Our story is that of one of the oldest Greek communities in Melbourne beginning with
the earliest Ithacan arrivals around the mid nineteenth century. The establishment of
Ithacan Philanthropic Society in 1916 by early Ithacan immigrants has been pivotal in
the maintenance of a strong Ithacan community in Melbourne, and so it was in 1990
that a group of members,with a desire and commitment to preserve our history and
heritage for future generations, established the Ithacan Historical Society .
The Ithacan Historical Society (IHS) aims to encourage and foster the study of Australian and Victorian history with a focus on Ithacans who have settled in Victoria, Australia, taking into consideration Ithacan migration and settlement, economic and social life, customs and family history.
Our collectionIn pursuing this purpose, our primary role is to collect, catalogue and maintain historical records including archival documents, family histories, photographic, video and audio material, and artefacts of historical and cultural significance. Click here for more details about the collection. We continually seek to build our collection and Collection Policy.of items in line with our
The IHS engages in a number of projects including:
- Museums Victoria - Victorian Collections database: The digitising and uploading of our vast photographic collection.
- Oral histories: recording of stories of members.
- Questionnaire project: A database about first generation Ithacans and subsequent generations of individuals of Ithacan descent. CLICK HERE for information and to download questionnaire forms.
- Publications including 'The Ithacans' and 'Ithacan Recipes, Australian Memories'
- Documenting the history of Ithacan owned business in Melbourne and across Victoria
The IHS also undertakes various activities and events that promote the history of the Ithacan community in Melbourne and Victoria. Examples include:
- Historical retrospectives featuring the lives and achievements of well-known Ithacans
- Historical displays and exhibitions
- Cooking demonstrations.
- Promotion of Ithacan culinary and handicraft traditions
- Lecture series
- Open Day at the club rooms where members are able to share anecdotes and aspects of Ithacan life in Melbourne.
In 2016, the IHS undertook major projects to celebrate the 100 years of the Ithacan Philanthropic Society and acknowledge the achievements of the Ithacan community in Melbourne and Victoria:
- The production of a film documentary ‘Out of this Earth’ exploring the life and times of the Ithacan Philanthropic Society’s founding president, A.J.J. Lucas.
- Publication of ‘The Ithacans’ – a permanent historical record of Ithacan settlement in Melbourne/Vic and ‘The Club’, launched by George Megalogenis.
- Victorian Immigration Museum Exhibition, ‘Our Odyssey – Ithacans in Melbourne’, presented the story of Ithacan and Greek migration and settlement in Melbourne and Victoria. The exhibition culminated with a school holiday program - Gods, Myths and Mayhem. The program was hugely successful with the children making cyclops masks, colouring ancient Greek vases, experiencing storytelling from the Odyssey and learning Greek folk dances.
The IHS is a member of the Royal Historical Society of Victoria and Museums Australia Victorian Collections.
Membership of the IHS
In accordance with the Ithacan Historical Society’s Rules of Incorporation, a person who wishes to become a member of the Association is required to apply to become a member of the Ithacan Philanthropic Society. Click here for further information.
The IHS committee is dedicated to the preservation of the history of the Ithacans in Melbourne and Victoria and we welcome interested members to join us at our monthly meetings. Together we can ensure that the proud history of the Ithacan community and the Ithacan Philanthropic Society will not be lost to future generations.