News and Newsletters

Library

Rosemary’s Book of the Week | 27 June 2022

My Accidental Career by Brenda Niall Award-winning author Brenda Niall’s engaging account of her remarkable life presents a fascinating history spanning nine decades: from her …

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Membership

News | An Afternoon of song, arias & duets | Member discount

Member News Update – Membership Discount Wednesday 15 June 2022 The Ballaarat Mechanics’ Institute in partnership with the Melba Opera Trust will be presenting three …

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Library

Rosemary’s Book of the Week | 13 June 22

The Murders at Fleat House by Lucinda Riley One dead bully. A school full of suspects. When a young student is found dead at a …

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Fundraiser

BMI Fundraiser | Carols in Winter with The Ballarat Singers & The Little Brass Band

A wonderful way to warm up this Winter and brush away the cobwebs from your vocal cords. Come and join us… We are looking at …

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Library

Rosemary’s Book of the Week | 6 June 22

Not Just The Wife Of The General Manager by Sally Warriner It was the 1970s and Sally was in her early twenties when she returned …

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Fundraiser

BMI Fundraiser | The Phantom of the Open at Regent Cinemas Ballarat

Come along and enjoy a great night of cinema entertainment and warm community company. We are looking at new ways to support our Heritage Institution. …

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Fundraiser
BMI Fundraiser | Carols in Winter with The Ballarat Singers & The Little Brass Band

A wonderful way to warm up this Winter and brush away the cobwebs from your vocal cords. Come and join us… We are looking at …

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Library
Rosemary’s Book of the Week | 6 June 22

Not Just The Wife Of The General Manager by Sally Warriner It was the 1970s and Sally was in her early twenties when she returned …

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Fundraiser
BMI Fundraiser | The Phantom of the Open at Regent Cinemas Ballarat

Come along and enjoy a great night of cinema entertainment and warm community company. We are looking at new ways to support our Heritage Institution. …

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Fundraiser
A message from the President | The BMI Annual Appeal 2022

The Ballaarat Mechanics’ Institute (BMI) is Ballarat’s oldest cultural organisation. Established in 1859, the BMI has played, and continues to play a leading role in …

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The Collection
Victorian Government Living Heritage Grants Program update

Victorian Government Living Heritage Grants Program Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation, The University of Melbourne (Text taken from The University of Melbourne project update …

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Library
Rosemary’s Book of the Week | 30 May 22

Don’t Be Too Polite, Girls by Wendy McCarthy Wendy McCarthy has made her mark on Australia in many extraordinary ways. For more than 50 years, …

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Culture
News | Wendy Mc Carthy Wednesday 8 June | Q&A with Wendy

You’ve been at the forefront of feminism for half a century. How would you compare the state of feminism in 2022, compared with feminism in …

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Library
Rosemary’s Book of the Week | 23 May 22

The Murder Rule by Dervla McTiernan Professor Rob Parekh who runs The Innocence Project at the University is working to free Michael Dandridge, a man …

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Membership
News | Nellie in her own Write | Member discount

Member News Update – Membership Discount Monday 16 May 2022 The Ballaarat Mechanics’ Institute in partnership with the Melba Opera Trust will be presenting three …

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Culture
Oasis in the Desert | The Grand Chrysanthemum Show

On the back of the success of our Twilight Talk Series on the Yarrowee River and what it means to our community, our flora and …

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Library
Rosemary’s Book of the Week | 16 May 22

French Braid by Anne Tyler When the kids are grown and Mercy Garrett gradually moves herself out of the family home, everyone is determined not …

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Library
Rosemary’s Book of the Week | 9 May 22

Mary Ann & Captain Piper by Jessica North Born on Norfolk Island to First Fleet convicts, Mary Ann was destined to become a farmer’s wife. …

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Library
Rosemary’s Book of the Week | 2 May 22

One for Sorrow by Helen Fields Edinburgh is gripped by the greatest terror it has ever known a lone bomber is targeting victims across the …

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Library
Rosemary’s Book of the Week | 25 April 22

Under a Venice Moon by Margaret Cameron After a fortuitous invite from a close friend, a week in Venice ignites Margaret Cameron’s interest in the …

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Library
New Library Operating Hours

Monday, Wednesday & Friday Tuesday & Thursday Saturdays 10am – 4pm 10am – 3pm 9.30am – 12noon

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The Collection
Annie Thomas | Ballaarat Punch

Annie was a regular visitor to the BMI a couple of months ago, she was doing research whilst utilising Our Collection of Ballarat Punch. She …

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The Collection
The Max Harris Collection | Butler, Ballarat

Brendan Allan from Butler Chartered Accountants & Butler Private (Financial Planners), have purchased the use of one of Max’s images (MH1460) from Our Collection and …

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picture of a ring tailed possum tail curled around tree trunk drinking from a pond
Culture
Twilight Talks second Session 20 April

In case you missed it! We had another great night in our Twilight Talks series on The Yarrowee and the local environment. Dr Sarah Strong …

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book cover
Library
Rosemary’s Book of the Week | 18 April 22

