I am a mum of two and Primary School teacher whose aim is to never be home during the midday movie. I believe that I am only ever a car trip away from an adventure.
Published January 8th 2014
Bringing the Eureka Stockade into the 21st Century
M.A.D.E or the Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka is the newest museum to open in Australia and has only been operational since May, 2013. Located on the historic site of the Eureka Stockade in Ballarat it encompasses the "Spirit of Uprising" that this location and town are famous for.
Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka
M.A.D.E focuses on democracy and the importance it bears on modern day and the lessons learned by investigating our rich history. It encourages visitors to explore and ponder the evolution and future of democracy through civics, history, citizenship and culture. I particularly thought their focus on the cultural diversity of Australia was thought provoking and important.
The museum uses its state of the art facilities and the knowledge of Australian and International historians, experts and innovative minds as the curators to create a space to explore what democracy could look like today. Using interactive, sensory and immersive exhibits which will amaze you, the latest digital technology has children and adults swiping and tapping at screens, singing along with the cast of GLEE and watching history be bought back to life and recreated before your eyes.
Design your own flag
In our case it was the Eureka Flag that bought us to M.A.D.E and we were not disappointed.158 years old it is housed in a purpose built theatre which can completely control the environment of this fragile piece of history. Previously a replica was on show at the Ballarat Art Gallery whilst the remains of the original were being preserved and mended through a major works program. There is plenty of viewing on this procedure at the museum and well worth watching. Now it is on loan for two years and sits high and proud as it once did, but this time behind glass rather than on a flagpole.
The Flag provokes thought and discussion and inner reflection
During the school holidays children can join in a range of activities to help them get thoroughly immersed. Activities are covered in the cost of admission and Ballarat residents are free to enter. Aimed at 4-12 year olds activities include kite, flag and pinwheel crafts, cyber storytime and a 'Seeking Out Stars' treasure hunt. We participated with our kids in the stars hunt and found it a great way for all of us to involved and thoroughly examine all sections of the exhibit.
We went on a star treasure hunt
The museum complex is a beautiful big space with a lovely wooden playground out the front, even wooden soldiers dressed in full uniform to greet you. There is a cafe for light refreshments, a gift shop stocking over 200 items to tempt you and temporary exhibits to enjoy. From now until Sunday, 2nd of February "Anastasia - Woman of Eureka" by Fiona Crawford is on show and tells the tale through beautiful artwork the story of Anastasia Withers who was one of the first women on the Victorian goldfields.
Friendly soldiers invite kids to play on the wooden fort playground
M.A.D.E is a museum unlike any I have visited before and if you have a historian in your pack or are heading to get a feel for the Gold Rush up at Sovereign Hill, M.A.D.E is a wonderful accompaniment. The sight of the flag alone is worth the visit.