Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka to open in May

THE Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka should open in early May, within its $11.1 million budget and with all profits put back into the centre.

MADE board chairman Professor David Battersby said this week the  centre should open in the first week of May, but this would be confirmed after a board meeting next Thursday.

It was initially expected that the former Eureka Centre would open midway through last year.

“It’s understandable that the public looks and thinks there’s not much activity but there are all these things that have been happening behind the scenes,” Professor Battersby said.

“At the end of the day, we’ve got to get it right. We’ve only got one chance.”

MADE project manager Katherine Armstrong said unforeseen circumstances, known as “latent considerations”, had caused delays, including the need for the museum to be completely dust free, along with an archaeological dig due to the site’s historic background.

“We had to deal with a site here that already existed. One of the challenges is to be able to take that existing site and embellish it while preserving the history of the site,” Ms Armstrong said.

“Ms Armstrong said the project was running within its $11.1 million budget, with any latent considerations allowed for at the start of the process.

“We do have to report to three levels of government.

“The first 12 months of operation have also been modelled as much as we can anticipate.”

Professor Battersby said MADE had to run similarly to a commercial enterprise, with sponsorship crucial to the not-for-profit centre’s success.

He said a key partner would be Education Services Australia, which will digitally connect MADE to every Australian classroom.

“There will be an opportunity through the portals to connect with the site.”

Ms Armstrong said MADE was working with six “significant partners”, both regionally and nationally.

“MADE is not just about cash over the door. Any sponsorship must include the very core values of what Eureka was about.

“Our key objective is to make history meaningful. Connecting with every classroom in Australia will mean the story of Eureka is able to extend beyond our imagination.”

fiona.henderson@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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