Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka

The Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka (M.A.D.E.) was a museum dedicated to democracy, located at the site of the Eureka Rebellion in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia. It opened on 4 May 2013[2] and replaced the previous Eureka Stockade Centre.[3] MADE's launch in 2013 was hampered by budget overruns and long delays.[4]

Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka (MADE)
Flag Talk.jpg
The Eureka Flag was central to MADE's exhibitions.
Established4 May 2013[1]
Dissolved31 March 2018
LocationBallarat, Victoria, Australia
Coordinates37°33′54″S 143°53′02″E / 37.565°S 143.884°E / -37.565; 143.884
Visitors68,000 per annum

The Museum focused on the Eureka Stockade as the place of origin of Australia's democracy.[5][6] The Museum housed the original Eureka Flag, upon which the rebels swore an oath to the flag as a symbol of defiance against the ruling colonial government.[7] The flag was on loan from the Art Gallery of Ballarat.[8][9]

GovernanceEdit

The Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka was established as an independent not-for-profit organisation with a board of directors and with tax deductible charity status. Its sole member was the City of Ballarat. During its five-year existence, the Museum had two Chairs of the board: Professor David Battersby AM[10] and Kaaren Koomen AM.[11][12]

MADE's was supported by three notable patrons: Lucy Turnbull AO, Rob Knowles AO and former Victorian Premier Steve Bracks AC. Peter FitzSimons AM was an Ambassador for the Museum.

The Museum received an annual grant from the City of Ballarat of approximately $1 million. The Museum also received triennial funding from Creative Victoria's OIP grant program[13] and the Department of Education and Training, as well as other donors. The Museum's annual turnover was approximately $2 million and in each year of operation it posted a financial a surplus.[14]

 
The displays at MADE used digital technology to tell stories and discuss democracy.

ClosureEdit

At its February 2018 Ordinary Council Meeting, the City of Ballarat Council made the decision to take over management responsibility of the centre.[15] The decision came after lengthy consideration of a feasibility study prepared for Council on the future of the museum.[16]

The Museum of Australian Democracy ceased trading on 31 March 2018, only two months before its fifth anniversary.[17] The Council took over the centre, continuing to exhibit the flag,[18] and engaged the Ballarat community to determine the next steps for a community centre based on the site.[19] The Museum of Australian Democracy voluntarily deregistered with ASIC in May 2018, after transferring its assets to the City of Ballarat and de-accessioning its collection, returning borrowed and donated objects to donors.

History of the Eureka siteEdit

In 1854 a period of civil disobedience by gold miners over the actions of the government culminated in a rebellion at Eureka, Victoria, during which at least 27 people, mostly rebels, died. It was the most prominent rebellion in Australia's history. It is held to be the birthplace of Australian democracy.[20][21]

Various memorials have been erected at the site since the rebellion, with the former Eureka Centre being refurbished to become the Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka between 2011 and 2013. This development was funded by $5 million from both the Australian and Victorian governments and $1.1 million from the City of Ballarat.[22][23]

The Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka redevelopment project was managed by Katherine Armstrong from Lateral Projects.[24] The building was designed by architects Beveridge Williams[25] and included a 114-seat theatre, and a cafe.[26]

The original business case for the Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka anticipated that annual visitation would reach 125,000. In 2017, the Museum reached a record 68,000 visitors.[27]

Following MADE's closure, a public lobby group called for the return of the flag to the Art Gallery of Ballarat.[28] The public debate over the MADE site and the Eureka story also continued.[29]

 
The displays at MADE used digital technology to tell stories and discuss democracy.

Exhibitions and awardsEdit

MADE explored the powerful story of the Eureka Stockade and life on the Gold Fields in the 1850s as a significant part of the struggle for peoples’ rights in Australia and around the world. MADE commemorated the pivotal role of the Stockade in shaping Australia’s democracy. This is where a group of largely young people fought injustice, and won some of the first democratic rights in the world. The key feature of the exhibition was the original Eureka Flag that was first flown at the site of the Centre during the Eureka Rebellion in 1854.[30]

MADE’s permanent exhibition used innovative digital immersion to engage visitors with the questions: What is democracy and why do we care? Why has it been fought for, yesterday and today? What does it feel like to be without power? Combining contemporary technology with historic objects, the role of the people as the centre of democracy was explored. How are decisions made? Who are they made for? What influence do you have in our contemporary democracy today?

 
The Museum used digital technology and touch screens to tell the stories of the Eureka Stockade.

Through a series of public programs and temporary exhibitions, visitors were inspired to explore diversity, creativity and the hidden stories of the past and present. As a centre of discussion on contemporary democracy, MADE hosted some of Australia’s most creative thinkers[31] through partnerships with The Wheeler Centre[32] and Melbourne Writers Festival.[33] In its time, the Museum welcomed Anne Summers, Yassmin Abdel-Magied, Clare Wright, Deng Adut, Gail Kelly and many more.

