Maltese Historical Association of Australia, Inc.
Postal address: c/- 59 Binnak Drive Watsonia, Victoria 3087
Date Club founded: 1987
Association Objectives. The purposes for which the Association was formed are as follows:
- To promote interest in and the study of the history of Malta and of the culture of the Maltese people;
- To encourage and support research in Maltese history and in the history of Maltese settlement in the Commonwealth of Australia and in other countries;
- To develop and maintain contacts with similar organisations; and
- To organise Educational, Cultural, and Social Activities which exclude activities of a gambling nature.
In pursuing the attainment of these objects, The Association will organise and conduct regular meetings, lectures, study groups, and other activities for members and will make, keep and preserve records and/or materials relevant to the activities of The Association.
The Maltese Historical Association has now been going strong for more than twenty years. It was founded in 1987 following a meeting attended by a number of local enthusiasts, some of whom remain active members of the Association.
Its objectives are to promote interest in the study of all aspects of the history – social, cultural, economic, political and religious – of Malta and the Maltese people, and to encourage and support research in Maltese history.
The first official public lecture, titled ‘The Numismatic History of Malta’, took place on January 12th 1987 and it was delivered by a visiting Maltese academic, Mr Joseph Sammut, who happened to be in Melbourne at the time. Since then, speakers have been many and varied, including authors, academics and politicians, both local and Maltese, and people from all walks of life, the most prominent perhaps being Sir James Gobbo, former Governor of Victoria.
Talks have also frequently been given by the association’s own members, the most prolific being Mr Joseph Borg, the Association’s founding secretary, and Professor Maurice Cauchi. Topics have been just as varied; in 2005, to take one example, these ranged from ‘A Pictorial Journey through Gozo‘, to ‘The French in Malta, 1798-1800‘, ‘The History of Education in Malta‘, and ‘The Story of Maltese Women Migrants in Australia’. The MHA’s other activities have included book-launches, exhibitions, forums, slide-shows, trivia nights and excursions to places of historical interest in Melbourne.
The Maltese Historical Association Bursaries Scheme has been a relatively recent initiative. It has become apparent over recent years that interest in the study of the Maltese language has been steadily declining. The aim of this scheme is to reverse this trend by encouraging children of Maltese descent to study Maltese. Inaugurated in December 2004, it targets students from the Victorian School of Languages (VSL) as well as students attending Maltese language classes run by the Maltese Community Council of Victoria (MCCV). Bursaries are awarded annually on the basis of excellence and effort. Over the years, special guests at Bursaries presentations have included Dr Tonio Borg, Malta’s Deputy Prime Minister, and Joe Camilleri, the renowned Australian singer of Maltese descent.
The Bursaries Scheme is complemented by the Language Immersion Morning (LIM), held annually in August. This brings VSL and MCCV students to the Maltese Community Centre in Parkville where, together, they participate in various activities and classes. In August 2007, Dr Lawrence Gonzi, Malta’s Prime Minister, spent a number of hours visiting the LIM, a notable day in the history of the MHA.
Committee Elections. Elections are held every year in September.
Committee Members for 2011/12
President Frances Bonnici
Vice President Emmanuel Cilia
Secretary Emmanuel Cilia
Treasurer Mario Bonnici
Members Maria Catania
Anyone interested in Maltese history and culture may apply to become a member by completing an application form (that can be downloaded from www.mha.org.au) which requires committee approval. The membership rates are $10.00 for singles and $15.00 for couples.
For more information about membership and association events, contact the President, Mrs Frances Bonnici, by email address email@example.com or by phone (03) 9432 1335.
Newsletter. The Association issues a bi-monthly newsletter. Members’ subscription to the newsletter is included in the membership fee. A complimentary copy of the newsletter is also emailed to MCCV on a regular basis.
The following events will be organised in 2012:
Date (month) Event
- February Book Launch (Dr Lou Drofenik)
- March Lecture (Mrs Maria Catania)
- April Lecture (Mr Charles Mifsud)
- May Lecture (Prof Maurice Cauchi)
- July Lecture (Mr Jonathan Hili)
- August Lecture (Mr Joe Borg)
- September Annual General Meeting / LIM
- October Lecture (Mr Charles Mifsud)
- November Lecture (Mr Emmanuel Cilia) Bursaries
The Maltese Historical Association holds a Language Immersion Morning for and awards Bursaries to students attending Maltese Language classes at the Victorian School of Languages and the Maltese Community Centre.