Enlivening our Present by Illuminating our Past

PROUD SUPPORTERS

  • BMI Collection Merchandise
    Postcards | DVDs | Prints

    Postcards $1.50 or 5 for $5

    DVDs $25 with slideshow of hundreds of images.
    Purchase Now!
  • BMI Foundation
    The BMI Foundation is a charity registered with the Australian Charities & Not-for-profits Commission.
    Learn more
  • CURRENT
    EXHIBITION
    Come and explore the works of Botanist Ferdinand von Mueller(1825-1896), regarded as one of the most important contributors to Australian botany

    Free entry, all welcome
    Learn more
  • Botanical Drawing
    beginners workshop
    Date: Sunday 8 March 2020
    Time: 10.30 am until 3 pm
    Cost: BMI members $50, non-BMI members $60

    This event is limited to 20 people
    Details and Booking
  • Wheeler Centre
    Series
    25 March, 6 pm-7 pm
    In this second event, The Wheeler Centre brings Everyday Climate Action to Ballaarat Mechanics' Institute.

    Tickets: $10, plus a one-off transaction fee of $4 per order
    DETAILSBOOK NOW
  • BMI Heritage Building Tours
    Every Tuesday - 2pm
    1.5hr duration

    Bookings essential

    $10 per person includes refreshments
    BOOK NOW
  • Twilight Talks
    28 February
    BMI Members – $7.00
    Non-members – $12.00

    Talks are held in the Humffray Room
    commencing at 5:30 pm
    Wine, cheese, and nibbles will precede the talks
    beginning at 5:00 pm

    View all Series 1: 2020
  • Who You Think I Am
    March 12th
    Presented by the Ballarat Film Society
    View Details
  • Bush Foods
    Morning Tea
    Date: Tuesday 24 March 2020
    Time: 10.30 am
    Cost: BMI members $20, non-BMI members $25

    This event is limited to 20 people
    Details and Booking
  • BMI MUSIC SERIES 2019/2020 SEASON FINALE
    Double Bill - OMELETTE and ANTELODIC
    Friday 27th March 7.30pm
    Humffray Room at the BMI

    More Info/Bookings
  • MUSIC WORKSHOPS
    at the BMI
    NEXT WORKSHOP

    Friday 27th March 5.30pm
    Hooper Room - $10 at the door
    Rhythms from different cultures & styles with Javier Fredes.

    Bring your own instrument and come along and play or just soak up the info.

    More
  • BMI Collection Merchandise
    Postcards | DVDs | Prints

    Postcards $1.50 or 5 for $5

    DVDs $25 with slideshow of hundreds of images.
    Purchase Now!
  • BMI Foundation
    The BMI Foundation is a charity registered with the Australian Charities & Not-for-profits Commission.
    Learn more
  • CURRENT
    EXHIBITION
    Come and explore the works of Botanist Ferdinand von Mueller(1825-1896), regarded as one of the most important contributors to Australian botany

    Free entry, all welcome
    Learn more
  • Botanical Drawing
    beginners workshop
    Date: Sunday 8 March 2020
    Time: 10.30 am until 3 pm
    Cost: BMI members $50, non-BMI members $60

    This event is limited to 20 people
    Details and Booking
Established in 1859

<Enlivening our Present by
Illuminating our Past>

HERITAGE

VIEW MORE

<Enlivening our Present by
Illuminating our Past>

ARTS & EVENTS

VIEW MORE

<Enlivening our Present by
Illuminating our Past>

LIBRARY

VIEW MORE

<Enlivening our Present by
Illuminating our Past>

OUR VENUES

VIEW MORE

Enlivening our Present by Illuminating our Past

The Institute was established in 1859 in the top floor of the Ballarat Fire Brigade in Barkly Street. On the 28th September, 1860 a foundation stone was laid at the rear of the present building.

According to the Ballarat Star a crowd of 10,000 people attended the ceremony. By 1869 the Institute consisted of four floors, shops on the ground floor, a grand entrance with a library on the second floor and a museum on the top floor.

  • FAST FACT

    Dr George Birkbeck, Professor of Natural Philosophy in Glasgow, held the first lectures specifically for mechanics, the skilled workers of the day in 1821. He is acknowledged as the founder of the mechanics’ institute movement that in the 19th century spread rapidly throughout what was then known as the British Empire as well as to the United States.
  • FAST FACT

    Professor Weston Bate OAM is an Australian historian. He has been a friend of the BMI for many years and has collaborated with another well known historian Anne Beggs-Sunter on important historical events in Ballarat.
  • FAST FACT

    The first two paid BMI secretaries (and head Librarians) were WH Batten and his son HC Batten. Remarkably between them they served in this position for 92 years – William from 1859 to 1910 and Harry from 1910 to 1951. William had two wives (first died) and 19 children.
  • FAST FACT

    William Bramwell Withers was Ballarat’s first historian and a key journalist. He wrote The History of Ballarat from the first pastoral settlement to the present time.
  • FAST FACT

    Dr Frank Hurley has had seven terms of President of the BMI, from 1987 – 2011. Dr Hurley was instrumental in gaining significant funding to restore the BMI. Since 2000 he has been the driving force in generating over $5million for the restoration of the BMI and continues to be an active member in a range of community affairs. The BMI was delighted to confer the honour of Patron to Dr Hurley.

<Enlivening our Present by
Illuminating our Past>

BMI.TV

VIEW MORE

OUR HISTORY

John Basson Humffray was born in Newtown Montgomeryshire Wales in 1824 his father was a master weaver.

He arrived in Melbourne on 19/9/53 on the Star of the East and was in Ballarat by 1854, because of the conditions he saw he formed the Reform League to advocate for better conditions and treatment of the diggers by Government Officials. Elected unopposed as an M.L.C. in 1855 and was elected as an M.L.A. in 1856 for North Grant.

Was elected as President of the Committee of Management of the Mechanics Institute in May of 1859 when the reading room was established at the Ballarat Fire Brigade in Barkly Street. His term of office was interrupted by his Parliamentary duties so was succeeded by Andrew Anderson in 1860.

VIEW MORE

PROUD SUPPORTERS

Launch Interactive builds and maintains custom websites with a focus on quality, consistency and simplicity.

CONTACT MARC TODAY
P: 0421 636 775

marc@launchinteractive.com.au
launchinteractive.com.au

A creative service agency that loves to push the boundaries and break the mould!

Design. Print. Web.

CONTACT JAMIE TODAY
P: 0439 391 610

jamie@digitaloutlaw.com.au
digitaloutlaw.com.au