 
Students learn about the Eureka flag and the Eureka Stockade.

The Museum also housed the Quilt of Hope,[34] a community art project created by the Moving Towards Justice group which commemorated the lives of victims of institutional sexual abuse in Ballarat.[35] After the Museum was closed, the Quilt of Hope was donated to the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House in Canberra.

 
Quilt made to commemorate the victims of institutional sexual abuse in Ballarat.

The Museum's regular exhibitions brought wide praise, including

  • The Campaign for Disability Rights: Grassroots Democracy[36]
  • Bling[37] which brought together Gold Fields jewellery for the first time in 2016[38]
  • Chinese Fortunes[39] which examined the migration experience from China.[40] Chinese Fortunes travelled to The Immigration Museum in Melbourne[41] and the Kyenton Museum,[42] in regional Victoria.
  • Our Wonderful World[43][44]
  • Roses from the Heart [45]
  • Historyonics: the Monster Petition[46][47][48]
  • Eureka Day anniversary celebrations, particularly the 160th anniversary[49] and the recreation of the Eureka Flag[50] by descendants.[51]
     
    Anniversary of the Eureka Stockade at MADE
 
Brooch from the MADE exhibition Bling, examining jewellery from the Gold Fields.

Between its opening in 2013 and closure in 2018, the Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka had more than 262,000 visitors, with almost 40,000 visits from students attending the highly regarded primary and secondary schools program.[52]

During its five years of operation, MADE won a number of awards:

  • 2017 Commerce Ballarat's Visit Ballarat Business Excellence Awards for Special Events and Attractions[53]
  • 2015 Winner for Innovation in the MAGNA Awards run by Museum and Galleries National for the Eureka Day 160th Anniversary Program[54]
  • 2013 Achievement Award for Excellence in category of Partner, VCAL promotion from the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority
  • 2013 Eureka Democracy Award from Eureka's Children.[55]

ControversiesEdit

The Museum was subject to a number of controversies in its short life.

Many people in Ballarat remember fondly the Eureka Centre, a tourism and visitor centre which at its peak attracted 25,000 people each year. The Eureka Centre was home to a diorama which explained the Eureka Stockade. The diorama disappeared in the development of the Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka and has become a local Ballarat mystery.[56]

The Museum's initial development ran over budget and caused ongoing political ramifications in the media and in public discourse.[57]

In November 2017, cafe owner Saltbush Kitchen[58] decided to discontinue its presence at MADE after months of uncertainty over the Museum's future.[59]

In early 2018, Federal MP, Catherine King (politician) gave a speech in federal parliament accusing the City of Ballarat of changing its priorities in relation to MADE's funding arrangement.[60][61]

