Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka: opening
Last Saturday I was delighted to attend the public opening of the Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka (MADE) in Ballarat. The centre, built at the Eureka Stockade site, was redeveloped with $5 million committed by Steve Bracks when he was Premier and a further $5 million provided by the Gillard federal Labor government. The aim was to construct a quality national museum that incorporates modern interactive displays to celebrate many events that have seen the advancement of democracy around the world, all linked back to the events which took place at Eureka nearly 160 years ago and featuring the original Eureka flag as a special focal point.
Ballarat has the opportunity to be a national and international focus for a reflection on the fight for democracy and the values associated with the achievements of a fair democratic society.
Like the reflections which took place on Anzac Day a week earlier, I believe that it is important for us all to take time to remember the efforts of people who have fought for democratic gains. Through this centre we can ensure that our democratic gains continue to be appreciated and not taken for granted.
Through the redevelopment of the Eureka Centre into the new museum now known as MADE, Ballarat now has a renewed opportunity to attract visitors as well as local residents to make many visits to the centre to be inspired by the centre’s exhibitions and ongoing events. I commend the many people responsible for the development of the new museum, including Steve Bracks, federal Labor MP Catherine King, Ballarat City Council staff, University of Ballarat vice-chancellor David Battersby and so many others.