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Day Tour of the Ballaarat Mechanics’ Institute – Ballarat Heritage Festival


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A colourful history of the Ballaarat Mechanics’ Institute and it’s people.

Dr. George Birkbeck, a professor of natural philosophy in Glasgow, held the first lectures for the skilled workers of the day in 1799. He is acknowledged as the founder of the Mechanics Institute movement. These lectures led to facilities dedicated to workers’ education – the Edinburgh School of Arts opened in 1821 and the London Mechanics’ Institute in 1823. Then, in the 19th century, Institutes spread rapidly throughout the British Empire and to other areas such as the United States.

By 1851 over 700 Institutes were operating throughout Britain. The first Australian Institute was established in Hobart in 1827. Sydney followed in 1833 and Melbourne in 1839 (the Melbourne Mechanics’ Institute became the Athenaeum in 1873).

This event is part of the Ballarat Heritage Festival.

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Accessibility Information
  • Caters for people with sufficient mobility to climb a few steps but who would benefit from fixtures to aid balance. (This includes people using walking frames and mobility aids)
  • Caters for people who use a wheelchair.
21 May
2:00pm - 3:00pm

Ballarat Mechanics Institute | Hugh Williamson Foyer

117-119 Sturt Street, Ballarat Central VIC 3350
$10.00 per person

$10 plus booking fee.

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