Maritime Interest Groups

Williamstown Maritime Association


Maritime Museum of Victoria

Enterprize Ship Trust

Alma Doepel

Wooden Boat Association

Durham Association


Bay Steamers

Friends of Cerberus

Maritime Archeology Association of Victoria Inc

Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions Club Inc



Naval Historical Society of Australia

Peninsula Ship Society

Winding Up the Maritime Heritage Association of Victoria

Friday 30th December 2016

It is with regret that I have to inform you that at a special General Meeting held on Thursday 22nd December, it was agreed by Special Resolution to voluntarily wind up the Maritime Heritage Association of Victoria Inc. due to our lack of members and the loss of interest. See the Minutes of the Special General Meeting, 22 December 2016.

Completion of the winding up process is subject to the distribution of our assets as agreed in the Special Resolution passed at the meeting (please refer to the 'Special General Meeting' minutes), and the acceptance of our application to 'voluntarily wind up' by Consumer Affairs Victoria.

It is recognised that the major part of the MHAV's objectives to establish a 'maritime heritage centre and working seaport at Williamstown' has been achieved. The Maritime Museums of Victoria and Seaworks Maritime Discovery Centre continue to promote the MHAV's original objective.

On behalf of the committee, we wish to thank you for your interest in and loyalty to the Maritime Heritage Association of Victoria since its formation at Polly Woodside/Melbourne Maritime Museum on 16th September 2002.

Neil Thomas
(This covering letter in pdf format)

Since the end of MHAV in 2016, this site has been supported by Seabooks Press as a record of our hopes for preserving Victorian maritime heritage in a form that did not succeed. From a page on the writing of Alan Villiers: Voyager of the Winds:

"In 2002 I became involved with efforts to set up a maritime museum in Victoria by people who'd helped with the extraordinary restoration of Polly Woodside over the years, which resulted in the Maritime Heritage Association of Victoria.

MHAV came to an end in 2016 without achieving its declared aim, but along the way helped in efforts to save the historic maritime precinct in Williamstown, now occupied by Seaworks and the Williamstown Maritime Association's Pirates Tavern.

The Maritime Museums of Victoria, with its member museums all over the state, now fills the niche MHAV had once hoped would be taken by a single institution, but that may not be a bad thing – MMV is able to cover a broader range of maritime interests than any single body could.

So what has that to do with Alan Villiers? At an MHAV committee meeting one night in 2004 we were mulling over a possible 'iconic figure' as a focus for a maritime museum, and Villiers' name came up. A Melbourne boy who'd achieved global fame for his writing and photographs of the four-masted steel barques in the 1920s and 30s – why not?

I knew his papers were at the National Library of Australia in Canberra and I'd become vaguely curious about the background to some of his odder tales, so volunteered to have a look at the papers. I did so and discovered more than I'd ever expected ..."

Dr Kate Lance, 10 August 2022
MHAV Webmaster 2004-2016
MHAV Newsletter Editor 2008-2011

Seaworks Maritime Discovery Centre

MHAV represents over 40 organisations and hundreds of members supporting maritime awareness, collections, experiences and historic vessels. From canoes to clippers, immigrants to container ships, the sea has touched the lives of all Victorians. But Victoria is the only Australian state without a major centre to preserve and celebrate its vast maritime riches.

The MHAV continues to support the Seaworks Foundation with the development of the Seaworks Maritime Discovery Centre, at 82 Nelson Place, Williamstown, VIC 3016. The Discovery Centre displays many unique collections, including models of ships which have traded out of Melbourne over the last 180 years, many artefacts from those and other vessels, historical DVDs, paintings and prints of ships and the Port of Melbourne, and a library of publications and photos.

The Discovery Centre has already been identified by the Williamstown Visitor and Information Centre as being a significant tourist attraction. The Discovery Centre is open on Sundays and, subject to availability of volunteers and guides, is planned to open mid-week.

MHAV Member Organisations

Australian Shipowners Association
Baird Publications
Bay Steamers Maritime Museum (Wattle)
Classic Steamboat Cruises (Grower)
Classic Yacht Association of Australia
Durham Association
Enterprize Ship Trust (Enterprize)
Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village
Friends of the Cerberus
Geelong Port
Graeme Wylie (Caravelle Notorious)
Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology (Victorian Division)
Maritime Archaeology Association of Victoria
Maritime History Preservation Soc of East Victoria
Melbourne Seaplanes
Melbourne Showboat (Lady Cutler)
Melbourne Tramboat Cruises
Maritime Museum of Victoria
Merchant Navy RSL Sub Branch Melbourne
Naval Association of Australia (Melb.)
Naval Historical Society of Australia (Vic.)
Navy League of Australia - Victoria Division
Oceanic Research Foundation
Peninsula Ship Society
Polly Woodside Volunteers' Association
Port Albert Maritime Museum
Port of Echuca
Port Welshpool & District Maritime Museum
Queenscliffe Maritime Museum
Royal Victorian Motor Yacht Club
Sail and Adventure Ltd (Alma Doepel)
Seaworks Foundation
Ship Modelling Society of Victoria
Shipping Australia Ltd (Victorian Committee)
Star Line Cruises (Victoria Star)
Svitzer Australia Pty Ltd
Williamstown Historical Society
Williamstown Maritime Association
Wooden Boat Association of Victoria
World Ship Society (Vic. Branch)
Yachting Victoria

MHAV would like to express its appreciation for the support it has received from the Port of Melbourne Corporation, Seaworks Foundation, Williamstown Maritime Association and The Pirates' Tavern for the use of their facilities for meetings, and Fluccs for community hosting.