Ballarat School of Mines
The original initiative for the founding of the Ballarat School of Mines was taken at a meeting of the Ballarat Mining Board on 06 October 1869. On the suggestion of Harrie Wood, James M. Bickett moved that a school of mines should be established at Ballarat, making it the oldest site of technical education in Australia. The Board was concerned with the shortage of mine managers for the goldfields. Classes began in surveying, mathematics, chemistry and a decade later they included metallurgy, assaying and geology.
With the decline in goldmining the direction of the college changed and broadened, the art School was established and the Junior Technical School developed. In 1976, the tertiary sector separated from the School of Mines and Industries Ballarat to form the Ballarat College of Advanced Education.
In the 1980s SMB was a Community College of Technical Education and Further Education (TAFE) offering a wide range of vocational, enrichment and preparatory programs. It is continuing the tradition of providing for the education needs of people within the Central Highlands. During the 1970s and 80s it acquired and refurbished old buildings and developed new facilities to keep up with the needs of an expanding curriculum and student population. 
The following history of the Ballarat School of Mines was published in 1920 for the 50th anniversary.
'Ballarat has helped to influence the life and destinies of Australia in many ways, the recital of which would perhaps prove tedious to the citizens of less favoured localities! However, it can be said, without much fear of contradiction, that only less known thought Australia than its fame as a gold field is the reputation won for it by its School of Mines, ...
Ballarat was still quite a new place when the School was founded, but a very prosperous and popular place all the same, with a go-ahead lot of citizens brim full of the spirit of enterprise which seems to animate mining populations generally. Money was plentiful, and they launched out into ventures, which later, were to develop and take the place of the gold mines, while what is more to the point, they understood the value of education. The old digging days were passing away. So far as Ballarat itself was concerned the day of the cradle and tin dish had already passed into an antiquity "as dead and distant as the age of the Tubal Caon," said Sir Redmond Barry on declaring the School open. Mining had become a serious business, and the mining engineer, the metallurgist, and the geologist had become a power in the land. In these circumstances the suggestions to found a School of Mines met with ready acceptance.
The late Mr James M. Bickett had the honor of bringing forward the proposition at a meeting of the Ballarat Mining Board in October, 1869. It was agreed to, and the Government, having been approached for assistance, granted a lease of the old Supreme Court buildings at a nominal rental. A modest sum, including 100 pounds from the Borough Council of Ballarat West, was subscribed by a number of sympathisers, and on the 26th October, 1870, the inaugural address was delivered by Sir Redmond Barry, the first President of the School. Classes were commenced on the 23rd January, 1871.
The students at first were mostly adults. They were chiefly men employed at the mines, who had the wisdom and energy to devote their spare time to study, and, though their attendance was somewhat irregular, they made very good progress. Old prints which have been preserved show them at work at furnaces, big bearded men of the old-fashioned type of miner.
It is interesting to note that among those who gave evidence and encouragement was Sir Roderick Murchison, who many years before had advised Cornish miners to emigrate to Australia to search for gold, and who in 1848 was in possession of gold ore sent from this country. Sir Roderick sent a parcel of books for the library, and gave useful advice as to the curriculum which should be adopted.
The Museum, which now contains a most valuable collection of minerals, was one of the first things attended to, and the reports presented to the Council from time to time speak of additions being made from all parts of the world. New equipment was constantly being added to the School, a good deal of assay work was done, and some specimens were sent from the East Indies for examination as far back as 1873. By this time there was a difficulty in providing accommodation for the students who wished to enroll, and the number of instructors had grown from two to four.
|Mr. Barnard, the registrar of the School of Mines, has considerately thought of the boys in the Orphan Asylum, and has offered to the secretary of that institution to allow a limited number of them to attend at the school each Saturday afternoon to witness the series of experiments there made, with a view to engender a taste for the same, and to afford them interesting and instructive amusement.|
In 1882 the first building was being erected on what was then part of the gaol reserve. A little more than ten years afterwards a building formerly serving as a Methodist Church was absorbed, while later on, the demand for accommodation increasing, the attack upon the gaol was renewed. The School continued to grow in reputation and size, and became the science centre of the district, and in 1889 a large new building was opened by Sir Alexander Peacock. Students came from over seas as well as from all the States of Australia, and after going through their courses they took with them the name and fame of the old School to all parts of the globe. School of Mines boys have played a great part in developing the mining fields of Western Australia, South Australia, and Africa, while old students who have made a name in their profession are constantly dropping in to see how the old place is getting along.
| BALLARAT SCHOOL OF MINES.|
A deputation from the Ballarat Town Council waited on the Chief Secretary yesterday morning to ask that a piece of land behind Ballarat Gaol, and contiguous to the School of Mines, should be conveyed to the school.
