The Thomas, Samuel and George Ewing Trust is a fund that fosters literacy, libraries, and a lifelong love of learning in the historic Melbourne suburb of Fitzroy.
Fitzroy Library is fortunate to have the continued support of the Ewing Trust endowment that allows for the development and presentation of a range of events and projects for the benefit of Fitzroy residents and visitors.
Fitzroy Mayor Thomas Ewing (1833 – 1879) believed it was important for members of the community to develop their intellectual life. In 1873, Ewing launched a library fund and encouraged the donation of books. This initiative was a driving force behind the Fitzroy Public Library, which was opened in 1877 and originally located in what is now known as the Fitzroy Town Hall Reading Room.
Over 100 years later in 1985, Margaret Ewing Cutten, granddaughter of Thomas Ewing, established a trust to support local history projects, assist and add to the Fitzroy Library collection. The Thomas, Samuel and George Ewing Trust was endowed after Margaret Ewing Cuttens’ death in 1991 and named in memory of her grandfather Thomas, her father Samuel, and her brother George. to continue Margaret Ewing Cutten and the Ewing Families long tradition of enriching the cultural wealth of Victoria through the support of Melbourne cultural and educational institutions.
Images left to right:
Portrait of Dr. Samuel Ewing by Sir John Longstaff, Oil on Canvas, The University of Melbourne Art Collection, c.1930s.
Portrait of Margaret Ewing Cutten by W.B McInnes, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria, c.1926.
Margaret Ewing Cutten at Fitzroy Library c.1989.
The Ewing Trust is governed by a board made of members with links to The Ewing family, friends and supporters of Fitzroy Library, and Fitzroy Library staff. Through Ewing Trust support, Fitzroy Library is able to employ a dedicated Ewing Trust Officer whose role is to conceptualise, develop, plan and facilitate a range of events and programs for the benefit of the Fitzroy community.
The Ewing Trust has a commitment to literacy and lifelong learning. This commitment has enabled Fitzroy Library to enhance its collection for the benefit of the community by regularly gifting funds to allow Fitzroy Library to develop its collections of books and multimedia that appeal to all ages and cultural backgrounds.
The Trust has provided extensive support to the Fitzroy Library Homework Club through funding the refurbishment of the Fitzroy Library Green Room, a study area named in memory of Rosemary Green, a long time Ewing Trust board member and friend of Fitzroy Library.
The Ewing Trust also supports local history through funding the publication of several titles including Fitzroy: Melbourne’s First Suburb and The Fitzroy Public Library 1877-1997: A History, as well as upcoming titles in collaboration with Fitzroy Learning Network.
Fitzroy residents and visitors have benefited immensely from the Ewing Trust and its support and enrichment of the Fitzroy Library as a vital community hub.
Photo: Ewing Trust board member Katherine Callinan-Moore with author Stuart Kells at Fitzroy Writers Festival 2019.
Annual Events and Programs made possible by the Ewing Trust
Fitzroy Writers Festival
The major annual event of the Yarra Libraries calendar, the inaugural Fitzroy Writers' Festival was held in April 2019 and featured appearances from award winning writers including Behrouz Boochani, Maxine Beneba Clarke and Carly Findlay, as well as workshops, live performances, demonstrations, food, and a marketplace for booksellers and publishers to sell their titles.
Bridges to Harmony
Bridges to Harmony is a celebration of inclusivity and diversity in support of Harmony Week. Held in partnership with Fitzroy Learning Network and other Fitzroy Community organisations, Bridges to Harmony is a fun-filled day where all are welcome and welcome and connected
Blakwiz is an Aboriginal-themed quiz show held in celebration of National Reconciliation Week, with trivia questions that connect the dots all the way to the Dreamtime.
Read more about Blakwiz.
Kids Book Fest
Kids Book Fest is an annual event held in partnership with the Little Bookroom, and featuring some of Australia’s most beloved children authors.
Library Volumes is a unique series of free musical events, set amongst the shelves at Fitzroy Library. It gives music lovers the chance to hear established and emerging musicians away from the usual bar-and-pub circuit.
Fitzroy Writers' Prize
Fitzroy Writers' Prize is a new prize for short-form fiction and non-fiction writing. It is open to all unpublished writers with a connection to Fitzroy through living, working, learning or writing.
The Ewing Trust also supports annual events held in recognition of important dates of the Yarra calendar including International Women’s Day, Refugee Week and Homelessness Week as well as regular author talks and book launches throughout the year.
Would you like to suggest a Ewing Trust sponsored event?
For more information please contact Ewing Trust officer Sam Boivin via email at Sam.Boivin@yarracity.vic.gov.au.