Become a Member


Individual membership $30 per year

Members of the Phillip Island and District Historical Society receive discounts on books for sale and events held by the society, plus a regular newsletter. Quarterly lunch meetings are a great way to meet other members and share their passion for local history.

Treasurer’s quarterly report and Annual General Meeting reports are also available. 

Free research is available for any historical enquiries members may have regarding Phillip Island and District. 

Members are entitled to vote at General Meetings and the Annual General Meeting and can stand for office. Volunteers are always welcome.

Family membership $40 per year

Tax Deductible Donations are most welcome.

If you wish to join online you can do so by paying directly into our account using these details:
Bendigo Bank
Account Title: Phillip Island & District Historical Society Inc General Account
BSB: 633-000
A/C No: 151829389
Reference: your surname

Please email to notify us of your payment.

Minutes: Ordinary General Meetings

15 June 2023
Phillip Island & District Historical Society Inc.  Ordinary General Meeting
Phillip Island RSL, 225 Thompson Avenue Cowes VIC 3922 at 12 noon for lunch with the meeting following.
1. OPENING. President Doug Waugh welcomed members and due to the late start of the meeting, felt it was appropriate to hand the floor directly to our guests David Burrows -the Cultural Development & Programmes Coordinator for Bass Coast Shire and Patrick Watt, Facilitator, Education & Museum Consultant, who will present the offer of Cultural Awareness training for members of the Phillip Island & District Historical Society.

David introduced Patrick who has a background in teaching and a wide range of experience including managing the Burke Museum & Historic Precinct and working for the National Sports Museum in Canberra in the role of Manager of Education & Public Programs.

Patrick explained to those present the value in understanding the local history of our first nationʼs people and our ownership of the acknowledgement we develop which will be exhibited at the entrance of our museum. Whilst the museum will be focussed on the post European period, it has been shown that visitors and tourists are very interested in the indigenous story, and we would be well served in having a knowledge and understanding of our local story.

The Bass Coast Shire will be offering the Society Cultural Awareness training which will lead into the development of an Acknowledgement, to be approved by the Bunurong Land Council. There will be limited spots available for this training and the priority will go to the committee first and then members of the Society.

The Secretary will contact all those present at the General Meeting to assess the interest in attending the training.

David and Patrick departed, and the meeting continued.

  1. Acknowledgement of Country ‒ Ann Davie provided the Acknowledgement to Country.

  2. PRESENT: as per the attached attendees list.

  3. APOLOGIES. As per the apologies list, attached

  4. CONFIRMATION OF MINUTES OF MEETING HELD ON 27th MARCH 2023 Moved Pam Rothfield seconded Judy Gittus.



Doug mentioned that since the last General Meeting in March, there are a few items which he would like to inform the members of:

1. Membership

First of all membership of our society continues to grow at a steady pace ‒ we have accepted five new members since our last meeting.

2. Finances

Our finances are slowly increasing with revenues from books and photograph sales as well as from our Pioneer Palaces bus tours. However, we cannot become complacent, as costs have also increased as we will continue to require secure off-site storage for our collection, due to the reduction in size of our new museum.

3. Future projects: The Bus tour wrap up ‒ revenue from the Pioneer Palace tour realised something along the lines of $1,400 for the society. These events are something that the Society would like to introduce on a more regular basis. Such as Cemetery tours which include an afternoon or morning tea. Obviously, such tours would operate in the warmer months ‒ but could result in extra revenue for the Society. Another example of a potential future project could also be a Maritime History in a facility, which could attract paying audiences.

4. MYOB‒Since the last meeting we have transferred our accounting package to MYOB and whilst there is a learning curve, we are delighted at the progress and that we are on the way to achieving best practise accounting.

5. Web site. The website is up and running, however we have had a little set back as our web developer fell ill and was rushed to hospital with pancreatitis which resulted in having his gall bladder removed. He is in recovery but restarting work on the site. We do envisage the site offering books for sale ‒ which is another avenue for revenue for the society

6. Digital stories – So far the Speke story is complete, the others to follow are: Chicory & Phillip Island; The Tale of the First Bridge; The Island is Opened for Selection & The McHaffies; The Beginnings of Car Racing on Phillip Island.