Mr. DEAKIN said he would inquire into the matter, and send a written reply.
It was not to be expected, however, that the Ballarat School would be left without rivals, its very success inspiring competition. Mining Schools were started in other parts of Australia, and, at the same time, Victoria ceased to hold first place as a mining state. On the other hand there was a great advance in manufacturing, and the demand for technically trained men became a great and as insistent as ever it had been for trained mining men. The Council was quick to adapt the school to the new conditions, and the result is seen in the institution, which is one of Ballarat's proudest possession. Instruction is given in all branches of technical work, and the classes are filled with students who are building up for Ballarat a reputation as an industrial centre, which promises to equal that which it formerly held as a mining town.
- 'At the monthly meeting of the executive council of the local school of mines, great dissatisfaction was expressed with the manner in which the institution is being hampered by the Education department. The new building for the school is completed, but no response has been obtained from the Minister of Education to an application made some time ago for a grant for the necessary fittings and furniture to enable the building to be occupied. In the meantime, whilst the new building, erected at an outlay of £2,000, is standing idle, the building at present used for the school is so cramped and uncomfortable that proper teaching cannot be given to the classes, and some classes for which there are a number of students entered cannot be started for want of room; whilst, owing to there being no fireplaces in the present rooms, a number of students have left intimating that they will not attend during the winter months unless better accommodation is provided. The metallurgical, mineralogical, and advanced chemistry classes cannot be started for want of accommodation and appliances. It was resolved that the Minister for Education again be appealed to on the matter, and the urgency of the case pointed out. Letters were received from Professor Kernot and other scientific gentlemen, consenting to delivery a series of popular lectures on scientific subjects, in connection with the school.'
- ‘At the School of Mines yesterday the Ballarat Teachers’ Association presented the late hon. Secretary, Mr. E. P. Date, with an address and a purse of sovereigns on his retirement from office. The presentation was made by the president, Mr. J. C. Molloy, who highly eulogised Mr. Date for his valuable efforts on behalf of the association and in the cause of public education.’
| SCHOOL OF MINES, BALLARAT|
The following SCHOLARSHIPS are open to all Boys of the State:-
TWENTY. tenable FOR THE FULL LENGTH OF APPROVED COURSES in Technical Schools, entitling holders to SEEK TUITION AND AN ALLOWANCE OF £30 PER ANNUM.
TWENTY.OPEN TO BOYS IN EMPLOYMENT. tenable for THE FULL LENGTH OF APPROVED COURSES in Technical Schools, entitling holders to FREE TUITION AND AN ALLOWANCE OF £10 PER ANNUM.
Applications must be handed in not later than the 1st November, 1914.
Application forms and full particulars obtainable at the office.
THE SCHOOL OF MINES, BALLARAT.
L. ST. G. F. AUSTIN, Registrar.
Owing to its bracing climate, its abundant opportunities for recreations, and its accessibility, Ballarat as a city is an ideal place for educational purposed, and is yearly becoming more and more appreciated throughout the State. The chairman of one of Ballarat's biggests industries claims that the workman can do twice the day's work here that he can do in Melbourne. He was a little enthusiastic over it, perhaps, but it is a well-known fact that the healthy and invigorating Ballarat climate is conducive to both physical and mental activity, and the records of the School provide ample proof of it.
One of the most interesting and successful branches of the School of Mines and Industries - if the name be enlarged with the enlargement of its scope - is the Technical Art School. "The City of Statues" has from its earliest days been a stronghold of art. Art schools have flourished here, and in 1905 the Education Department came to the conclusion that the best thing to do with them was to place them under the management of the School of Mines Council. A magnificent new Technical Art School was built at a cost of some 12,000 pounds on the site of the old Supreme Court building, and was formally opened on the 23rd July, 1915. The results have not only been justified but surpassed all anticipations. The most comprehensive list of subjects is taught, and this list is constantly added to. Students have flocked to the art School, which may be said to occupy a unique position in Australia, and its record of success is really astonishing. Its students supply art teachers for the newer schools that are being built, and many occupy leading positions in important business houses. So well is its reputation known that orders are constantly being received, not only from Victoria, but from other States, for honor boards and challenge shields to be designed and made.
The most recent addition to the School of Mines and Industries is the Junior Technical School, for which a new building is now being erected on a portion of the gaol site, transferred to the School of Mines Council by the Government. At the present moment temporary quarters are being occupied. Some students after passing through the Junior School go straight to employment, continuing perhaps to attend the evening trade classes, while others move on to the senior School.
In a review of the work of the School of Mines mention must be made of a series of industrial research carried out under supervision of the Principal. One in particular, regarding the suitability of the local ores for the manufacture of pigments attracted much attention, while the experimetns on the manufacture of white pottery from Victorian clays were considered of sufficient importance by the Federal Advisory Council of Science and Industry to warrant the appointment of a special investigator. The results of these have been most encouraging, and may have far-reaching consequences.
