Oct 20

Heritage with heart

If the developer who owns the old Orphanage site gets his way and almost completely demolishes the site, what is left to say ‘we did this and it should never happen again’. How is the developer protecting what is currently left of the site? Not at all would be the answer, trees have been left to vandals, as have exteriors and interiors with precious social history. Gates and doors are left wide open, inviting vandals and destroyers who would support demolition. It has a name, demolition by neglect.

This week the city council decides on whether or not to demolish the site, without a plan of what is to replace it.

City of Ballarat Council Meeting Wednesday October 23rd


  • Developer wants to demolish all but the Toddlers Block, some significant trees, and a part of the brick wall
  • Council officers have reported they would like to retain Toddlers Block, some significant trees, and all of the brick wall (up until we have a plan for the site and then revisit that), plus 5 more buildings (including the old School building on the corner, two homes on Victoria St and two buildings within the property)
  • Forgotten Australians would like to retain the heart of the heritage on this site, and they will speak at the council meeting. Possibly advocating for a Memorial Healing garden, and the ownership of the old school to be held by the city as a museum for the Forgotten Australians.

To speak at the council meeting about this issue you will need to:

  • Register by 4.30pm on the day of a Council Meeting by contacting the City of Ballarat Governance Unit on (03) 5320 5535.
  • No unregistered public representative will be allowed to speak.
  • You will be given three to five minutes to address the meeting, with extension of time at the discretion of the Chair.
  • You may be asked questions by the Councillors

Here is what Deb Findlay has to say about the issue:

Dear Ballarat East, if you have any concerns to what’s going to happen to the former orphanage site you must attend this meeting  so you can be heard. I grew up at the orphanage, it needs to remain as a memory for the future about why the Forgotten Australians should never be forgotten again. Here is my poem.
Being courageous means having strength over all probabilities
so have courage to face all odds
Courage is standing up doing what is right
Courage to stand up and be heard
Courageous it takes to speak the truth and not be afraid
to  who we are the Forgotten Australian’s and Stolen Generation
Courage is what it takes to succeed
But it also takes courage to sit and listen
Don’t close your eyes on the orphanage site

There are many who care about the future of the site.

Please Say No to Demolition of all buildings. Once they’re GONE they’re GONE

Here is Deb’s Story:

deb’s story from Erin M McCuskey on Vimeo.


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  1. Deb says:

    Council Meeting 23/10/2013 We did it Council VOTED to save all the EARLY 1900’s buildings , There was so much passion and courage given by all speakers there were about over 20 in the chambers , I’m so very proud of all attended we attended this Council Meeting with dignity. We will continue to stand up again and again to save our home. Thank you Council Members home mates, Brett , Erin and all those who turned up in support . WE DID IT RETENTION RESTORE AND PRESERVE OUR HISTORY. Its not over yet but i will enjoy this victory moment.

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