Tonight, the City of Ballarat Councillors voted to defund MADE and create a new management structure which returns control of the Museum to the Council.
“The City of Ballarat has made a decision which will essentially close MADE. Over the last five years, MADE’s board and staff have been loyal custodians of the Eureka history and the Flag. We have successfully shared the Eureka story and the story of Australian democracy with over 262,000 people in that time. We have managed a well-run organisation which has achieved annual financial surpluses and retained the most talented museum staff in Victoria. We now pass the custodianship of the Eureka Legacy to the Council and hope that they are able to create something which makes the Ballarat community proud.” said Acting Chair, Maha Krishnapillai.
“I would like to pay tribute to the dozens of staff and board directors who, over the last five years, have worked tirelessly to create the Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka. It is not a simple task to create a new cultural organisation from scratch, and I am immensely proud of what the team has achieved. We have reached some significant cultural milestones in a short time and built deep and lasting partnerships with the Ballarat community. I hope the next iteration of the Eureka museum builds on MADE’s legacy,” said CEO, Rebecca MacFarling
MADE staff and CEO will work closely with Council staff and other stakeholders to ensure a smooth transition to the new management model.
The Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka (MADE) is home to the Eureka Flag and located on the site of the Eureka Stockade. More than 262,000 visitors have visited MADE since it opened in May 2013. Almost 40,000 students have attended MADE’s highly regarded Education Program.
The Museum has sought to present the Eureka Story and the resulting growth of democracy in Australia in a non-partisan manner, enjoying support from patrons across the political spectrum: Hon. Steve Bracks AC, Lucy Turnbull AO and Hon. Robert Knowles AO. MADE thanks its patrons and ambassadors for their tireless work supporting the Museum.
In the last few years, MADE has made its mark on the museum sector in Australia, winning a MAGNA Award for Museum Innovation in 2015 and a Business Excellence Award from Commerce Ballarat in 2017.
Recently, two key exhibitions have brought wide praise. Bling brought together Gold Fields jewellery for the first time, and Chinese Fortunes examined the migration experience from China. Other exhibitions like Our Wonderful World and Eureka Day celebrations have connected visitors to life at the time of Eureka and with democracy.
Next steps will be worked through with City of Ballarat Council staff in the next few days and will be announced accordingly.