Forthcoming Events

Season's Greetings

The crib at St Mary Star of the Sea in West Melbourne


The MHA wishes all its members and friends a Happy and Holy Christmas and a Wonderful New Year for 2017.  May it be your best year ever!

We are looking forward to our first talk at 7:30 pm on 21 February, as usual on the third Tuesday of the month, at the Maltese Community Centre in Parkville.




Tuesday, 22 November 2016

The Maltese Historical Association held its Annual General Meeting on 15 November 2016 at the Maltese Community Centre in Parkville, with 15 members present. The minutes of the previous year’s AGM were read and Robert Blythe was thanked for the MHA facebook page, which has received 12,000 likes!





Coming Events: 7.30 pm Tuesday 17 March

Tuesday, 10 March 2015


Malta through its Monuments


Professor Maurice Cauchi

7.30 pm Tuesday 17 March 

Maltese Community Centre

Ievers St Parkville  

For the average tourist, a history of a nation is most obvious through its monuments.  Even a cursory walk though a main city would familiarise the average tourist of what happened over the past several hundred years. Malta is no exception, and a walk through the City, and even the most humble village, will reveal many items of which the natives are proud.

In this talk we will go over the more important moments in Malta and how they illustrate the history which they are expected to represent.  But first of all we have to ask ourselves: what is a monument? Is it just a bronze or marble statue? Or does the term include any indicator meant to commemorate an event, person or indicator of importance in the history of the nation?

We shall skim over the very early history of Malta, and wind our way down to more recent history, stopping along the road to see what Malta has thought fit to highlight and showcase, to us, the natives born and bred there, but also to the millions that come and visit every year. One could easily spend a whole week describing the wealth of artefacts left by the Knights of Malta, but in the hour available we shall just sit back and enjoy some examples of what history can be gleaned from a necessarily cursory and superficial look at some of these monuments and what they try to tell us as we walk pass them.

About the presenter:

Professor Maurice Cauchi is well known to the Maltese Community and others, mauriceboth in Malta and Australia.  Born in Għarb, Gozo, he graduated M.D. at the Royal University of Malta in 1961 before gaining a PhD for cancer research from the University of London in 1967.  Coming to Australia in 1969 he held senior positions at Melbourne and Monash Universities and the Royal Women’s Hospital.  He returned to Malta in 1992 as Professor of Pathology and was Chairman of the Bioethics Consultative Committee and the Gozo Health Council, before returning to Australia in 2003.

Professor Cauchi has been involved with the Maltese community for decades, as President of the Maltese Literature Group, as member of the Maltese Community Council, including several terms as President, and a founding member of the MHA in 1987. 

He has also been interested in wider ethnic issues, and was a member of a number of organisations, including the Ethnic Affairs Commission of Victoria, Chairman of the Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria, and Chairman of the Commission for Maltese Abroad.  He helped set up the Migration Museum and, in 2001, the website, which contains a compilation of information about Maltese living abroad, including a vast collection of historical information about migration.

Professor Cauchi has been very active in promoting publications relating to Maltese settlement in Australia, first with the Maltese paper 'Il- Maltija', and through several books, including Maltese Migrants in Australia (1996), The Maltese Migrant Experience (1999), Worlds Apart (2002) A Who’s Who of Maltese-Background Persons in Australia and New Zealand (2008), and Under One Umbrella (2010), this last being a history of the MCCV and the Maltese community in Victoria, Australia.

A prolific author, Professor Cauchi has published several books in Maltese on a range of topics, as well as many books on health, medicine, and bioethical issues.  His latest articles can be found at:

Taking care of our body, February 20, 2015

Bad luck and cancer, January 24, 2015

Dire warnings about artificial intelligence: are they justified?  December 17, 2014

Why can’t a woman be more like a man?  November 24, 2014

Undermining decades of multicultural peace, October 20, 2014

Unresolved cancer conundrums, September 8, 2014

For his services to the community, Professor Cauchi was made a Member of the Order of Australia, (AM, 1991) and awarded the Medalja għall-Qadi tar-Repubblika (MQR), (‘Medal for Services to the Republic’ of Malta, 1992).

We at the MHA are very appreciative of the many generous contributions that Maurice has made to our group over the years.  He has written many articles and given talks on a wide range of topics, including health, migration and language.  His talks are sometimes controversial but always thoroughly researched and interesting. 

