Ballarat must ensure MADE is sustainable decades into future

 THE story of the Eureka Rebellion continues to evolve in Ballarat.

Yesterday, along with the many activities to mark the 158th anniversary of the birth of democracy in Australia, community leaders were given an insight into the new Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka (MADE).

The multi-million dollar attraction stands to be the centrepoint of celebrating the events of 1854 as well as Australia’s journey to the nation it is today.

The project stands to become a beacon for tourism in the region, providing a significant and modern reflection of Ballarat’s past and present.

Such is the investment made by governments on all levels, and the Ballarat community, it must be a success.

The demise of the former Eureka Centre was detrimental on a number of levels, not only for those wishing to cement the Eureka legend in the eyes of all Australians but also for the city to which it was home.

The transfer of the original Eureka Flag from the Art Gallery of Ballarat to MADE is a major piece in the puzzle in making the new museum a success.

Undoubtedly, this priceless piece of history will make MADE more attractive to visitors than its previous reincarnation.

The flag does not guarantee success for MADE. Indeed, it faces challenges in ensuring it is a vibrant and interactive centre in its own right.

On first glance yesterday, MADE is being established as a world-class museum which is modern and exciting.

Yet it remains without a director and its official opening has been delayed until mid next year, despite assurances to the contrary during most of this year.

Clearly, there is a large amount of work required to the building and surrounds.

We take strength in the strong committee and community support for the project that when MADE comes to life it will be a centre which Ballarat, and those tied to the Eureka story, can be proud.

Also, its important that MADE is sustainable decades into the future. It’s one large responsibility – and we know Ballarat is up to the challenge.

Williams Boag Architects director John Clark stands beside the Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka (MADE).

Williams Boag Architects director John Clark stands beside the Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka (MADE).