Rising Dust  by Fleur McDonald After the family’s devastating tragedy, Detective Dave Burrows is crystal clear that his wife, Mel, is no longer interested in …

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Art programs
Two Paper bead-maker workshop with Faye Heininger

Faye is a regular participant in our Maker & Community Markets. In July we have the opportunity to learn how to make the beautiful jewellery …

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Culture
Twilight Talks | 13 April | Hedley Thomson presentation

Hedley’s presentation from Wednesday night.  Yarrowee River Trail Network promotional video from about 2004 (12 minutes)

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book cover
Library
Rosemary’s Book of the Week | 11 April 22

A Family of Strangers  by Fiona Lowe With a coveted promotion dangling within reach, the last thing Addy Topic needs to do is waste precious …

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Vintage & Collectables
Vintage & Collectables Shop new operating hours

Vintage & Collectables  We are experimenting with opening the Vintage and Collectables shop more regularly due to the revival of our shopping strip. The shop …

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water colour still-life painting of seville oranges in orange green and white or light background
Art programs
Series of illustration workshops with Geoff Roderick

Due to popular demand. A series of 4 workshops with Geoff Roderick starting this June. Don’t miss out this time around, we can only take …

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book cover
Library
Rosemary’s Book of the Week | 4 April 22

The Chancellor (The Remarkable Odyssey of Angela Merkel)  by Kati Marton Angela Merkel has always been an outsider. A pastor’s daughter raised in Soviet-controlled East …

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Library
Rosemary’s Book of the Week | 28 March 22

Burial of Ghosts by Ann Cleeves Abandoned as a baby, twenty-five-year-old Lizzie Bartholomew spent her childhood moving between foster homes and has had more than her …

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book cover with background image of city
Library
Rosemary’s Book of the Week | 21 March 22

Something to Hide by Elizabeth George When a police detective is taken of life support after falling into a coma, only an autopsy reveals the murderous …

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Vintage & Collectables
Our Library and Vintage & Collectables Shop will be Open this Sunday 9am – 2pm

Library | Vintage & Collectables | Book Sale | Maker Market Rosemary will be opening the Library this Sunday (20 March) from 9am – 2pm. …

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Library
Rosemary’s Book of the Week | 14 March 22

Our Woman in Moscow by Beatriz Williams The story of two sisters caught up in Cold War espionage In 1948, Iris Digby vanishes from her …

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image of the BMI at night, lighting projected up to a black sky
The Collection
Visitors to the BMI March – Dr Annie Thomas

In recent months, the Ballarat Mechanics Institute has been assisting Psychologist and budding historian Dr Annie Thomas.  Annie is currently completing a Master of History …

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Library
Our Library | New Releases March 22

Go to the Library web-page to view all New Releases, Book Summaries and Rosemary’s Recommendations Our Library

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Library
Rosemary’s Book of the Week | 7 March 22

The Night Train to Berlin by Melanie Hudson Paddington Station, Present Day A young woman boards the sleeper train to Cornwall with only a beautiful …

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Culture
The Reading Room | March discussion

The Reading RoomThese are a monthly reading and discussion group. The sessions are free and only require you to be a BMI member.The novel to …

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Library
Rosemary’s Book of the Week | 21 February

Her Last Summer by Melinda Woodhall When a celebrity author dies under mysterious circumstances in a small Florida town, a vulnerable young woman is the …

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Library
Rosemary’s Book of the Week | 14 February

The Rose Garden by Tracy Rees Olive Westallen lives a privileged, if rather lonely, life in her family’s grand Hampstead home. But she has radical …

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Positions Vacant
We are calling for Volunteers

Volunteering: To support our fundraising efforts we would love to hear from you if you would like to be involved at the BMI as a …

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book cover with a heritage image of ballarat in the background
Library
Rosemary’s Book of the Week | 7 February

Darkness Falls by Robert Bryndza Kate Marshall’s fledgling PI agency takes off when she and her partner, Tristan Harper, are hired for their first big …

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image artist working with their hands, jewellery tools
Art programs
BMI Maker & Community Market | Calling for stallholders

Go to our events page to register your interest. Calling for Stallholders> View past stallholders. Stallholders >

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images of 9 book covers on a grey background with a white miniature of the statue of Minerva
Library
Our Library | New Releases February 22

Go to the Library webpage to view all New Releases and Book Summaries Our Library

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Library
Rosemary’s Book of the Week | 31 January

Anything Could Happen by Lucy Diamond A chance encounter in New York City.  A great love story on the cusp of beginning.  And then he …

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Library
Rosemary’s Book of the Week | 24 January

The Stoning by Peter Papathanasiou Molly Abbott, a popular teacher at the local school, is found taped to a tree and stoned to death. Suspicion …

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Library
Rosemary’s Book of the Week | 17 January

The Stranger in the Lifeboat by Mitch Albom Adrift in a raft after a terrible shipwreck, ten strangers try to survive while they wait for …

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Library
Rosemary’s Book of the Week | 10 January

The Women of Pearl Island by Polly Crosby Set on a secluded island off the British coast, The Women of Pearl Island is a moving …

