Reverend Cusack RussellA cottage, Wando Vale

The Vern McCallum Photo Collection

Photos of the Western District of Victoria, Australia, from 1860



See over 17,500 photos at our massive Exhibition.

See the entire Vern McCallum Collection by visiting our exhibition at the Castle at Allestree on the Princess Highway, opposite the Bolwarra turn off 10 km east of Portland. The exhibition is open Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 4 pm, from 17/18 November util the end of January, 2019. However, you can phone Vern on 0438 371 282 to arrange a viewing outside those times.

All 17,500+ photos in the Collection will be viewable either in the 1,000 mounted prints or in printed catalogs or as high quality computer images. We believe this is the biggest exhibition of Historic Photos ever displayed in the country. It includes approximately one hundred photos taken by Thomas Hannay in 1859, only 25 years after the Hentys settled at Portland Bay. Hannay travelled from Geelong to Portland and to Sandford and to Naracoorte. His photos are a unique record. Copies of all photos in the Collection are available for purchase at the exhibition and by contacting Vern..

Admission is $ 10.00 per adult, $ 5.00 per child.

The ABC's Colleen Hughson televised a four minute interview with Vern, during which he talks about how the Collection came about and what it means to him and to many others. You can see the interview at:

The Standard's Journalist Jenny McLaren found out about Vern's expansive collection at: and

You can watch "The Vern McCallum Collection" video on Facebook at

In March 2017 the Hamilton Spectator recognised the relevance of the Collection by running a two page spread. You can see both page 1 and page 2 here (in Adobe Acrobat PDF format), courtesy of the Spec.

About the Collection

Strangely, the Collection contains almost no photographs! For more than 40 years the residents of the Western District, and beyond, have allowed Vern McCallum to copy their personal photographs and negatives, mementos, and associated information: the originals stay with the owners. The Collection now has a vast number - more than 17,500 – of high quality images held as computer files. When families do donate originals of particular significance, our policy is to make copies for the Collection then place the originals in appropriate museums or libraries.

By keeping only copies, the Collection has gained access to a range of information that is largely inaccessible to institutions that only accept originals.

We then make the Collection available to the by mounting displays of photos at various events, providing images for the history sections of local newspapers, and distributing prints to aged care homes.


On-line access to the Collection

You will soon be able to see almost all our photos through this web site !!

We will divide the Collection into Galleries: Portland and Heywood, for example, wll have one or more galleries each as will Steam Engines and Bullock Teams.

There are many Galleries, so bear with us! You can request that a particular place or activity be givin priority by Contacting Vern. No promises!



Woman in car with children The hall, Harrow Main street, Casterton Gordon Goodes in Don Woodstoke's Model T Ford The homestead, Wando Vale

site updated:16th November 2018