About Us


The Phillip Island and District Historical Society was established in 1941 under the name of the Phillip Island & Westernport Historical Society Inc.

However, it went into a hiatus during the 1950s and in 1967 was reformed as The Phillip Island & District Historical Society.

The society’s museum was opened in December 1982 in what was called the Heritage Centre in Thompson Avenue, where the new Cowes Cultural Centre is located today. It operated continuously until early 2020 when closed due to the demolition and rebuilding of the Cultural Centre.

The museum reopened in 2023 in the new centre named Berninneit with an extensive display of digital stories supported by historical artefacts and images.

The Society’s mission is

  • To foster interest and encourage the study of the history of Phillip Island and surrounding district, and to promote the compilation and publication of authentic historical records.
  • To collect, preserve and display artefacts and items of historical interest.
  • To aid in the preservation of places, artefacts and records of historical interest relating to the history of Phillip Island and district.
First Post Office in Cowes

Phillip Island and District Historical Society is an incorporated body registered with Consumer Affairs Victoria, reg. no: A 00053950

The Society is also a registered charity with the Australian Charities and Not for Profits Commission (ACNC). 

All donations over $2 are tax deductible.

Our Committee 2023-2024

Doug Waugh
Phil Dressing
Vice President
Pamela Rothfield
Judy Gittus
Judy Lawrence
Asst. Treasurer & Committee
Anne Davie
Cheryl Overton
Bruce Procter
Elly Berryman
John Jansson
Julie Box
Jason Cameron