Museum has a solid future in Ballarat

Bright future: M.A.D.E managing director Sarah Masters has stepped up as interim CEO until a permanent replacement is found by June 30. Picture: Kate Healy

Bright future: M.A.D.E managing director Sarah Masters has stepped up as interim CEO until a permanent replacement is found by June 30. Picture: Kate Healy

The Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka has farewelled its CEO Jane Smith, but the organisation says her legacy will live on.

Managing director Sarah Masters has stepped up to oversee the organisation in the interim until a permanent replacement is recruited for June 30 next year.

With Ms Smith moving on to an interim CEO position at Craft Victoria in Melbourne, Ms Masters said the former head had left M.A.D.E with a “fantastically solid foundation”.

Ms Smith left the organisation on September 30 after three and a half years solidifying partnerships and the new museum’s profile.

“She’s left us with an opportunity to fly higher,” Ms Masters said.

She said the museum now had partnerships with Melbourne’s literary organisation, The Wheeler Centre, Saltbush Kitchen, Ballarat Library, U3A, Ballarat Health Services and Federation University, a pathway she hoped to continue.

She also said M.A.D.E had an important role in the city’s future tourism development.

“We need to increase our work collaborations with Visit Ballarat and other cultural organisations in the city to encourage overnight stays in Ballarat,” she said

“It’s looking at organisations like us and the Gold Museum – people come to visit Sovereign Hill but it’s really about the rest of us banding together and providing ‘the other day of the weekend’.”

Ms Masters also said the museum was working on its leadership forums for young people to ensure Ballarat was growing a city of strong future leaders.

She said the museum had more than doubled its group tours every year, which is another aspect M.A.D.E hoped to develop even more, especially with the Chinese market.

“We’re looking at working with the 90,000 student visa holders in Melbourne and marketing to them for their New Year festivities,” she said.

“With these visa holders is either they will go home to their families or their families will come over to visit. So there’s a real appetite for short visits and go out to see the best Victoria has to offer.”

M.A.D.E will open a full-scale Chinese Fortunes exhibition in January next year. The exhibition had a small pop-up event recently at Parliament House in Melbourne.