Woodend & District Heritage Society

About Woodend & District Heritage Society

Woodend & District Heritage Society: About Us

Our archiving relies on a band of volunteers

Are you researching your family history? Or are you interested in learning more about this little part of Victoria?Whatever question brings you here, we’ll help you find the answer.

Our archive contains documents, maps, newspapers and photographs from the area that once formed the Shire of Newham and Woodend.

You can find us at Woodend’s old court house every Wednesday, from February to November.

Useful resources:


The story of Woodend & District Heritage Society

Woodend & District Heritage Society started years ago as a small group with no permanent home.

1977 – Woodend & District Historical Society is formed. Meetings are held in the Mechanics Institute.

1985 – Computer indexing begins and the Society develops its own software, Heritage I. The first edition of Heritage News, the Society’s newsletter, is published.

1987 – Designs are put forward for a Local and Family History Resource Centre, a permanent home for the Society.

1988 – The Society holds its first meeting in the Court House. The building is primitive and unsuitable for records.

1989 – The Court House is officially handed over to the Society.

1993 – The Society’s collection moves into the Court House.

1994 – The Society is asked to take over the Visitor Information Centre and a pool of 40 volunteers runs it for the next 3½ years.

1995 – Woodend & District Heritage Society is named Group of the Year.

1997 – After a fundraising campaign, and with a grant from Heritage Victoria, an extension to the Court House is built to house the growing archive.

1998 – The Society’s indexing software – now Heritage III – is widely used by historical societies across Victoria/Australia.

2001 – The Heritage Walk, commemorating people and businesses with links to the district, is inaugurated. The first plaque honours Janet Hawkins for her tireless work on behalf of the Society.

– Become part of our story? Membership


Woodend’s old court house

Court House, Forest St, Woodend

The Forest St court house – our home since 1988

Built in 1870, the court house in Forest St was the second court building in Woodend.

It was used for criminal cases until 1964 and for coroner’s court hearings until the 1970s. Now it’s home to the Woodend & District Heritage Society.

You’ll find us here every Wednesday from February to November (10am-12.30pm and 1.30pm-4pm).

Back to top