That the Presidentʼs Report be accepted: Moved Doug Waugh, Seconded Pam Rothfield.  Carried

  1. TREASURERʼS REPORT.   Treasurer reported bank balance of $22,749.83.  Report as attached to these Minutes. Bruce Proctor posed the questions how much of the balance is committed, to which Judy responded about $11,000.    

    That the Treasurerʼs Report be accepted. Moved Judy Gittus, seconded Pam Rothfield Carried



The next general meeting will be the AGM to be held on Thursday 21st September 2023 at the Phillip Island RSL.

Minutes confirmed this 16 day of June 2023

President: ……………………………………………………..

VAN: A5239


Minutes: 27 March 2023 
Phillip Island & District Historical Society Inc.  Ordinary General Meeting, 
Phillip Island RSL, 225 Thompson Avenue Cowes VIC 3922

at 12 noon for lunch with the meeting following.

  1. OPENING: President Doug Waugh welcomed members.

  2. Acknowledgement to Country: Anne Davie.

  3. PRESENT: as per the attached attendees list.

  4. APOLOGIES: As per the apologies list, attached

  5. CONFIRMATION OF MINUTES OF MEETING HELD ON 15th SEPTEMBER 2022: Moved Pam Rothfield seconded Judy Gittus.

  6. MATTERS ARISING: The meeting commences with the members being shown the first digital video the Society has produced, which was the History of the Speke Shipwreck. The video runs for about 4 minutes and was well accepted.


  7. Doug addressed the meeting with a re-cap and a summary of whatʼs happening in regard to the new Cultural Centre and Museum to date.  He covered the progress so far in relation to the work which was required to pack up the old museum pending the demolition of the building. This included cleaning, sorting, packing, boxing up and labelling and moving our entire collection to a storage facility ‒ and documenting all of this. This was a huge job.

    The Society then moved into temporary headquarters in the old Kindergarten ‒ sharing the home of the Genealogical Society. However, despite having no real office, we have continued to supply articles to the monthly magazine Phillip Island Vibe, provide members with a monthly (now bi-monthly) Newsletter and continued to keep our Facebook page up to date. We have also continued to catalogue our collection, continued meetings and of course commenced the production of the digital stories to be exhibited in our new museum. The storage facility has been totally rearranged to be more functional and easily accessable.

    Doug advised the members that the Council is targeting for an October 2023 opening of the centre. He mentioned that discussions with Council have ramped up recently and a number of issues clarified and the concept for the museum now crystalized and agreed to.

    The fit out of the museum is well under way ‒ with Convergence Design in charge of the project, listening however, to our input.

Doug also advised the members that in the operation of our new museum, comes a requirement from the Council for us as a Society, to comply with ʻbest  practisesʼ on a number of levels, which has seen a few changes introduced.

When the Cultural Centre is completed there will be significant changes for us ‒ most particularly in the integration and functionality of our storage facility, our museum operation and our research rooms, along with a need to raise revenues to ensure the self-sufficiency of the Society.

The storage facility is located some distance from the Museum presenting the obvious challenge of setting up new displays and removing old ones. However, the storage unit is organised, not cluttered, and fully accessible. The Museum will be a ʻstandaloneʼ concept. It will be modern, streamlined and its small size will challenge our creativity. Our digital presentations will be supported by displays of ʼheroʼ objects in our collection.

Our research area (or Headquarters) will be located upstairs in the complex. Accessible by both stairway and lift. We will have a functional working space with a compactus, which will house much of our collection presently contained in old filing cabinets. We will have access to a neighbouring boardroom, kitchen and toilets.

Doug finished by saying that the really good and exciting news is that we will be moving into a first class, prestigious building with the highest possible profile in Cowes.

When the new cultural centre is completed, it will contain an extraordinary museum ‒ our museum, which is the ʻheart and soulʼ of an historical society. It is where we present ourselves to the public and we are sure the wait for it has been worthwhile.

That the Presidentʼs Report be accepted Moved Doug Waugh, Seconded Judy Lawrence Carried

  1. TREASURERʼS REPORT:    Treasurer reported bank balance of $22,749.83 Report as attached to these Minutes. Bruce Proctor posed the questions how much of the balance is committed, to which Judy responded about $11,000.     That the Treasurerʼs Report be accepted. Moved Judy Gittus, seconded Pam Rothfield Carried



The next general meeting will be Thursday 15th June 2023 at the Phillip Island RSL at 12 noon for lunch.

Minutes confirmed this 28 day of April 2023

President: ………………………………………………………..


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