Jennifer Burrell points out some exciting features in the new database.
The launch of Home Front Ballarat WW1 Database took place in the Australiana Research Room, Ballarat Library on Saturday 7th May 2016.
Hon Catherine King MHR Federal Member for Ballarat officially launched the program in front of an enthusiastic group.
Ms King congratulated the Ballarat & District Genealogical Society Inc on their achievement saying she was intrigued by some of the stories she had heard about and looked forward to learning of more.
An Anzac Centenary Local Grants Program Commemorative Grant from the Commonwealth Government enabled Ballarat & District Genealogical Society to undertake this project about civilians at home here in Ballarat who contributed to the Great War effort. Organisations formed for that purpose recruited men women and children whose names will now be readily found in this HFBWW1 database with details of their involvement. Research is revealing the commitment of some 2000 residents of Ballarat and District to support those overseas nearer the front line. The Home Front people were not only "keeping the home fires burning " as in the popular war time song, they were actively engaged in many fundraising groups under the umbrella organisation of the Australian Comforts Fund. During this time many local families received tragic news and so the began the commemorative work culminating in the magnificent Avenue of Honour and the Arch of Victory at its eastern entrance.
This article was originally published in The Miner newspaper 12 May 2016. It can be viewed below:
A prestigious State award has been won by Ballarat & District Genealogical Society. This brings more history and tech kudos to Ballarat.
Victorian Community History Awards 2016
Public Record Office of Victoria and Royal Historical Society of Victoria
WINNER OF CENTENARY OF WW1 AWARD 2016
This "recognises the best work or project on the impact of WW1 on Victoria or Victorians".
BALLARAT & DISTRICT GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY INC
HOME FRONT BALLARAT WW1
WEBSITE DESIGNED BY ALPHAVILLE
(Andrew Wise and Jodie Kaine)
The Awards ceremony was held Monday 17th Oct 2016, Pavilion, Arts Centre, Melbourne. The results are online.
The winners-booklet can be downloaded via a link at the bottom of the page. It has the judges' comments for the BDGS project.
This impressive online database comprises biographies of over 2500 individuals, information about local war work in Ballarat and district, both voluntary and paid, and an image gallery of items used in an accompanying video.
The database is easy to search through alphabetical listings of names and organisations, each with further information. It is dynamic in that it can be supplemented as new material becomes available. The video successfully blends local material with the progress of the war.
The whole entry represents a considerable research effort by a community organisation. It joins a number of excellent local studies of the home front received in this category in the past two years.
It provides a very valuable community resource.
2016 has been an exceptional year for the Society as the recipient of top local and state awards. Firstly â€“ the Greg Binns Award for "Outstanding Community Contribution to Heritage."
This was a surprise announcement at the Ballarat Heritage Awards in May, hosted by the National Trust of Australia (Vic) Ballarat Branch and the City of Ballarat.
And now this one from Victoria's peak community history bodies which rewards the Society with $1500. You will be pleased to know that we are hoping to use the bulk of this for more digitisation of the Ballarat Courier. By 9th Dec this year the National Library of Australia will have until April 1880 on Trove. We are hoping that our prize money will pay for a few more years into the 1880s.
Please visit www.ballaratww1.org.au and go to ABOUT for more information about the project.
Return visits to this dynamic free website will be rewarded as the project continues to grow and increase the genealogical and historical information available for those poignant war years.
We now maintain all elements of the website 'in-house' as key members have acquired the necessary expertise to work with the Joomla platform.
BDGS Electronic Publication and Researcher
BDGS members applauding Marilyn when she accepted a small token of appreciation in the library last May.
Compiled by Marilyn Millar
Updates have been added in April 2017. The date range is now 1945 to 2016. This covers 72 years of local events in the 20th and 21st Centuries. Our honorary research team and members who come into the Research Hub at the Eureka Centre are finding this index invaluable. Just imagine into the future how grateful family historians will be for the compilation of this index and its electronic publication.
As a member of the group you will have access to this records and more.
Ballarat & District Genealogical Society was selected as a finalist for the 2014 Ballarat Heritage Awards in the category of Heritage Innovation. Members are innovative in their use of multimedia to share family history information about Ballarat people from the 1850s to the present day.
The Society has produced numerous electronic indexes of Ballarat's primary paper records and has paid for the digitisation of The Ballarat Star (1855-1870) on Trove.
- On a daily basis our volunteers support community members who care for heritage by helping family historians and visitors with their interest in Ballarat's heritage.
- We communicate, promote and celebrate heritage at family history days and have done so at the Ballarat Heritage Weekend s!ince its inception.
However we consider our most important means of reaching out to people globally has always been our website which was first developed by Life Member, Daryl Povey, at the dawn of the internet. The content subsequently grew over almost two decades to become the largest genealogical website in Australia.
Since November 2013 the website has been redesigned by professionals www.alphaville.com.au to be responsive to viewing on a variety of electronic devices. It is now image-rich with the addition of many beautiful historic photos and drawings of Ballarat as well as video on demand. Our e-commerce facility has been enhanced for the sale of our indexes and the provision of research for people all over the world. The industrial strength content management system handles databases in a variety of formats and the entire website is fully searchable. With the inclusion of new content we are very pleased to be able to present such a polished addition to genealogical research in the Ballarat region.
A $4,500 grant from the Anzac Centenary Local Grants Program will enable the Ballarat & District Genealogical Society to tell the stories of civilians who supported Australia's war effort during the First World War.
Federal Member for Ballarat, Catherine King said the funding would support the research and online publication of a database that focuses on role of civilians who keep the home fires burning.
"The Anzac Centenary Local Grants Program supports projects that commemorate the service and sacrifice of Australian servicemen and women in the First World War," Ms King said.
"What is often forgotten when we reflect on our nation's military history, is the people that are affected by the war back at home - the families and the children of our service personnel."
"This project aims to tell their stories and in particular the important role of local women from the Ballarat region who played a key part in the war effort."
"These roles included: fund-raising for the provision of comforts for troops; assisting volunteer organisations such as the Red Cross with the supplies to assist wounded, imprisoned or the missing; enlistment activities; and work in the local mills and factories to produce clothing and printed materials."
"Not only did these women deal with the consequences of war back home but their efforts during the Great War saw them break down the barriers, which lead many Australian women to take a principal role both domestically and abroad in the Second World War."
"I'd like to acknowledge the work of Ballarat & District Genealogical Society for their dedication and commitment to this important project. Thanks also to the members of local Anzac Centenary Grants committee for their expert advice and assessment of applications for funding from the program."
The program has already received applications to support up to $125,000 of local projects in the Federal Electorate of Ballarat that commemorate the First World War.
For further information go to http://www.anzaccentenary.gov.au/grants/index.htm or contact Ms King's office at 5 Lydiard St North, Ballarat, Ph: 5338 8123.
Hilda Smith raised her two children alone for the duration of The Great War. When her husband returned in January 1919 from service at Gallipoli and on the Western Front, he saw his 3 yr old baby son for the first time.