Peter Johnson

Peter Johnson

Peter has been a resident and practicing architect in St Kilda for over 33 years. He comes from a long line of architects, engineers and builders going back at least 5 generations with various branches of his family having lived in the South Melbourne and St Kilda area since 1859.

He has researched and written on a range of architectural and local history subjects, and has contributed to the Australian Dictionary of Biography and the Encyclopedia of Australian Architecture.

Peter has acted as the Society's heritage officer since 2002 and was its president from 2009 until 2015.

Sunday, 11 December 2011 15:14

Self Help


We are a not-for-profit organization run by volunteers (historians, heritage architects, researchers and enthusiasts). Our time is precious and our fees can be relatively costly (see fees sheet). So we encourage you to undertake your own research. Here is a list of resources that may prove useful.

  • Sands & McDougall’s Melbourne Postal Directories - the gives names of property occupants listed alphabetically or by location and street (available on microfiche at the SLV, St Kilda Library & possibly your own local library).
  • St Kilda: Rate Rolls, Voter Rolls - gives the names of all property owners (available on microfilm or online).
  • St Kilda Building Surveyor’s Permit Registers (1898-1960) – shows owners, builders and project cost .
    First search at  
    Then see scans at
  • City of Port Phillip Heritage Collection - talk to the Curatorial Services Unit on (03) 9209 6214. Or Search here.
  • Melbourne Mansions online database – Lists houses, architects & owners built prior to 1900 compiled by the Architecture Faculty, University of Melbourne. Search by house name or street & suburb. Web link: 
  • MMBW plans 1”= 40’ – Houses existing in c1900: shows allotment plan, house & garden outlines.
    Go to:
  • JOHN VARDY plans – Shows houses existing in St Kilda in 1872: allotment plan, house outline and whether brick or timber (Available at St Kilda Library & State Library).
  • SLV Databases – visit the genealogy centre. The SLV subscribes to various online databases that can be accessed for free at the library eg. BDM,
  • Newspapers – The Argus and other local papers are available online at For other papers visit SLV newspaper collection.

Books  - the following books will give you a good introduction on how to trace a house’s history:

  • Harvey, David, What House is That?, Heritage Victoria, Melbourne, 2004
  • Sagazio, Celestina, The National Trust Research Manual: Tracing the History of your House, Halstead Press, Sydney, 2004
  • Regan, Des and Press, Kate, How to Trace the History of Your House, Penguin Books,1990.

 When you have completed your work, we would very keen to obtain a copy of your notes and any other documents that you have found for our archives. The Society is gradually building up a collection of family, house and street histories. These will improve our knowledge of the area and greatly assist researchers in the future. 

If you require any further information you can contact me directly on 03 9525 3696 or by e-mail me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. I hope you have an interesting and fruitful time with your research.

Peter Johnson (Heritage Officer) 30 Jul 2013

This is available as a downloadable pdfpdf file here.(185 KB)

Monday, 19 December 2011 22:04


Download the latest newsletters as pdf files here:

issue 221 cover 150w

Issue 221, May 2017

(954 KB)


issue 220 cover 150w

Issue 220, December 2016

(543 KB)

issue 219 cover 150w

Issue 219, September 2016

(600 KB)

issue 218 cover 150w

Issue 218, May 2016

(284 KB)


Sunday, 11 December 2011 14:15

Books (printed)

The following are available for purchase:


  • Granny - $10 members & non-members
  • Naming St Kilda - $20 members, $25 non-members
  • My Elwood - $20 members & non-members
  • Screening of St Kilda - $20 members & non-members
  • Voices of Elwood $5 members & non members 
  • Spirit of St Kilda $20 to members & non members


Orders should be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Costs as set out above plus postage & handling fee of $5 per item (within Australia).


Unfortunately the following are out of print:

Sunday, 11 December 2011 14:09

Talks & Walks 2017

Sunday 26 February 2017 at 3pm

St Kilda Library

Community Room



Sunday 28 May 2017 at 3pm

St Kilda Library Community Room


Sunday 13 August 2017 at 2.30pm

St Kilda Library Community Room


Sunday  2017 at 3pm

St Kilda Library Community Room



ENTRY FEE: Members free.

VENUE: All talks at the St Kilda Library, Community Room, 150 Carlisle Street unless otherwise indicated.*

Sunday, 11 December 2011 14:04


The following exhibitions will be mounted during 2016:

  •         February 2017     Play On - A Hidden History of Womens Australian Rules Football.    
  •         June 2017            Brooks Jetty        
  •        October 2017              


Exhibitions can usually be seen in the St Kilda Library entrance lobby in the 2nd display case.


Sunday, 11 December 2011 13:58

Port Phillip Events


 The City of Port Phillip also runs a full range of walks & talks throughout the year and there are also many other events occurring put on by other groups. To see a list of these please click here. 

Thursday, 08 December 2011 17:42


The St Kilda Historical Society Inc. is a not-for-profit organisation, established in 1970, to foster interest and research into the history of St Kilda, Elwood and the surrounding areas. We are affiliated with the Royal Historical Society of Victoria and a member of Museums Australia.


To use the search function and see all content you currently need to be logged in via the Members' Area panel on the RHS. We are working to enable access to everyone (members and non-members) but users of the site will need to be registered users. 

To be registered and login successfully you need to have created an account first (that is be a registered user with a username & password).

Please note, depending on the availability of our volunteers, your registration may take up to 48 hours to be checked and activated. Only current financial members of the Society will be given access. So if your login does not work, it may be because you are not financial. (This will change once the restrictions have been removed.)

Please support us by being a member.


The Society acknowledges the generous support given to it by the City of Port Phillip.

Monday, 19 December 2011 22:30

Rules & Forms

Membership application forms:
 AGM & Special Meetings:
  • pdfProxy Form for a Special or Annual General Meeting(64 KB)
  • pdfNomination for Office Bearer or Committee member (58 KB)
 The Society's Collection:
Sunday, 11 December 2011 15:37

Contact Details

SKHS Office:
Our office is located in the St Kiida Library building, 150 Carlisle Street, St Kilda. Enter the library, walk past the information desk and then turn immediately right. Walk another 12 metres and you will find us through the first door on the right.

However if you are planning a visit, please remember that the office has no set opening hours. So you will need to make an appointment before you come. To do this email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Our Postal Address:
PO Box 177, Balaclava Vic 3183

Other Details:
General email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sunday, 11 December 2011 13:29


These sections are managed by the following volunteers:


Catering                Joan Charlton

Events                   Dorothy Lobert

Exhibitions            Maureen Walker, Dorothy Lobert,


The Collection:


Volunteers are the mainstay of any organisation. If you would like to volunteer some time to the Society we would be very appreciative. Please contact our This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further details.

External Committees
The Society is represented on various external committees includ


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Members' Area

This gives access to hidden content but members need to set up an account first

Membership Application form