Mount Alexander Thematic History
RBA prepared a Thematic History for Mount Alexander Shire in central Victoria, which provides a basis for the understanding of culturally significant places and events in the shire in a broad, mostly post-contact, historical context. Historical information is grouped under nine key themes which are crucial to understanding the development of the Shire and what distinguishes it.
History provides the basis for understanding places that have already been included in the schedule to the heritage overlay, as well as the types of places that could be included in the future. The Thematic History will allow the Shire to be considered holistically and help to achieve a more comprehensive representation of places protected by the heritage overlay.
Whilst the important role the gold rush has played in the development of the Shire is widely known, the Thematic History draws out other distinguishing aspects which are reflected in the richly layered cultural landscape of today such as the profound influence of the geology on land use, the strength of local activism for political and civil rights, the contribution to the development of the industrial economy of the state, and the retention of a wealth of 19th century streetscapes.
The largest town and administrative centre in the shire is Castlemaine, and other townships include Maldon, Campbells Creek, Harcourt, Chewton, Newstead, Elphinstone, Guildford, Taradale and Baringhup.
The thematic history was adopted by Mount Alexander Shire Council in mid-2016.