Protests, activism & dissent in Victoria

Research the history of activism, protests, rallies and campaigners in Victoria using pamphlets, posters, badges, images, articles, interviews and books.

Oral histories at the Library


The papers of B A Santamaria (1915–1998) include a collection of nearly 400 tapes of speeches and talks given by this well-known conservative political activist, social commentator and thinker. A list of these tapes is available in the Library's Heritage Collections Reading Room.

Journalist Christopher Bantick has interviewed a number of social and political campaigners and commentators, including:

  • Dennis Altman, gay rights campaigner
  • Bob Brown, environmental campaigner & politician
  • Leslie Cannold, abortion campaigner
  • Tim Costello, social justice campaigner & minister
  • Judy Horacek, feminist cartoonist
  • Marilyn Lake, writer & feminist


You can organise access to oral histories in our collection by telephoning 03 8664 7009. Items can generally be made available 48 hours after your request is placed (subject to system compatibility). Please note that we do not provide secondary school students with access to these collections.

The Santamaria collection can be accessed by quoting the reference MS 13492.

The Bantick collection can be accessed by quoting the reference MS 14017.

Oral histories in other archives

The Museum of Australian Democracy in Canberra is making its collection of oral histories available online.

The Audio and Oral History Collections of the Australian Queer Archives (formerly Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives) are extensive. In addition to oral history interviews, the Archives holds audio records of radio broadcasts, conferences, speeches at public meetings and demonstrations dating back to the 1950s.

Further oral history archives can be found in the collections of Sydney's Pride History Group. Many of these histories can be downloaded from the group's website.