williamstown a city, opened the new Council Chambers in Ferguson Street and unveiled an ‘8 feet by 4 feet handsomely framed and glazed collective photograph’ of 248 individual photos plus the names of six other local servicemen who died in the Great War. To display them, the Council contracted H Goldman Manufacturing Co., to build a blackwood cabinet with doors designed to protect the photos. For Cr Henderson this work was his labour of love but it was no easy task, “I have seen more of the domestic side of grief than ever before”, he wrote. Describing his experiences in gathering the photos, an emotional Cr Henderson said he had “learned the private histories of those boys so truly loved

Hobsons Bay City Council’s Sons of Williamstown, A Labour of Love project, supported by the Australian Government’s Anzac Centenary Local Grants Program set out to conserve, research and document the Board and share the stories behind the faces. 

In the spirit of ANZAC Day, visit the Williamstown Town Hall to view the Sons of Williamstown Honour Board on Thursday 21 April from 10am to 12pm  No booking required.

Additionally, you can visit http://sonsofwilliamstown.com.au to explore the stories of the honour board.


Spotswood Industrial Heritage Guided Walk

Presented by Hobsons Bay City Council

Join Hobsons Bay Visitor Information Centre  guide Sean O’Sullivan on a guided walking tour of Spotswood based on the Museums Victoria digital app. Download the app prior to the walk or just follow the guided tour to learn about the bold industrial era of the Pumping Station, the glassworks and more. Hear stories of the locals, workers and residents who populated its unique and thriving neighbourhood.

Thursday 21 April, 10am to 12pm

Meet at entrance of Scienceworks, Booker Street, Spotswood


Download the app here: https://museumsvictoria.com.au/apps/walk-through-history


Sounds of Silent - Screening Buster Keaton’s Spite Marriage

Presented by Hobsons Bay City Council's Arts at Your Doorstep Program

Sounds of Silent presents Buster Keaton’s Spite Marriage, a music and film experience at the Williamstown Town Hall, in the grand ballroom, which opened in 1926.

Sounds of Silent is a five-piece band which recreates the silent movie experience of the 1920s and 30s performing live with a repertoire of fun, familiar and popular music in the style of the period. 

The 1929 Buster Keaton film Spite Marriage tells the story of an unimpressive but well intending man who is given the chance to marry a popular actress, of whom he is a hopeless fan. 

A fun evening for all ages, Sounds of Silent have performed all over Australia to sell-out audiences.

Seating at tables, bring your own drinks and refreshments

Thursday 21 April, 7.30pm

Williamstown Town Hall, 104 Ferguson Street, Williamstown

Tickets: $15


Williamstown Heritage Projection Tour

Presented by Hobsons Bay City Council in partnership with The Little Projector Company

The Little Projector Company’s highly popular projection walking tour of Williamstown returns for Heritage Hobsons Bay 2022. Join us for a night-time tour discovering stories of Williamstown’s past,

follow the little projector bike for a stroll back in time.

Originally created to celebrate the centenary of Williamstown, declared a city in 1919; this tour uses original collection material, sound and creative interpretation to give a sense of how the area felt in past through projections against some of Williamstown’s much loved, admired and occasionally overlooked built environments.

Two tours of approximately one hour in length will run for one night only, free to the general public. We look forward to a walk down memory lane with you again.

Friday 22 April, tours depart at 6pm and 7.30pm

Meet at the Ada Cambridge Forecourt, Williamstown Town Hall, 104 Ferguson Street, Williamstown

{Extra for a caption etc: In 1919 thousands of local residents gathered at the site of the partially constructed Greek revivalist Town Hall to witness an historic moment when Williamstown was declared a city.} 


Ghosts of the Old City Williamstown

Presented by Lantern Ghost Tours

Explore King William’s Town, the original capital of Victoria, by lamp light. Steeped with history, apparitions, alleyways and lager it was once a thriving maritime town. Visit an abandoned morgue, forgotten burial grounds and hidden laneways in Victoria’s most historic seaport.

Friday April 22 and Saturday 23 April, 8.30pm

Friday April 29 and Saturday 30 April, 8.30pm

Tour duration 2 hours. Tour departs from Hobsons Bay Visitor Information Centre, Nelson Place, Williamstown.

Bookings essential: $36, Family $96


Alfred Graving Dock Guided Tours

Presented by Tall Ships Victoria & BAE Systems                 

A rare opportunity to see the Alfred Graving Dock, within the former naval dockyards in Williamstown with guided tours on Saturdays during the festival. Built between 1864-1873, this remarkable maritime infrastructure remained in continuous service for the maintenance and repair of ships in dry dock, until recent times. According to the Victorian Heritage Register “It was the largest undertaking by the Victorian Government at that time and was of international importance and great engineering significance.”

