A community driven project has come to fruition recently with the launch in September of the Mont Park to Springthorpe: Springthorpe Heritage Project. The website explores the former Mont Park Hospital and Asylum and its environs, the heritage-listed buildings, horticulturally significant landscape design, social and cultural history, hospital and psychiatric care history, indigenous history, significant historical figures and interviews with people associated with the area in the past.
The site is arranged under the various themes and also includes a timeline and a section on locally significant trees. A gallery of photographs includes photos from Yarra Plenty Regional Library’s Alice Broadhurst Collection from 1918 to 1920 covering the era when the 16th Australian General Hospital was based at Mont Park.
There is an invitation to contribute as research and stories come to light. The project is also supported by a Facebook page. YPRL have supported this project since 2013. It is terrific to see an outcome that has produced an online repository of curated historical material, empowered a community with a strengthened sense of 'place' that draws on its connections with past lives and communities. A group of up-skilled local history enthusiasts have the capacity to 'grow' the Project into the future and sustain its momentum with strengthened collaborative relationships with Project partners including La Trobe University, Darebin City Council and others from the local community.
Congratulations to all the volunteers and historians involved with this project.