Museum for Australian Democracy at Eureka won't open until next year

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BALLARAT will have to wait until at least May next year for the opening of the Museum for Australian Democracy at Eureka.

And there has been little progress on appointing a museum director.

MADE board of management chairman David Battersby yesterday said it was hoped the centre would be fully functioning in six months.

He said the construction was finished, with the internal fit out the last piece in the puzzle.

Ballarat City Council originally hoped to have the museum open 12 months ago, with the council early this year revising its opening date to December this year.

Professor Battersby said there was always flexibility on the opening times and that it was important everything was perfect before visitors could come.

“It was a challenging project in terms of the technology, it is going to be a state-of-the-art set-up,” he said.

“We were always flexible in terms of when it would open. We want it to open as soon as we can but everything needs to be spot-on.”

Professor Battersby said there would be a number of “soft openings” over the next few months, such as a special ceremony yesterday to commemorate the Eureka Rebellion and give 120 people a special preview of what the museum would look like.

The soft openings will be used as trials to ensure everything is in place for the grand opening.

Although a director of the museum is yet to be appointed, Professor Battersby said there was no rush to fill the vacancy.

The position has been advertised throughout most of the year, both in Australia and internationally.

“We are going through the process at the moment but it doesn’t mean things aren’t functioning,” Professor Battersby said.

“None of us are losing sleep over it. We will get the right person and we hope to have that finalised by the time the museum opens.”

patrick.nolan@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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