Monthly Archives: October 2014


The Ballarat Civic Hall Community Design Process hosted by Here Studio is now open for business.  It was launched today with a Community event .  The boards were taken from  the doors and the community were invited to enter the studio and view the main hall from the foyer.

There community were asked to write down their thoughts and ideas and pin them on a board.  Having read the posts there was an overwhelming response to retain and re-use  the hall and keep it for future generations.  Some plans of previous designs for The Civic Hall  and its site were on show and people were keen to have a look and assess them for their merit or lack thereof, depending on one’s point of view.

Here Studio will be open on Tuesdays and Thursdays.   If you have any thoughts or ideas on a design for The Civic Hall and its site please call in and talk to Ammon or Michelle who will guide you through the process.  The Community Design process is anticipated to take place over the coming 12 months.

We were blessed with a beautiful day for the launch which was conducive for taking photos…here are a few.



It’s all hands on deck for the launch of the Community Design  Process tomorrow Saturday 25th October at 11.00am.    A free community event.

Today the Civic Hall has been buzzing with Volunteers and Council workers  cleaning and preparing the Design Studio.  Here Studio Director, Michelle Emma James has been working tirelessly to organize  and coordinate  the people and all of the elements needed to make this a successful and memorable community event .

The doors to Ballarat Civic Hall will open for the first time in 12 years and attendees will be able to view this amazing hall from the foyer.  Despite years of neglect , surprisingly,,the hall remains in very good condition.   The floor could be danced on with just a light sanding and re-varnish.

If you have not had the opportunity to see the hall before or if you have and just want to refresh your memory, you will be impressed by its grandeur and magnificence.  Come down and have a look…

Tell your family and friends to come and join the festivities and help the community celebrate this historical event!!

Michelle Emma James and volunteer Alan Buchanan

Here Studio Director-Michelle Emma James and volunteer, Alan Buchanan



Only two more sleeps until the doors to the Civic Hall are opened for the first time in 12 years.  This is the most exciting news for the Ballarat Community and we are inviting everyone to join in the launch of the Design Studio in the foyer which will run for the next 12 months, giving ALL members of the Community the opportunity to put forward their ideas on the future of the Civic Hall.  Festivities kick off at 11.00am this Saturday 25th October until 2.00pm.

 It is anticipated that the public will be able to view the main hall from the foyer with more access to the hall as work progresses.

Official Proceedings
Welcome to Country by Bryon Powell
Mayoral Address by Mayor Cr John Philips
Studio Opening by Key Competition Winner

Kids Activities
Treasure Hunt
Face painting
Jumping Castle

Live Music
Sound Mountain
Angela Crebbin of The Virginia Slims
Buck Jr
Hammond Organ Duo
+ local MC and live hip hop production

+ more!
Sandwiches, cakes + slices by Prickleberry Sourdough
Sausage Sizzle
Coffee by Espresso Mobile
Lighting Chess by Ballarat Chess Club
Artist market



The Community is being asked to share what the Civic Hall means to people as it gets ready to re-open some of its doors.

The firm behind the Open Door Studio will hand over the foyer’s keys to the winning recipient for the opening on October 25th.  Entrants need to answer why they want to win in 25 words or less.

Here Studio director Michelle Emma James said the competition would help get people excited about using the site again.

The Courier Newspaper Wednesday October 15th Page 9


Submit your entry and contact details at or by post 1/101 Sturt St, Ballarat VIC 3350.

The Prize will be for the once-only use of the keys to open the Civic Hall at the Get Together event on 25 October 2014. The Prize winner will also be presented with a commemorative gift.

The Competition will be conducted from Wednesday 15th October 2014 and closes at 5pm AEST on Wednesday 22nd October 2014.

For full Terms + Conditions please visit:

Civic Hall Site


Community Design Process opening on 25th October 2014


At last the Community Design Process will be launched on the Saturday 25th October at 11.00am.   A free community event is planned for this much anticipated Initiative.  There will be entertainment and children’s activities and an opening ceremony.  The extended weather forecast for the day is: Dry with Broken Clouds, a maximum temperature 19 degrees, which is perfect for this event.

The foyer will open and the main hall is expected to open as work progresses on the building.  The community is invited to attend the Foyer during opening hours (yet to be announced) and discuss their hopes and aspirations and contribute to a future design for The Ballarat Civic Hall.

Further details will be available through the media and on this site in the coming days so stay tuned.






ASU (Australian Services) OrganiserTash Wark said that as recently as the middle of last week the ASU was assured by VicRoads that there were no concrete plans and no definite decision about relocation to Ballarat.

“It is really frustrating that VicRoads is not consulting workers about further progress in this decision despite actively seeking updated and clear advice from management.  Employees have every right to know whether VicRoads is acting transparently and in good faith.”

“The potential move would have a massive impact on the lives of many.  It could result in VicRoads workers having to commute to Ballarat instead of Kew in order to keep their jobs.  This means extra travel costs in an economy where fuel and transport are already an increased burden on workers and their families.  It also means less quality time for family and friends.  It is highly unrealistic to expect that relocation is an option for everyone.

“It seems VicRoads employees are being used as political pawns in a pork-barrelling exercise by an unpopular and anti-worker government who are flailing their way to election time.  We hope Victorians see through these ploys.”

A transcript of an article from The Miner Newspaper 9th October 2014     page 11


A 1960’s Lake Wendouree residential home is saved from the wrecking ball according to the Courier 6th October 2014.  The home was designed by Robin Boyd one of Ballarat’s famous architects and is a post war Modernist building.

Whilst it is welcome news the question must be raised.  Why did the Council vote to apply for a demolition application for  Ballarat’s  Civic Hall?   The Civic Hall is an historic building  of Architectural and Social significance.  We are the only large and growing regional city in Victoria without an operating Civic Centre.  Hopefully common sense will prevail and our Civic Hall will be reactivated and refurbished for public use….. The Community Design Process is about to open very soon.