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Library
Our Library | New Releases January 22

Go to the Library webpage to view all New Releases and Book Summaries Our Library

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Library
Rosemary’s Book of the Week | 4 January

The Spy’s Wife by Fiona McIntosh Evie, a widow and stationmaster’s daughter, helplessly looks out for the weekly visit of the handsome man she and …

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Library
Rosemary’s Book of the Week | 27 December

My Adventurous Life by Dick Smith Dick is a remarkable and proud Australian. He has been part of our national consciousness for over fifty year …

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Library
Rosemary’s Book of the Week | 20 December

The Way It Is Now by Garry Disher Twenty years ago Charlie Deravin’s mother went missing near the family beach shack- believed murdered, body never …

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Library
Our Library | New Releases December

Go to the Library webpage to view all New Releases and Book Summaries Our Library

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Library
Rosemary’s Book of the Week | 13 December

The Colonial’s Son by Peter Watt As the son of ‘the Colonial’ legendary Queen’s Captain Ian Steele, Josia Steele has big shoes to fill. Although …

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Library
January Giant Book Sale

Your pre-loved books If you are cleaning out your bookshelves in preparation for Christmas gifting in the shape of a Good Read then we would …

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Library
Rosemary’s Book of the Week | 6 December

Midnight in the Snow by Karen Swan Film maker Clover Phillips is riding high. Her latest documentary on surfer Cory Allbright and the accident that …

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Library
BMI Holiday closure

We will be closed from 23 December through until 3 January and will re-open on 4 January. We hope you have a wonderful Christmas. Our …

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Library
Rosemary’s Book of the Week | 29 November

Devotion by Hannah Kent Prussia, 1836 Hanne Nussbaum is a child of nature-she would rather run wild in the forest than conform to the limitations …

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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 …

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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 …

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Library
Christmas Gift Voucher | Library Membership Subscription

Why not give a little bit of Ballarat Heritage this Christmas. A 12 month Library Subscription at the Ballaarat Mechanics’ Institute. Go to Our Membership …

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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 …

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Library
Our Library | New Releases November

Go to the Library webpage to view all New Releases and Book Summaries Our Library

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Library
Rosemary’s Book of the Week | 2 November

The Nine by Gwen Strauss As the Second World War raged across Europe, and the Nazi regime tightened its reign of horror and oppression, nine …

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Library
Rosemary’s Book of the Week | 25 October

Daring to Fly by Lisa Millar Lisa Millar has spent her whole life showing up, getting things done and making things happen. As a child …

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multi coloured balls of woven wool
Art programs
BMI Maker & Community Market | Calling for stallholders

Go to our events page to register your interest. Calling for Stallholders> Image courtesy Deb Weston Maker. View our current stallholders. Current Stallholders >

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Library
Rosemary’s Book of the Week | 18 October

At The End of the Day by Liz Byrski When Mim Squires and Mathias Vander are stranded together on a disrupted flight home to Perth, …

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tin-art of a ballerina in silver gold and blue
Art programs
Workshop with Melinda Muscat

We had a wonderful session with Melinda Muscat on Saturday, (9 October) with many fantastical creations. Go to the Arts & Cultural Activities to view …

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Library
Rosemary’s Book of the Week | 11 October

A Cotswold Family Life by Clare Mackintosh For eight years, Clare Mackintosh wrote for Cotswold Life about the ups and downs of life with a young …

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Book cover
Library
Rosemary’s Book of the Week | 4 October

The Heron’s Cry by Ann Cleeves North Devon is enjoying a rare hot summer with tourists flocking to its coast-line. Detective Matthew Venn is called out to …

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book cover
Library
The Reading Room | October discussion

The Reading RoomThis is the inaugural meeting of a monthly reading and discussion group. The sessions are free and only require you to be a …

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Membership
BMI AGM 2021 – Sept 27th, 4pm

The Institute’s 2021 AGM will be held at the Institute on Monday, 27 September at 4pm. All members of the Institute are invited to attend. …

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Library
Library Click and Collect

During this most recent lockdown (#6? Maybe #7?) the BMI is going to be providing Click and Collect services again. This time around we will …

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Membership
Members’ Update – Changes to Constitution and By-Laws

I am pleased to report to members that after three years of tireless review by the current and previous Board, that a Special General meeting …

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Library
Our Library | Rosemary’s Book of the Month – July

Devil’s Garden by Aline Templeton. Contact Rosemary to reserve your copy

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Book cover in blues and purples, woman on a bench seat looking out over the sea on a sunny day, overhanging wisteria
Library
Our Library | Rosemary’s Book of the Month – June

Devil’s Garden by Aline Templeton. Contact Rosemary to reserve your copy

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Membership
BMI General Meeting Notice – Monday June 28th 2021 at 4pm

Members of the Ballaarat Mechanics’ Institute (BMI) are advised that a General Meeting of the Institute will be held at the BMI – 117-119 Sturt, Ballarat …

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Membership
Changes to BMI Governance Documents

For many months now, the BMI Board has been reviewing and updating its Governance document – the Articles of Association (as amended June 2012). This …

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