Phillip Island & District Historical Society

Oral History Project interviews

Last updated on 25-Jan-22

One of the society's special research projects for 2020-2022 has been our Oral History Project looking at Phillip Island's history over the last 60 years. The society wishes to acknowledge funding from the Victorian Government and the Public Records Office of Victoria through a Local History Grant. The grant enabled the society to contract oral historian Dr Andrea Cleland to conduct, record and transcribe 7 interviews comprising: on the themes of farming (Bob and Anne Davie), tourism/business (Keith and Rhonda Jobe for the Continental Hotel), business (David Jobe for Continental Hotel and sustainable residential development at Seagrove estate),  business (Anne Oswin Trenavin Park Devonshire Teas and the advertiser), migration (Freda Aravadis) and lifestyle (Heather Hamilton, Eileen Webster). Project co-ordinator, Christine Grayden, was also able to interview Josephine Allen-Kent about art as business on Phillip Island,The aim was to capture the last 50 or 60 years of Phillip Island history, which is a gap in the historical society’s collection.All of the interviews have now been conducted and we have started uploading either essays based on the interviews, or the transcriptions themselves. Covid has made it difficult to to source images to go with some of the interviews, but these will be added as they become available. Meanwhile the essays and transcripts themselves make fascinating reading. So jump onto our Essays and Talks section, and look for Oral History Project in the essay title to learn much more about our island's recent history than you will find in most books! Photo shows Freda Aravanis, who was our subject for the migrant interview. She loves her Phillip Island kippo (Greek for vegetable garden) and also grows beautiful flowers and fruit trees. Here she shows a basket full of wonderful koukkia, or fava beans, which she has grown this spring and summer.