After asking our staff who knew about WikiNorthia, and getting a unanimous “no”, I’ve decided that this site needs to get far more attention than it does, so let me introduce it to you. Firstly WikiNorthia is a website (a wiki in this case) that is all about documenting life, the past and the present, of everything to to do with Melbourne’s north.
Now WikiNorthia is not a new project. It actually started back in 2006 when a partnership was set up between the Darebin Libraries, Moreland City Libraries and Yarra Plenty Regional Library – which are all from the northern region of Melbourne. These Libraries were able to obtain funding from the Library Board of Victoria – and ‘WikiNorthia’ which is essentailly an online encyclopedia was started. These three library services encompass five local council areas including Moreland, Darebin, Banyule, Nillumbik and Whittlesea.
As you don’t necessarily know what town is in which council district, here are a listing of most of the towns covered by this project: Alphington (historically), Arthurs Creek, Bell Field, Bend of Islands, Beveridge, Briar Hill, Bundoora, Christmas Hills, Cottles Bridge, Diamond Creek, Donnybrook, Doreen, Eaglemont, Eden Park, Eltham, Eltham North, Epping, Fairfield, Greensborough, Heidelberg, Heidelberg Heights, Heidelberg West, Humevale, Hurstbridge, Ivanhoe, Ivanhoe East, Kangaroo Ground, Kinglake West, Kingsbury, Lalor, Macleod, Mernda, Mill Park, Montmorency, North Warrandyte, Northcote, Panton Hill, Plenty, Preston, Research, Reservoir , Rosanna, St Andrews, St Helena, Smiths Gully, South Morang, Strathewen, Thomastown, Thornbury, Viewbank, Watsonia, Watsonia North, Whittlesea, Wollert, Woodstock, Yallambie, Yan Yean.
So WikiNorthia is an innovative project that is all about encouraging people to record the history as well as the present through stories, documents, photos and other methods to provide a snapshot of life in Melbourne’s northern regions. They already have articles relating to art and literature, buildings, community, events, environment, places, sports, recreation and transport and more. Examples of stories/articles include the impact of Black Saturday, local cemeteries and war memorials, together with personal reminiscences, particularly post WW2 migrant experience, and there are some family histories.
Now WikiNorthia as you see it today (and on the screenshot below), is the newly revamped website which has only just recently been released. They did this to allow more functionality and ease of use and to ensure its ongoing sustainability … which are both very valuable features in a website. For more details on the relaunch of WikiNorthia you can read the Yarra Plenty Local History Libary blog post by Liz on Wikinorthia re-imagined.
The project is the first of its type not only in Victoria but in Australia!! So well done to those who came up with the idea, it is brilliant.
All of the information that is on this website is put online for others be be able to view, enjoy, learn from and reminisce. And as this website is a Wiki, it is also open for people to submit. So if you have anything that you would like to contribute to it, simply register and then you can add your story, photograph or other information.
While not all stories have photos many do, and stories can include text, photos, and links. A goal for those behind WikiNorthia is to build on their street names articles and well as getting more stories relating to WW1 in lead up to centenary of WW1, so if you’d like to help out, simply jump online on the big link below and register.
Help preserve the past and present of Melbourne’s north by sharing it with others, and getting more people to know about WikiNorthia.