Saturday 23 April and Saturday 30 April, 10am to 4pm - tours leaving on the hour                   

*Meet at BAE Systems 10 Nelson Place Williamstown 3016 (opposite the Titanic)              


Altona Homestead Guided QR Walk

Presented by Altona Historical Society

Join a guided tour of Altona from Altona’s oldest residential building, the Altona Homestead, along the Esplanade and around to the Civic Buildings of Hobsons Bay then down Pier Street returning to Logan Reserve. Available as a self-guided tour year-round, this is a special opportunity to share the tour with a group. The Altona Homestead route will cover just over 3.5km along footpaths (Esplanade, Millers Road, Civic Parade and Pier Street) over a duration of approximately 60 minutes.

Weather dependent.

Tuesday 26 April, 11am and 1pm

Bookings: https://alhs.com.au

Want to go it alone? Find the tour through the Hobsons Bay QR Walks here: www.hobsonsbayqrwalks.com.au


LGBTIQ+ Inclusion in the history of the Australian Defence Force

Presented by Hobsons Bay Libraries

Join historian Noah Riseman, co-author of Pride in Defence (2020) and Serving in Silence? (2018), as he provides an overview of Australian LGBTIQ+ military service, past and present. Australian Defence Force policies banned lesbian, gay and bisexual people from serving until November 1992 and transgender people until September 2010 yet, there is a long history of service from across the LGBTIQ+ community.  

Tuesday 26 April, 6.30pm to 7.30pm



Hidden Histories

Presented by Donna Jackson and Megan Slattery as part of the Better Places program

Hobsons Bay City Council is launching the Hidden Histories project, part of the Better Places program. Hidden Histories is a call out to share stories about Spotswood and South Kingsville before they’re lost. Local creatives Donna Jackson and Megan Slattery are all set to listen and gather these community stories through workshops. The aim will be to document local history through the stories that people share, and create a short film featuring local people speaking about the history of the area. 

Tuesday 26 April, 7pm to 8.30pm

Aa is for Art – 31 Vernon St, South Kingsville


Sunday 1 May,  2pm to 3.30pm

The Duchess Café – 87 Hudsons Road, Spotswood


Monday 2 May, 7pm to 8.30pm

Online via Zoom


Pop-Up Heritage Help

Presented by Hobsons Bay Libraries

Do you have local or family history questions you want answered? Are you keen to learn more about where to start your research? Come by one of our pop-up heritage tables during Heritage Hobsons Bay to have your questions answered. Our expert heritage staff will be able to provide research tips, recommend local history books, and more. If you have a tricky question, you can email heritage@hobsonsbay.vic.gov.au in advance to give our researchers a head start.

Tuesday 26 April, 1pm to 5pm

Civic Centre 115 Civic Parade, Altona


Wednesday 27 April, 1pm to 5pm

Altona Library, 123 Queen Street, Altona


Thursday 28 April, 1pm to 5pm

Altona Meadows Library and Learning Centre, 2 Newham Way, Altona Meadows


Monday May 2, 1pm to 5pm

Library at Newport Community Hub 13 Mason St Newport


Postcards from the Gardens - Moments in Time

Presented by Williamstown Botanic Gardens with Friends of Williamstown Botanic Gardens

Using the historic postcard collection of the Williamstown Botanic Gardens archive, we’ll explore the early 1900’s craze for postcard sending and collecting. It's been estimated that the golden age of the postcard

(1900-1914) saw 200 to 300 billion postcards produced and posted worldwide. Clearly these missives have something to tell us about the past. Visitors will tour the 162-year-old Gardens, revisiting sites and views featured in vintage postcards as we discover what these images and intriguing handwritten messages can tell us about these moments in time.

Wednesday 27 April, 10am to 11.30am

Meet at the Williamstown Botanic Gardens gates on the corner of Giffard and Osborne Streets, Williamstown


Lost Lands Found - The flowering grassland of Victoria

Presented by Hobsons Bay Libraries

“We are the newest caretakers and custodians of this ancient land that we now call ‘Home’. Our Home, Our Time, Our Turn!”– Dean Stewart

Dean Stewart is a passionate Wemba Wemba-Wergaia man of Victoria, with over 25 years’ experience creating, co-ordinating and conducting cultural education, tourism, conservation and interpretation programs and projects. The Western Plains Grassland, part of Hobsons Bay, has gone from one of the state’s richest and extensive ecologies to one of Victoria’s most critically endangered in just decades. Less than 1% of what was one of the largest grasslands on this planet survives today, with much of it decimated in just the last 70 years. Make a deeper connection with these special, local natural landscapes and ecologies and learn what we may do personally to protect and nurture these ancient flowering grasslands.

