Upcoming Events and information

Activities and News

Welcome to our new website

We are extremely pleased to launch our ‘new look’ website which has been designed by Jeff from JXL Network Solutions with a grant from Museums and Galleries NSW



Our next issue is due out in April and there are still pages for further articles and book reviews. Your contributions will be appreciated by 30 March. Email boogaroon@yasshistory.org.au or phone Cheryl Mongan on 0413 312 081 for further information



Our monthly newsletter ‘Yandoo’ is circulated to all members to keep them informed of the latest news, activities and the work of the archives and museum.



The society meets at the Uniting Church Hall, Cliff Street (until further notice) at 2pm on the first Monday of each month – February to December (except the AGM on a date in October to be advised).
Why not join us for interesting presentations, the opportunity to participate in forums, a cuppa and to catch up with other members.


March Meeting

Tessa Milne will be our speaker on  Monday 6 March. Tessa is an Australian historian who has worked with several leading scholars including Professors Stephen Garton (USyd) and Helen Irvine (UTS). She has specialised in the celebrations for Federation and contributed a section on Federation Arches to the book 1901: Australian life at Federation, edited by Aedeen Cremin (UNSW Press 2001). Her Honours thesis at the University of Sydney, however, was on the papers of an Anglo-Irish family, and was the basis for her article on ‘The Cooke Collection’, published in  Boongaroon 38.2, October 2022, pp. 8-15.

Members and guests are invited to join us at the Uniting Church Hall, at 2pm for a brief meeting and a cuppa following their talk. Parking is available in the church grounds.

Pre-loved history and genealogy books

The donation of history and family history books is one way that you can assist in much needed fundraising for the society. Books sold at Return to Tipperary and the Christmas Markets raised considerable funds which are helping us with relocation of the collection. We are bringing together a collection of used books to be listed on our website and to sell at various events throughout the year. Many family history books are only small print runs for a limited readership and generally are not available in mainstream bookshops meaning that copies are harder to find – especially if the author did not comply with the requirements of Legal Deposit so these publications are most welcome. We would very much like to hear from you if you have books that you can donate. Please email info@yasshistory.org.au or call Cheryl Mongan 0413 312 081.

Archives relocation

Late on 31 January the Society received by email, a letter from Yass Valley Council requiring us to vacate the space that our archives have occupied in the Soldiers’ Memorial Hall for forty years to enable work to commence on re-roofing the hall. We had just nineteen days to find a new home. We have long advocated the overdue repairs and maintenance to the building but were never aware that it would be a permanent removal.

After three weeks of turmoil and upheaval for the Society we have obtained through the dedication and hard work of our local member Wendy Tuckerman, Minister for Local Government, the temporary occupation of the former ambulance station in Meehan Street. In just twenty days the premises were arranged and our only window of opportunity to have a removalist complete the three day removal of the collection to the new address were achieved. It has been a mammoth task for the archives volunteers to prepare and pack the collection ready for the move meanwhile the committee who also assisted with the packing have had a formidable list of tasks that had to be systematically worked through to ensure we have a home albeit a temporary one until the end of June 2024.

It will take us a couple of weeks to catch up on what was already in train when the notice arrived  before we can accept further enquiries. Visitation to our new premises will be only be by appointment. So please keep an eye on our website and Facebook page for further announcements.

Return to Tipperary

The incredible interest shown in this seminar held from Fri 18 to Sun 20 November at St Clement’s, Galong saw every available place booked from the time that registrations opened until it was concluded. Hosted by the Yass & District Historical Society, Family History ACT and the Canberra and District Historical Society, all who attended declared it a great success.

Thank you to all who registered and attended. It was a pity that we were unable to accommodate further numbers but that was determined by our hosts and the venue. We were fortunate to have a great line up of speakers with expertise in many fields of research that related to Irish family history. We were extremely pleased that His Excellency Tim Mawe and his wife Ms Patricia McCarthy were able to be there for the whole seminar which was opened by Yass Mayor Allan McGrath. Keynote speaker Dr Mathew Trinca, Director of the National Museum of Australia set the theme for the weekend with his presentation Why our stories matter: Seeing ourselves in Australian history.

Latest exhibition

Our newest exhibition Movers and Shakers: They made a difference was officially opened by Yass Valley Council Mayor Allan McGrath on Friday 11 March. Featuring twenty-seven local identities who went used their time expertise and talents to improve the lives of others.

In all communities there are exceptional individuals that stand out as leaders and pioneers though perhaps not recognised as such in their lifetimes. The Yass Valley residents profiled in this exhibition are representative of those who made a difference to the lives of others whether it be locally, nationally or further afield. Some lived incredibly long lives while others left us far too soon.

None started life from a position of wealth and privilege, and many were impacted by wars – either in the field or on the home front. Health care and education are fundamental to any society as is good governance and cultural pursuits, all of which are abundantly evident in the profiles featured.

This exhibition is based on objects in our collections that have been used to give a window into the lives of these locals.

Come and see who is included in Movers and Shakers – you may be surprised what these individuals did

Fossick for Fossils during the Canberra and Regional Heritage Festival

The Yass and District Historical Society is pleased to be a part of the Regional Heritage Festival from 9 April to 1 May 2022.

Upper Silurian fossil beds, Cliftonwood, Yass, c1910. [YDHS Inc]

The popular Fossick for Fossils event will run again this year as part of the Heritage Festival on Saturdays 16 April and 30 April.

The tours will take you in a self-drive guided tour on private property, approximately 10 klms from Yass to explore the fossil beds made famous by Alfred Shearsby. Tours will meet at Coronation Park, behind the Visitors Information Centre at 1.30pm with an expected finish time of 4.30pm. Sturdy footwear and a moderate level of fitness are required.

Bookings are essential by messaging 0450 338 379 or emailing peterjudithyass@gmail.com  Each tour has a limit of twenty-five participants so book early to avoid missing out.

The cost is $10 per person or $20 per family including up to two adults and children under 15 years. Tour bookings include free entry to the Yass and District Museum between 10am and 1pm on those days to see the new Movers and Shakers exhibition and to see more about Alfred Shearsby who spent years exploring the fossil beds in the Yass Valley.

The museum will open every Sunday and public holiday during the Festival from 10am to 4pm.


Our doors may have been closed but there is good news!

Our archives continue to operate receiving enquiries by email and post – please see our Archives and Research page for full details. But the good news is that we are now open on Tuesday afternoons by appointment between 2pm and 5pm. If you wish to visit, please email us yassarchives@gmail.com.au to arrange an appointment.


We are pleased to announce …

It was great news to learn that our third attempt to obtain grant funding for the installation of solar power at the museum has been successful and now installed by Yass Valley Solar.

This grant was supported by local Member for Eden-Monaro Kristy McBain who recently visited the museum to present a framed certificate for the grant and another for a volunteers grant to instal contactless payment equipment and to provide training for our members and volunteers.


Our supporters