Bendigo finally has its own history museum

Did you know that despite the Bendigo region’s rich gold rush history, it has never had a dedicated history museum?

All that changed with the launch of Bendigo History House Museum, which opened its doors for the first time in March 2024, with an inaugural exhibition about Bendigo’s (and Australia’s!) first women cricketers.

“Despite the Bendigo Historical Society (BHS) having been around since 1935 – quietly growing its collection of artifacts, photographs, family papers and business records – a permanent home for the 40,000 items in its collection was illusive until, in 2022, a generous local benefactor provided BHS with a permanent home at 11 Mackenzie Street,” said society President, Euan McGillivray.

As a retired museum director and curator – with over 35 years of experience in Victorian museums, libraries, and collections – Euan understands the community-strengthening role a museum plays connecting and bringing groups and individuals together through telling the stories of shared history.

“Our aim is to make the History House Museum a place that showcases our significant collection and brings the Bendigo community together by adding this new attraction to the rich fabric of culture and heritage that makes Bendigo a premiere tourist destination,” Euan explained.

In 2023, BHS ran a fundraising appeal to gather the funds needed to fit out History House with the necessary infrastructure needed to turn the facility into an exhibition space; and Fosterville Gold Mine (FGM) was thrilled to come on board.

“Bendigo has a fascinating gold story to tell that is still continuing today, so it did not take us long to decide to support the project,” said Trudi Jackson, FGM Senior Community Advisor.

It was great to be at the launch of the inaugural exhibition and we would like to congratulate all involved in making this museum a reality,” Trudi concluded.

Based in MacKenzie Street, just a stones throw from the Bendigo Art Gallery in View Street, the volunteer-run museum is open to the public three days a week on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 10am-3pm.

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