M.A.D.E: The best reader ideas to improve the museum

SOLUTIONS to the financial predicament of the Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka (M.A.D.E) have poured in from the community.

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More than 40 people responded to an online survey on thecourier.com.au and dozens weighed in via Facebook following further revelations this week about the financial predicament of the museum.

Recurring ideas to fix M.A.D.E included dumping the name, a greater emphasis on the battle of Eureka and providing a free tourist tram service to the site.

In the survey, which ran this week on thecourier.com.au, the name M.A.D.E was frequently criticised with calls to return the branding of the facility back to Eureka.

One respondent claimed the current name was too reminiscent of American sentiment and lacked "the particular marketing opportunities provided by the Eureka events". 

Another person said it should be renamed to the Eureka Centre: "M.A.D.E sounds silly and 'Museum of Australian Democracy' sounds like something you'd be forced to go to on a school trip."

"'Museum of Australian Democracy' sounds like something you'd be forced to go to on a school trip"

The museum's accessibility was another issue of concern, with suggestions ranging from more signage and prominence on the site to providing hourly tram rides to the facility from Sturt Street and the lake every hour.

Returning the tourist information centre to the museum was another popular idea.

"Put the Ballarat Tourist Information Centre back there and it would draw plenty of people... because then they would have a look while obtaining information," one respondent said. 

The lack of prominence of the building on the site was also noted.

"The previous flag pole was a visual landmark and gained tourists' attention drawing them to the site," a reader said.

Another said to "invest more money into it" and make the storytelling around Eureka more prominent.

Facebook user Kristina Kitchingman stressed the need for more signage: "I know a lot of people who get lost because they don't know Eureka Street." 

Katrina Orr said the former Eureka Centre was fine how it was. 

"I used to love walking there with the kids in the pram and stopping for a coffee from the little cafe. Now I can't even find the entrance," she wrote.

rachel.afflick@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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