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Caring and Sharing: The tension between public access and preservation

Meet the people working behind the scenes at some of Ballarat’s most important heritage sites and institutions in ‘Caring and Sharing: The tension between public access to public collections’ – Eureka Centre’s third Heritage Festival panel event.

The preservation of heritage has historically been justified by narrow measures of academic and civic value. Museums were once viewed as austere and remote custodians of culture, with public access limited to the viewing of collections through publications and exhibitions. Many institutions have since worked hard to change this old-fashioned image.

Institutions have found fresh ways of engaging communities and public consumption of cultural experiences is thriving as a result. This can create a tension between the maintenance of museum standards and the facilitating of public access, including through hands-on and immersive experiences.

Another tension has emerged with government funding transitioning from traditional museum services to infrastructure and associated projects that aim to attract tourism and invigorate leisure precincts. Collections may be languishing, but new buildings are proliferating in the hope that high-spending cultural consumers will boost the local economy.

Doors open at 5.15pm, please join for a complimentary drink before the discussion begins at 6.00pm.


102 Stawell Street South, Eureka, VIC 3350Get directions


The City of Ballarat acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land we live and work on, the Wadawurrung and Dja Dja Wurrung People, and recognises their continuing connection to the land and waterways. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging and extend this to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People.