Battersby to temporarily head Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka

DESPITE a worldwide search, the Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka (MADE) still doesn’t have a director.

Instead, University of Ballarat vice-chancellor and MADE board of management chairman David Battersby will act as temporary general manager.

Ballarat East resident Gary Fitzgerald asked several questions at Wednesday night’s Ballarat City Council meeting about MADE’s opening date, admission price and volunteer staffing.

At the meeting, the council’s destination and economy director Jeff Pulford admitted the three year, $11 million project had faced some delays.

However, he said the facility, on the corner of Eureka and Rodier streets, was only days away from practical completion.

“It will then be handed over for a fit-out,” Mr Pulford said.

MADE chairman David Battersby yesterday said it was a one-of-a-kind centre in Australia.

“Accordingly we are looking for the most appropriate person to lead MADE into the future,” Mr Battersby said. 

He said Ballarat locals would enter MADE free of charge. 

“Other admission and conditions of entry will be finalised and announced in the new year.”

Mr Battersby said volunteers would be part of the new complex. 

“This is a community asset and members of the community will be invited in February to sign up to a volunteer program.”

In May, it was predicted the centre’s official opening could take place next month.

The new building, which is a remodelling of the original complex being carried out by Nicholson Constructions, will include a theatre and “knowledge tower”, and will form a natural amphitheatre overlooking the Eureka Stockade site.

The Eureka Flag will move into the centre as part of a loan deal with the Art Gallery of Ballarat.

A new 30-metre traditional flagpole has already been erected, replacing the former giant mast which held a massive Eureka Flag above the centre.

However, it was torn in half by a windstorm in June 2009 and the mast was removed when the revamp began later that year.

fiona.henderson@thecourier.com.au

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