Wednesday 27 April, 6.15 to 7.30pm

Altona Library, 123 Queen Street, Altona


Caring for Country - Indigenous Design Principles

Presented by Heritage Hobsons Bay and the Hobsons Bay Wetlands Centre

What are Indigenous design principles? How will they be used in the proposed Hobsons Bay Wetlands Centre?  Heritage Hobsons Bay presents an online panel discussion which explores Indigenous cultural heritage landscapes featuring Dr Marilyn Oliff Chair of the Hobsons Bay Wetlands Centre, Indigenous architect Jefa Greenaway, and Nick Griffin, landscape architect.

The panel will demonstrate how Indigenous cultural heritage can inform design practice through finding authentic ways in which to connect with Country and express the rich layer of Aboriginal history and experience through design. The panellists will also welcome questions after their presentations.

Thursday 28 April, 7pm to 8pm

You can view a recording of this online zoom event on Youtube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nexoaiIhXJM


GetUp OutWest's Hidden Histories

Why are First Nations histories still largely hidden among the public histories told in Australia’s cities, suburbs and towns? Learn what examples we do have of these stories being revealed as authentic shared histories with First Nations involvement.

Boonwurrung Custodian, Jaeden Williams and Second Nations shared history facilitator Greg Thorpe, reveal the story of the Message Tree of Williamstown and discuss other Boonwurrung shared histories in public landscapes east of the Maribyrnong.

Thursday 28 April, 7pm to 8.30pm

Newport Library, 13 Mason St Newport


Williamstown Town Hall Heritage Tour

Presented by Hobsons Bay City Council

Enjoy a guided tour of the Williamstown Town Hall and learn about the history of the building and the part it has played in the community over the last century.

The Williamstown Town Hall is arguably one of the State’s finest and largest town halls. The front administration building was constructed in 1918, designed by Plottel & Bennett with the ballroom designed by Gibbs, Finlay and Morsby in 1926, as a very fine example of the Greek revival architectural style.

As one of the few buildings in the western region capable of seating 1,000 people, the Williamstown Town Hall continues to play a significant role in the social, cultural, civic and community life in the city. 

While on the walk you’ll explore the grand ballroom, the wood panelled council chamber, complete with 1920s furniture and more

1.5 hours guided tour.

Friday 29 April, 11am

Williamstown Town Hall, 104 Ferguson Street, Williamstown



Old Laverton School Heritage Talk

Presented by Hobsons Bay City Council and Altona Laverton Historical Society Inc

Visit the Old Laverton School and take in the history of the building that was both a school building and a rural outpost of a developing city.  Built in 1888, this beautiful single room schoolhouse is one of the last of its kind in the Melbourne metropolitan area.

Hear about its varied history and the role it played in bringing community together.

Saturday 30 April, Old Laverton School open from 10.30am with talk and tour to commence at 11am. Duration approximately 45 minutes.

Old Laverton School, 43 Kiora Street, Altona Meadows


Altona Homestead Devonshire Tea

Presented by Late Victorian Society of Melbourne and the Altona Laverton Historical Society

Enjoy a beautiful traditional Devonshire Tea within the Altona Homestead, Altona’s oldest residential building built around 1842 and sits in Logan Reserve looking out towards Altona Beach. Devonshire tea is served within the rooms of the Homestead or in the Courtyard. Take the opportunity to ask questions about the Homestead or Altona’s history from our serving staff and feel free to take a self-guided tour.

Sunday 1 May, 10am, 11.30am & 1pm

128 Queen St, Altona VIC 3018

Cost $8.00

Bookings: https://alhs.com.au


Truganina Explosives Reserve Open Day

Presented by Truganina Explosives Reserve Preservation Society and Inner West Branch of the National Trust

The Truganina Explosives Reserve was the Victorian Government storage and distribution facility for civilian-use explosives from 1901 to 1962. Today Hobsons Bay City Council manages 40 ha of the original site and is establishing most of the area as a nature reserve. The site also has two historic residences, various outbuildings, and ornamental gardens, which have been restored and enhanced by a dedicated team of volunteers since 2015.