Professor Cauchi’s latest lecture to the MHA, in April last year, explored the origins of Maltese surnames. His next talk with the MHA will be on Tuesday 17 March at the Maltese Community Centre in Parkville at 7.30 pm.  It will look at aspects of Maltese history as seen through its monuments and it should be most enjoyable.  Bring your family and friends.  All are Welcome.  



Special Event: Tuesday 5 August

Sunday, 29 June 2014




Special event: Dr Consiglia Azzopardi, “From Craft, to Industry, to Art”.

7.30 pm Tuesday 5th of August at the Maltese Community Centre, Parkville

Dr Consiglia Azzopardi was born in Għarb, Gozo in 1946. She learnt Maltese bobbin-lace as a child, at home from relatives, and from the neighbourhood where the crafts were widely practiced on doorsteps, in alleys and in sheltered street corners.  ‘Bizzilla’ – as it is known in Maltese – became her favourite hobby until she graduated as a Primary school Teacher and then started to teach lace-making courses run during the summer holidays.

Teaching lace-making at the Girls’ Trade School, and later at the Gozo School of Arts, brought Consiglia into contact with lace-makers from the different villages in Gozo and Malta, who produced ‘pricking patterns’ from all over the Island.  Since 1995, she has been teaching Maltese lace at the University of Malta Gozo Campus. During this time she instigated a Certificate and a Diploma course under the auspices of the University. This created an opportunity to start collecting material and information, before it was too late, at a time when the lace industry was declining rapidly.

Meanwhile, a study of the history of Maltese Lace was undertaken.  At the University of Malta, she read for an M.Phil degree with the theme ‘Antique Maltese lace of the Time of the Knights 1530 – 1798’, and later for a Ph.D. researched ‘Maltese Lace of the 19th and 20th Centuries’.  From these studies, several stages in the development of Maltese Lace-making techniques were discovered. A profile of the promoters responsible for such renovation was formulated, and the main artists working in the field were identified. The role of the lace merchants and the network of trade in Maltese lace were revealed. All aspects were entrapped in the political, social and cultural life of Malta with special emphasis on Gozo.

Consiglia is the author of three books about Maltese lace making, namely:

Gozo Lace: An Introduction,

Gozo Lace Selection of Designs by Diacono, and

L-Istorja tal-Bizzilla fil-Gzejjer Maltin.

Her lecture is titled ‘From Craft, to Industry, to Art’

Dr Azzopardi will be speaking about the history of Maltese Lace-making.  She will discuss the tools of the trade and the various patterns used. She will concentrate mainly on 19th Century lace-making styles, greatly promoted in Gozo.  These include motifs in a Moorish design, called ‘Festuni’.  Strips of a sequence of these motifs, usually constructed in a round shape, may be sewn together to form all sorts of shawls, stoles, tops, bedcovers, etc.

The most common design of motifs are ‘star’, ‘flower’, ‘sun’, ‘palm’, ‘moski’, and the most important ‘Maltese Cross’.

Dr Azzopardi will be displaying some of her works on the evening.



Events for 2014

Tuesday 19 February at 7.30   Lecture by Mr Joseph Borg on The Arabic Influence on Malta 

Maltese Centre, Parkville

Tuesday 12 March at 7.30 pm  Lecture by Mr Albert Agius on Superstitions and the Maltese Bogeymen  

Maltese Centre, Parkville

Tuesday 15 April at 7.30 pm Lecture by Professor Maurice Cauchi on Maltese Surnames 

Maltese Centre, Parkville

 Tuesday 20 May at 7.30 pm

Introduction to Novel Bushfire Summer by Lou Drofenik

Slideshow by Mr Joe Flores on Malta in the 1800s

Maltese Centre, Parkville
Tuesday 18 June at 7.30 pm Lecture by Mr Joseph Borg on the "Cantilena" 

Maltese Centre, Parkville

Tuesday 15 July  Event (To be advised) Maltese Centre, Parkville
Tuesday 19 August  Event (To be advised) Maltese Centre, Parkville
September Annual General Meeting Maltese Centre, Parkville
October  Event (To be advised) Maltese Centre, Parkville
November  Event (To be advised) Maltese Centre, Parkville
November The Bursaries Maltese Centre, Parkville
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