The Springthorpe and La Trobe Heritage Project commenced in 2014 after receiving Grants from La Trobe University, Darebin Council and the Public Records Office of Victoria. With the assistance of a professional historian, a group of volunteer local history enthusiasts conducted research of the former Mont Park Asylum and its environs, the heritage-listed buildings, horticulturally significant landscape design (including the work of Hugh Linaker and the Wildlife Reserve), social and cultural history (Wurundjeri people and early settler history), hospital and psychiatric care history (including the WW1 returned soldiers and other military history), significant historical figures (including Dr John Springthorpe and Dr Ernest Jones) and interviews with people associated with the area in the past.

New items of interest will be added as new discoveries are made.

A larger group of volunteers was recruited from the Springthorpe community (including the retirement village), local Historical Societies and the Yarra Valley library staff. These volunteers were asked to name areas of interest to enable their training to be targeted and tasks allocated.

Several work groups were held with the volunteers, mentoring them in the various aspects of the project:

  • Research and advice on useful historical sources
  • Oral History recording
  • Articles for the website
  • The appropriate website design for the project

We then set up a Facebook group (Springthorpe (Mont Park) Local History Group) to enable the sharing of information, viewing of the collected photographs and comparing the old photos with photos of the sites now. This group is a great forum for discussion and you can see a link to it on our website now.

In the future we are hoping that a Heritage Trail will be developed to enable both visitors and our community to view the heritage-listed buildings and learn more about these amazing spaces. We also will be canvassing the local schools and La Trobe University to invite students to participate in the project, ensuring it continues to grow and develop.

Further details about the people involved in writing articles is available on the Authors Page.

The Project is coordinated by a small group of volunteers and we welcome anyone who would like to get involved. Please get in touch via the Contact tab if you would like to hear more about the project.

Or join our Facebook group to be involved in the discussion.