Sunday 1 May, 11am to 4pm

Truganina Explosives Reserve, 274 Queen Street, Altona

Free/Gold Coin donation, No Bookings required


Royal Victorian Motor Yacht Club Open Day

Presented by Royal Victorian Motor Yacht Club

The waterfront along The Strand and Nelson Place in Williamstown is steeped in maritime history, with several clubs having heritage of national significance. 118 years after it was originally established as the Victorian Launch Club, the Royal Victorian Motor Yacht Club in Williamstown lays claim to being the oldest continually running motor yacht club in the world. Steeped in tradition and proud of its Royal Charter granted in 1937, the RVMYC has both a rich past and a vibrant present. The Club’s interesting history includes a time when club boats were used on active patrols of Bass Strait and Victoria’s coastline during WW2, some serious power boat racing way back in 1914 and, more recently, close ties with the Australian Navy.  Join a guided tour of the club and marina, while enjoying fabulous views of the bay and the city skyline.  Fun activities on the lawn. Bar and bistro open.

Sunday 1 May 11.30am to 4pm

Royal Victorian Motor Yacht Club, 260 Nelson Pl, Williamstown VIC 3016



Activities and spaces that can be enjoyed throughout the Heritage Festival and year around:


Heritage Street Signs

The stories behind some of Hobsons Bay’s oldest street names have been acknowledged through the installation of heritage street signs. The signs provide a glimpse into the history of the city, the lives of political, business, cultural and community leaders and opportunities to showcase important elements of its past. 

Created with input and advice from Hobson Bay’s historical societies, streets signs across the city connect us to our past and provide clues into the origins of our neighbourhoods. Do you know what your street name means?

 As you travel through the city, look out for these signs and find out more about the history of Hobsons Bay.

Learn more: www.hobsonsbay.vic.gov.au/Community/Arts-Culture-Heritage/Cultural-Heritage/Heritage-Street-Signs


Hobsons Bay Coastal Trail, artworks and interpretive markers

A great way to experience the city is through following the Hobsons Bay Coastal Trail, 23km that is sign posted with trail markers and artworks that allow the significance of the cultural and natural history of the coast to be revealed, reinforcing our sense of local place and community and enriching our understanding of the environment.

Interpretive signage and markers are also placed throughout the city, stories of people and places that make up the history of Hobsons Bay. 

Learn more: www.hobsonsbay.vic.gov.au/visit/Experience/Things-to-do/The-Hobsons-Bay-Coastal-Trail


A community remembered

The Brooklyn Migrant Hostel was opened in 1949. Primarily for British migrants, the hostel also housed some Dutch, Italian and Slav migrants. The hostel began in 14 wool stores and later as migrant numbers swelled, 8 ex-Army Nissen huts were installed on the corner of Francis Street and Millers Road.

Millie Shurey nèe Schillick was a young girl when she arrived in Brooklyn and lived for a time in the Brooklyn Migrant Hostel with her family. The story of her early years and her family’s transition to Australia contributed to the creation of this interpretation panel.

Some of these first wave European settlers are still living in Brooklyn and the western suburbs in their original 1950s houses. These early migrants contributed significantly to the development of not just Brooklyn but country wide, helping to establish Melbourne as 'the most European city' in Australia.




Heritage in Hobsons Bay resonates with locals and draws visitors year-round.  Check out some of the museums and museum experiences you’ll find here.



Every Tuesday, 11am to 2pm, Saturdays 10am to 12pm, and first Sunday of the month, 10.30am to 2pm

Logan Reserve, Altona




Gem Pier, Syme St, Williamstown

Bookings required to sail




Open weekends and public holiday, 11am to 4pm

Gem Pier Syme St, Williamstown




Open Saturdays, 12pm to 5pm and Sundays during school holidays

Champion Road, Williamstown




Open daily, 10am to 4.30pm

2 Booker St, Spotswood




Open Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday, 11am to 3pm

Open other days for group bookings by appointment

82 Nelson Place, Williamstown



St John Museum

Open Thursday and Sunday, 10am to 4pm

Corner The Esplanade & Garden Street, Williamstown




Getting there… One of the real charms of getting to Hobsons Bay is just that, getting there! Travel by ferry, get on your bike and take a ride, take the train or bus, come by car, or catch a seaplane. Phone the Hobsons Bay Visitor Information Centre for best travel arrangements. Whichever way you come, your adventure starts the moment you leave home.



Visit www.experiencehobsonsbay.com for things to do, see, places to eat and places to stay.

We encourage people to share their favourite pics of places they love in Hobsons Bay by using the hashtag #experiencehobsonsbay on social media.

Follow us on Instagram @hobsonsbaycc



Nelson Place, Williamstown

Open Daily

Phone 9932 3016

NRS phone 133 677 and quote 03 9932 1000




Stay up to date with Hobsons Bays Arts & Events - Subscribe to our eNewsletter. Visit www.hobsonsbay.vic.gov.au  or follow us on facebook/creativecityhobsonsbay