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2021 Meetings 

February 2021


Mee How Ah Mouy: Architect and Community Leader

Speaker - Dr Sophie Couchman


Mee How Ah Mouy (1887-1977), is probably Australia's first architect with Chinese ancestry and son of tea merchant and entrepreneur Louis Ah Mouy, perhaps Middle Park’s most famous Chinese resident. Mee How was born and grew up in Middle Park. He trained at the Working Men's College (now RMIT) and subsequently designed several homes in Middle Park. Sophie's presentation will trace Mee How’s life from Middle Park to Hong Kong and finally to Surrey Hills through an extraordinary collection of inter-war and post-war architectural plans drawn, till recently held by the family. Mee How had a very diverse practice everything from domestic houses to manhole covers. This talk takes us away from the usual stories of Chinese and the goldrushes and instead provides us with an insight into second generation Chinese immigrant lives. 


Dr Sophie Couchman is a freelance historian and curator who specialises in immigration history, particularly Chinese Australian history.

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May 2021

Upstream, against the current: the story of women’s rowing in Australia
Speaker - Judith Buckrich


Judith's recently published book steps away from her usual territory of Melbourne’s people, streets and institutions to uncover the hard won triumphs of women rowers in Australia since the 1880s. Women set up their own clubs as they were not permitted to join men’s clubs until the 1980s despite their success in national and international competition. The history covers the long fight for equality, personal stories and the aesthetic quality that drew women to the sport whether for recreation or competition. Her talk to the Middle Park History Group will focus on the women rowing on Albert Park Lake where Melbourne’s women rowers were able to enjoy a separate and unique situation enabling the strongest growth of the sport for women in Australia.

September 2021


Cheryl Threadgold shared the history and culture of amateur theatre in Victoria, including some connections to our local Arrow Theatre.

She won the Dean’s Award for her PhD thesis from Swinburne University of Technology, after which she produced her book ‘In the name of theatre: the history, culture and voices of amateur theatre in Victoria.

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