Sport History Unit



  Victoria University






  Photo Gallery

  Bulletin of Sport & Culture

  Sport and Culture Group

  Football Studies Unit




Members and associates of the Sport History Unit are involved in a number of research projects. Please click on Publications to see a list of related publications.


FEMALE FOOTBALLERS (Australian Rules Football)

The earliest known photograph of women dressed as Australian Rules players dates from just prior to World War I.  The above photograph was taken at the Allan Studio in Smith Street, Collingwood.

Image courtesy of Ron Neilson


In 1954, a match between married and single women took place in Lorne, Victoria, to raise money for charity. According to Gloria Norton, one of the participants in the match, at the conclusion of the game well known Victorian Football League umpire, Allan Nash, was picked up and dumped into the nearby surf 'never to find his whistle again'.

Image courtesy of Bonnie Castle.  Special thanks to Caroline Leach.


Dr Rob Hess and Dr Nikki Wedgwood (University of Sydney) are currently conducting research in order to construct a national history of women’s involvement as players in Australian Rules football. Their research (currently unfunded) is intended to cover the period 1915 to 2015, but they are especially keen to gather evidence and hear from women who may have played or been involved in matches between 1915 and 1980.  Ms Carolyn Leach is currently completing an Honours project on women's football in Melbourne during 1943 and is keen to hear from anyone who has information on women playing football during this period.  Contact details are listed on the Home page.


CHINESE FOOTBALLERS (Australian Rules Football)

Dr Rob Hess and Dr Julia Martinez (Centre for Asia Pacific Social Transformation Studies, University of Wollongong) were the recipients of a 2002 Victoria University, Faculty of Human Development, Staff Research Grant. Their project was entitled ‘Sport, Culture and Ethnicity: An Investigation of Museum Archives Related to Chinese Participation in Australian Rules Football in Rural Victoria’. Their aim is to document the involvement of Chinese players in Australian Rules football. They are keen to hear from any players, or descendants of players, of Chinese extraction. The earliest evidence of Chinese players and teams dates from the 1880s.



Dr Rob Hess and Dr Clare Simpson (Lincoln University, New Zealand) are collaborating on a number of cycling history research projects and have recently presented papers at various conferences. The following papers are being prepared for publication: Chelsea Litchfield (Victoria University) and Rob Hess, ‘Free-Wheeling: Cycling News and Information in the Melbourne Argus, 1893-1899’; Rob Hess, ‘Maintaining Cultural, Civic and Imperial Bonds: Vice-Regal Patronage of Cycling in Colonial Australia’.


Rob Hess is also involved in a Cycling Heritage Network to connect researchers in the field.  Associates of the Network include the Melbourne Cricket Club Library, the State Library of Victoria, Museum Victoria, and CycleSport Victoria.  Contact Rob Hess for details of the network, or make a contribution to the CycleSport Victoria History Audit by clicking here.



Details of other research projects can be found by clicking on the images below.






Carnegie South Cricket Club History

This website page was last updated on 04 July 2011