Mayor's Message | ourballarat autumn 2023

Each March, the Robert Clark Conservatory is transformed into a dazzling floral centrepiece in the Ballarat Botanical Gardens.

Mayor Cr Des Hudson in the City of Ballarat Council Chambers

Thousands of people, residents and visitors alike, visit the conservatory to take in the spectacular sight of our brightly-coloured begonias as part of the much-loved Ballarat Begonia Festival.

This year, the three-day event returns for its 71st festival to the heart of the gardens.

To mark the occasion, we speak to the City of Ballarat’s dedicated nursery gardeners who care for our beautiful and rare begonias year-round to ensure they bloom at their best for the annual festival of flowers. While works progress on the significant redevelopment and upgrade of the central branch of the Ballarat Library in Doveton Street, a new chapter is unfolding at the Ballarat Town Hall.

As you’ll read, a section of the historic Town Hall has been converted into a popup library. It is great to see so many people, including families, venturing into Town Hall to browse the collection, borrow books and experience ‘Baby Bounce Storytimes’ and ‘Wriggle and Rhyme Storytimes’.

In this autumn edition of ourballarat magazine, we also celebrate the return of the Ballaarat Antique Fair – for the first time since the pandemic – as part of the Ballarat Heritage Festival in May. The fair will exhibit many rare and unique pieces, from jewellery and clocks to furniture, porcelain, silver and artworks, in the Civic Hall.

The City of Ballarat's Parent Place is now trialling an outreach program that expands its services to new locations across Ballarat. Read how this safe space is providing vital services to help families in Ballarat thrive.

I hope you take time out to experience our renowned begonias – and their magnificent colour – as part of this fantastic season of events in Ballarat.


Cr Des Hudson