Three weeks prior to the City of Ballarat's vote on the future of the Museum, Deputy Mayor Daniel Moloney resigned from the board of MADE, citing conflicts of interest.[62]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka | Visit Ballarat
  2. ^ Westwood, Matthew. "Eureka remixed at new Museum of Australian Democracy". The Australian.
  3. ^ Egeberg, Ron. "Background to the Redevelopment of the Eureka Centre". Blog.
  4. ^ HENDERSON, FIONA (1 February 2013). "Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka to open in May". The Courier. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  5. ^ "Geoff Howard MP | State Labor Member for Buninyong". www.geoffhoward.com.au. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  6. ^ "Australian Democracy was Born at Eureka - eurekapedia". www.eurekapedia.org. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
  7. ^ "Eureka Stockade - eurekapedia". www.eurekapedia.org. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
  8. ^ Australia, Artlab. "Artlab Australia - Conserving our cultural heritage". www.artlabaustralia.com.au. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  9. ^ HENDERSON, FIONA (19 April 2013). "Eureka flag moves to its new home". The Courier. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
  10. ^ IRVING, KARA (7 June 2015). "Academic David Battersby humbled by award". The Courier. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
  11. ^ Koomen, Kaaren (4 December 2014). "Remembering those who lost their lives at Eureka". The Courier. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
  12. ^ Wrigley, Brendan (3 December 2017). "Packed house for Eureka Day as women of Rebellion remembered". The Courier. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
  13. ^ "Over $113 million to support independent arts sector". creative.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
  14. ^ "ACNC register".
  15. ^ Cluff, Caleb (22 February 2018). "UnMADE: how the Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka unravelled". The Courier. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  16. ^ Calafiore, Siobhan (22 March 2018). "MADE to shut doors next week before reopening under City of Ballarat". The Courier.
  17. ^ "9 News Western Victoria". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  18. ^ "City of Ballarat - Eureka Centre - Home of the Eureka Flag". www.ballarat.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
  19. ^ Calafiore, Siobhan (22 March 2018). "MADE to shut doors next week before reopening under City of Ballarat". The Courier. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  20. ^ "The Eureka Stockade: Gateway to Democracy - eurekapedia". www.eurekapedia.org. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
  21. ^ Egeberg., Ron (13 May 2018). "Opinion: Time to pull together over Eureka flag". The Courier. Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  22. ^ "Nocookies". The Australian. Retrieved 4 April 2016.
  23. ^ Westwood, Matthew (4 May 2013). "Eureka remixed at new Museum of Australian Democracy". The Australian. Archived from the original on 15 May 2014. Retrieved 16 May 2014.
  24. ^ Westwood, Matthew. "Eureka remixed at new Museum of Australian Democracy".
  25. ^ "Museum for Australian Democracy at Eureka (M.A.D.E)". www.beveridgewilliams.com.au. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
  26. ^ "MADE Cafe". Vimeo. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
  27. ^ Cluff, Caleb (27 April 2018). "MADE to fade from site as council resumes control of Eureka centre". The Courier. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
  28. ^ McMillan, Ashleigh (12 May 2018). "Eureka flag to stay in place, despite public calls for return to gallery". The Courier. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
  29. ^ Egeberg., Ron (13 May 2018). "Opinion: Time to pull together over Eureka flag". The Courier. Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  30. ^ Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka | M.A.D.E
  31. ^ THOMAS, ALICIA (24 August 2014). "Melbourne Writers Festival at M.A.D.E a great success". The Courier. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
  32. ^ "M.A.D.E, Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka". The Wheeler Centre. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
  33. ^ "CREATING CHANGE: MWF AT M.A.D.E - Melbourne Writers Festival". Melbourne Writers Festival. 17 August 2016. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
  34. ^ SINNOTT, ALEX (2 March 2015). "Quilt brings hope to sexual abuse victims". The Standard. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  35. ^ "The Quilt of Hope at the former Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka, which was made as part of a collaboration between the mothers of child sex abuse survivors". ABC News. 2 April 2018. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  36. ^ "The Campaign for Disability Rights - Google Arts & Culture". Google Cultural Institute. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
  37. ^ Cooke, Dewi (16 April 2016). "MADE Ballarat exhibition digs up 19th century miners who loved their bling". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  38. ^ "Colonial 'bling' of the Victorian goldfields on display". ABC News. 15 April 2016. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  39. ^ Pung, Alice (19 January 2017). "Chinese Fortunes exhibition charts untold tale of wealth and prejudice". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  40. ^ Shying, Olivia (16 January 2017). "Exploring forgotten Chinese fortunes". The Courier. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  41. ^ "Exploring the journeys of early Chinese Australians". SBS Your Language. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  42. ^ "Chinese Fortunes at Kyneton Museum". Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  43. ^ "Our Wonderful World at MADE - Progressive PR". Progressive PR. 17 May 2017. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  44. ^ "Our Wonderful World". Vimeo. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
  45. ^ Black, Jessica (4 January 2017). "Roses From The Heart in Ballarat | photos". The Courier. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
  46. ^ Historyonics: the Monster Petition, 1 October 2014, retrieved 10 May 2018
  47. ^ "260-metre 'monster petition' goes on display in Ballarat". ABC News. 29 September 2014. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
  48. ^ "Monster Petition". blogs.slv.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
  49. ^ "Ballarat celebrates the 160th anniversary of the Eureka Rebellion". ABC Ballarat. 3 December 2014. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
  50. ^ Cunningham, Melissa (7 July 2014). "Eureka Flag re-created for 160th anniversary". The Courier. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
  51. ^ Recreating the Eureka flag, 10 September 2014, retrieved 10 May 2018
  52. ^ "MADE Education". Vimeo. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
  53. ^ "WINNERS - 2017 Federation Business School Commerce Ballarat Business Excellence Awards". www.commerceballarat.com.au. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  54. ^ "Museums and Galleries National Awards 2015" (PDF).
  55. ^ "Eurekas Children". eurekaschildren.org.au. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  56. ^ Cluff, Caleb (6 September 2017). "The drama of the disappearing diorama". The Courier. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  57. ^ Egeberg, Ron (11 April 2014). "Council 'less than enthusiastic' on M.A.D.E". The Courier. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  58. ^ User, Super. "SALTBUSH KITCHEN - BUSH FOOD - Home". saltbushkitchen.com.au. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
  59. ^ "Saltbush Kitchen ends its three-year stint at Eureka museum". The Courier. 9 November 2017. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
  60. ^ "Catherine King". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  61. ^ Calafiore, Siobhan (6 February 2018). "King cautions council ahead of decision on museum's fate". Stock Journal. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
  62. ^ McMillan, Ashleigh (1 February 2018). "Moloney resigns from MADE board, decision on Eureka museum's fate looms". The Courier. Retrieved 9 May 2018.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit