Shifting gear: Military History and Heritage Inc. celebrates first year of operations, looks to future

Military History and Heritage Victoria Inc. was launched on 4 May 2011 and celebrates a successful first year of operations in Victoria in support of its members.
Most recently, it delivered a highly successful 2012 conference – In the Shadow of War – Australia 1942 – based on the uniformly enthusiastic feedback from surveys and direct responses of speakers and participants alike.  More than 80 attended the conference.
Led by Professor David Horner from ANU as keynote speaker, the proceedings attracted a high quality list of speakers from Australia and Japan and covered topics as diverse as the home front, the political and social situation and the air, sea and land campaigns in 1942.  A highlight was the first-hand account by a Royal Australian Navy veteran on board the HMAS Canberra when it was sunk by the Japanese off Guadalcanal in 1942.

More than 60 also attended the conference dinner, while sponsors and MHHV members took up the opportunity to display information and products during the conference.  As well, Cambridge University Press launched two Australian campaign series books by military historians.
The MHHV conference also kicked off the inaugural Military History and Heritage Week over 21-28 April, which featured a wide range of events and activities from MHHV members and non-members alike both in Melbourne and in regional centres.

MHHV Inc. president, Colonel Marcus Fielding (Rtd), said that across all measures for a new organisation, MHHV Inc. was off to a good start and was proving popular with both individuals interested in supporting its objectives such as historians and researchers of all kinds and objectives, and with like-minded organisations from military historical societies, re-enactors, museums, libraries and other associations in the sector.

MHHV Inc. was already planning the next round of its 2012 activities and for an exciting new event to start the 2013 Military History and Heritage Week.  Details of these events and activities would be progressively released over the coming weeks, while an announcement on the next MHHV Inc. two-day conference in 2014 would be made before the end of the year.  Colonel Fielding reported that there were already inquiries from interested groups as to how they could become involved, while new members continued to join the association.

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