A robust Welcome to Country from Norm Stanley and Nikki McKenzie set the scene for the official opening of the ‘People’s Hall’, the Ballarat Civic Hall.
“Welcome, this is Wadawurrung Country, let us come together, walk together and learn in peace,” Nikki said.
City of Ballarat Mayor Samantha McIntosh said this was a day that many have been waiting for.
“The Civic Hall has a 50 year history but we know there was that much more that came before, but today is about our future as well as that wonderful past,” Cr McIntosh said.
“We know the building stands strongly and will stand strongly into the future.”
The Mayor added that today was a special day not just for our City but for the region and State.
“After many, many late nights at the Town Hall we are finally here to see this beautiful building reopened, the community’s hall,” Cr McIntosh said.
“I know many of you will have very fond memories, I have heard many people speak of their memories of the Civic Hall – concerts, Balls, conferences, political rallies and so many more.
“Today, after a hiatus of over 16 years marks the beginning of a new era but its purpose remains as it was all those years ago – a place for the people.”
Cr McIntosh thanked everyone who had worked hard, in so many ways, to preserve the building and then to restore it.
“I would also like to acknowledge the Save the Civic Hall group, there are a number of them present, who have also been instrumental in helping us ensure that this building is protected and saved and will have a wonderful future.”