Linking MADE with other Ballarat tourist attractions vital

THE Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka will forge close links with other Ballarat tourist attractions, according to its board chairman Professor David Battersby.

“We can’t operate in a vacuum here and only promote this as a museum. We have to promote Ballarat too,” Professor Battersby said.

“We’ve had a range of discussions with Sovereign Hill and the Art Gallery of Ballarat. 

“MADE will be part of the broader fabric of Ballarat. There’s a sense that we need to orchestrate what we do here so folks coming here stay on in Ballarat and that’s a shared commitment with Ballarat Regional Tourism.”

MADE project manager Katherine Armstrong said some of the best minds in Australia had been used to create the $11.1 million centre.

“The traditional percentage of a budget spent on consultants is 12 to 14 per cent but with the project start-up like this, the costs of organisations and implementation are more like 16 to 18 per cent,” Ms Armstrong said.

“It’s because of the complexity of what we’re trying to deliver. We started with absolutely nothing and it’s been an extraordinary challenge.

“We’ve engaged people from all over the country and used some of the best minds and some of these people aren’t even paid.

“They are just passionate about it. We’ve been asking for more than you could ever pay someone and people have just been giving generously of their time.”

Ms Armstrong said BRT and community leaders had been doing enormous amounts behind the scenes too.

“They have been incredibly supportive but have challenged us too.”

Professor Battersby said the project had been relatively lean in terms of consultants used.

“We’ve had to be very conscious that while $11.1 million is a lot of money, the money has to be well spent.

“It has to be spent on things that make a difference.”

Ms Armstrong said, when completed, MADE will employ 11 full-time staff, along with volunteers.

“It will be all hands on deck in the lead-up to the opening.”

She also said they were working on public transport options to the centre, which should be available from May onward.

“It is imperative the centre is accessible.”