The municipality of Ballarat has a rich and living heritage.
From at least 40,000 years ago the Wadawurung and Dja Dja Wurrung Indigenous people call this country home. Their words 'balla arat' means 'resting place' or 'bent elbow.
The first white settler - Archibald Yuille - called his property 'Ballaarat' in 1837 and gold was discovered at Buninyong in 1851.
At daybreak on the 3rd of December 1854 120 gold miners were attacked by a government force of British soldiers and Victorian police at Ballarat. The Eureka Rebellion became one of Australia’s defining moments.
"We swear by the Southern Cross to stand truly by each other and fight to defend our rights and liberties" (Eureka Oath, November, 1854)
Ballarat's heritage is part of the rich tapestry of who we are as a place and a community and its survival is integral for future generations. Tomorrow's heritage is also evolving today through its young people, residents, new community members, and business community.
What to see and do.
A way for Ballarat residents and tourists to appreciate the variety of things to see and do relating to Ballarat's heritage is to do a driving or walking tour.
Ballarat has a diverse range of museums, gallerys, parks, statues and collections / archives which can be enjoyed as well as holding a Heritage Weekend where a cross section of Ballarat's Heritage can be sampled.
You can immerse yourself in architecture, discover the collection at the Fine Art Gallery, attend a performance at Her Majesty's Theatre or research your ancestors on the goldfields. A range of tours can be downloaded from the internet, including tours on gold, indigenous heritage, a statues walk and a botanic gardens education trail as well as pod tours developed by ABC Ballarat.
Architecture and History Walks
Family History & Historical Research
If your enquiry is regarding family history research or historical research of a property or place, the City of Ballarat records that you are after may be available from Public Records Office Victoria (PROV) at the Ballarat Archives Centre. Ballarat Archives Centre contact information, as well as other useful information, is provided below. If you are unable to locate City of Ballarat records at the Ballarat Archives Centre, please contact the City of Ballarat records department:firstname.lastname@example.org
Ballarat Archives Centre
Opening hours: Monday and Tuesday: 9.30 am to 4.30 pm. Location: Level One, State Government Offices, Cnr Doveton and Mair Streets, Ballarat. Telephone: 9348 5600 (Victorian Archives Centre). You can also find out specific information pertaining to records at the PROV website.
Historical & Family History Research
Please visit the webpage researching heritage for an extensive list of organisations and websites that can assist your research.
City of Ballarat Building Department
If the property you are researching is not a council property and is privately owned, customers may apply for a Building Archive request through the Building Department. There is a cost for this service. Please phone Council's Building Department on 5320 5500 to arrange.
Council Property, Local Laws, Council Services
If your enquiry is regarding graffiti, trees, traffic, or other Council services lodge a request online via eServices or alternatively phone Council during business hours Monday to Friday on 5320 5500.
If your enquiry is not regarding any of the above, please contact the City of Ballarat Heritage Team online via eServices
Heritage Trade & Consultants Directory
Do you need to find a heritage consultant or a tradesperson with skills in traditional methods such as hard plaster, casement windows or slate or shingle rooves? This page links to Heritage Victoria's trade and consultant directory and other sources of information such as Period Home Renovators Magazine.
Sourcing Heritage Consultants and Tradespeople
Heritage Victoria operates a directory of consultants and tradespeople who undertake a range of heritage related work.
Anyone who wishes to be included in the Heritage Victoria website - Heritage Consultants and Contractors Directory must meet certain minimum criteria and demonstrate their qualifications and experience in the heritage conservation field. Heritage Victoria or City of Ballarat cannot, however, guarantee the accuracy of all the details provided by consultants and contractors, so you should check all the information provided.
Being included in the Heritage Consultants Directory does not imply that a consultant or contractor is endorsed or approved by Heritage Victoria, the Department of Planning and Community Development, the Heritage Council of Victoria or the City of Ballarat.
Specialist magazines such as the Period Home Renovator include information on housing styles and product pages on fences, gardens, timber, brick, stone, roofing, exterior decoration, doors, windows, joinery, walls, ceilings, flooring, fireplaces, lighting, interior decoration, bathrooms, kitchens and furniture.