Established 1859

BALLAARAT

MECHANICS'

INSTITUTE

Ballarat’s Independent Home of Arts, Culture, and Literacy

Latest Events

As Ballarat’s independent home of Arts and Culture we host a wide range of events throughout the year!
Make sure you check out the BMI events calendar to see what we have coming up.

Latest news

Read up on the latest happenings at the BMI. From Library news and exhibitions to the latest word from board and staff.

Library

Rosemary’s Book of the Week | 22 November

The Magician by Colm Tóibín Although Thomas Mann becomes famous and admired, his inner life is hesitant, fearful and secretive. His blindness to impending disaster in the Great War will force him to rethink his relationship with Germany as Hitler comes to power. He has six children with his clever and fascinating wife, Katia, while

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Library

Rosemary’s Book of the Week | 15 November

Wild Place by Christian White In the summer of 1989, a local teen goes missing from the idyllic Australian suburb of Camp Hill. As rumours of Satanic rituals swirl, schoolteacher Tom Witter becomes convinced he holds the key to the disappearance. When the police won’t listen, he takes matters into his own hands with the

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Library

Rosemary’s Book of the Week | 8 November

Nellie by Robert Wainwright When most Australians think of Nellie Melba they picture a squarish middle-aged woman dressed in furs and large hats, an imperious Dame whose voice ruled the world for three decades. But there was much more to her life than adulation and riches. To succeed she had to overcome social expectations, misogyny

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Venue Hire

The BMI has a number of beautiful spaces that are available for hire. With reasonable ‘pay-for-what-you-need’ pricing, stunning heritage architecture, and modern facilities, it is the perfect place for your next event.

Membership

Invest in the Ballarat community by becoming a BMI member. Membership to the organisation allows you to borrow books from the lending library, as well as discounts to BMI events and other perks.

Our History

John B. Humffray arrived in Melbourne on the 19th of September 1853 on the Star of the East and had found himself in Ballaarat by 1854.

Because of the conditions he had seen on the goldfields he formed the Reform League to advocate for better conditions and treatment of the diggers by Government Officials. He was elected unopposed as an M.L.C. in 1855 and was elected as an M.L.A. in 1856 for North Grant.

Humffray 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.

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