A fresh vision for the Eureka Centre

It’s the site of Australia’s most famous rebellion and the home of the flag under which it was fought.

Eureka Centre Community Advisory Committee members  Phillip Moore, Serena Eldridge, Samantha Fabry and Ron Egeberg.

Now a new 2030 Vision for the Eureka Centre has been developed to position it for a sustainable future. Together with an Interpretation Plan for the centre and Eureka Stockade Memorial Park, the vision will guide how the Eureka story is told over the next decade and beyond.

Finding new ways to bring historic sites to life is familiar territory for Samantha Fabry.

Samantha is a member of the Eureka Centre Community Advisory Committee, formed in 2018 to advise on the promotion, commemoration and celebration of the Eureka Stockade and its legacy.

The committee’s primary task over the past year has been to define a vision for the Eureka Centre and surrounds.

Representing the committee’s advice to Council, the 2030 Vision presents strategic recommendations in the focus areas of place, partnerships, advocacy and programming to inform ongoing strategic and business planning.

The committee’s diverse skillsets and backgrounds include education, history, heritage, culture, business,
marketing, government and tourism.

For Samantha, that includes more than two decades curating, researching and advising on historic collections and sites in Australia and abroad, including a stint as curator at Sydney’s World Heritage-Listed Hyde Park Barracks Museum.

“It’s a been a great experience, and I‘ve met some wonderful people as part of this process who have a vast amount of knowledge and expertise in this field,” Samantha says.

“This experience has helped me see the emotional ties and collective memories connected with the people of Ballarat as well as further afield.”

One consideration was the bid by 13 councils, including the City of Ballarat, to have the central Victorian goldfields region added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

As part of the process, the committee also considered submissions from the public gathered through consultation for an accompanying Interpretation Plan for the centre and its surrounds.

Advisory Committee member Phillip Moore is past president and honorary life member of Eureka’s Children, an association of descendants of those involved in the Eureka Stockade. Phillip says the Eureka story has enduring significance for all Australians.

“Eureka is the first stand for rights and liberty in this country  – their demands for democracy are embedded in our Australian constitution,” Phillip says.
“It’s up to every Australian to protect and enhance our democracy which is being challenged every day of our lives.

“That’s the importance of Eureka and the Eureka Centre, which will inspire us to become more engaged in our democracy.”

Eureka Centre Manager Anthony Camm says the committee is confident the centre is well positioned for sustainable growth.

“We’re fortunate to be the home of the Eureka Flag, one of Australia’s most alluring destination objects,” Anthony says.

“We’re in a landmark building on a National Heritage listed site.

“These are features both the 2030 Vision and the Interpretation Plan hope to build on.”

City of Ballarat Heritage and Cultural Landscapes Officer Catherine McLay says the ideas the community and stakeholders shared had shaped the direction of the Interpretation Plan.

“It’s clear there is a strong attachment to this important story we all share, and a groundswell of support for the Eureka Centre to go from strength to strength,” Catherine says.