The vocational training of returned soldiers also should not be overlooked. The work was taken in hand from the first, before the Repatriation Department gave assistance, and now with the help of the department of the School has become one of the largest vocational training centres in Victoria outside of Melbourne. The soldiers, trained in a variety of occupations, have made remarkable progress, and already considerable numbers have found employment in local workshops and factories.
To sum up, the School is divided into the following departments, each well staffed and equipped: - The School of Mines, Science, and Engineering; the Technical Art School, the Boys' Junior Technical School, the Girl's Preparatory Technical Classes, Trade Classes, and the Commercial School. The School of Mines, Science and Engineering, comprises the following branches: - Mining, Metallurgy, Geology, Electrical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Applied Chemistry, and Pharmacy. Battery treatments, Cyanide Testing, Smelting, Assays, and Clay Testing from a regular part of the School's work. Students gaining qualifications obtain concession in their courses at the university, should they proceed there to continue their studies. The Technical Art school curriculum includes training in all branches of Pictorial and Applied Art, an Architectural Diploma Course, a Draughtman's Course, Technical Art teachers' Course, Photography, Ticket Writing, Art Metal Work, Woodcarving, Needlework, and Leather work. The Trade Classes give instruction in Telephone Mechanics, telegraphy, Carpentry, Cabinet Making, Plumbing, Blacksmithing, Fitting, Electric Wiring, and Printing. Numerous Scholarships are offered every year, and altogether students will find few places to equal the Ballarat School of Mines and Industries as a training place for their life's work. One of the fist in the continent to be established, its Jubilee finds it still in the front rank, keeping pace with the times, and offering to the youths of this country the means of taking advantage of Australia's teeming opportunities.
Ballarat Technical Art School
Harold Herbert, Deputy Principal <1916>
H. H. Smith, Principal <1916>
Ballarat Junior Technical School
The Ballarat Junior Technical School was under the jurisdiction of the Ballarat School of Mines. In 1949-50 the aims of the school was to:
- 1. Give all students a sound general and cultural education to the Intermediate standard for technical Schools.
- 2. Prepare those with the necessary ability for the higher professional courses of the Ballarat School of Mines in Mechanical, Electrical, Civil and Mining engineering, Applied Chemistry, Metallurgy, Assaying, Architecture, Art and Crafts or technical Teaching.
- 3. In addition to a sound education, it gives students not proceeding to the higher courses, a pre-vocational training which will enable them to become competent artisans in any of the skilled apprenticeship.
Ballarat Girls' Junior Technical School
Ballarat School of Mines Subjects
Art Metal Work, Repousse, etc
Signwriting, Ticket Writing and House Decoration
Ballarat School of Mines Clubs and Groups
Lydiard Street South, Ballarat
The first Australian School of Mines was established at Ballarat in 1869, with the first enrollments in 1870.
Pioneering X-Ray demonstrations took place at the Ballarat School of Mines on 18 July 1896. The original x-rays and x-ray tubes are still in existence.
Charles Kent, auditor (1886)
Staff Member Listing
Former Students Listing
Ballarat School of Mines Presidents
Ballarat School of Mines Vice-Presidents
|R. Denham Pinnock||<1896>|
|R. T. Vale||<1896>|
|James M. Bickett||<1916>|
|John Nankiville Dunn||<1916>|
|Bruce C.M. Muir||<1982>|
Ballarat School of Mines Life Governors
|Robert Brough Smyth||1872>|
|R. W. Newman||<1873>|
|J. G. Reeves||<1873>|
|Henry R. Caselli||<1873>|
|W. H. Barnard||<1875>|
|William John Clarke||<1876>|
Ballarat School of Mines Council Members
Ballarat School of Mines Registrar
|W. Henry Barnard||<1880>|
|L. St. G.P. Austin||<1916>|
|J. B. Robinson||<1935>|
|F. E. Ferguson||<1935-1953>|
Associateship of the Ballarat School of Mines
An Associateship of the Ballarat School of Mines was conferred in one of more of the following courses:-
- 1. Mining Engineering
- 2. Metallurgy
- 3. Geology
World War One Service
World War One Service Associated with the Ballarat School of Mines
World War Two Service
Ballarat School of Mines Department of Scientific Research
Ballarat School of Mines Repatriation Scheme
Ballarat School of Mines Scientific Instrument Committee
Ballarat School of Mines Students' Scientific Improvement Society
Clunes School of Mines (a campus of the Ballarat School of Mines)
Perry, Warren, The School of Mines and Industries, Ballarat, Ballarat School of Mines, Ballarat, 1984.
- ↑ Ballarat School of Mines Retrospect, Ballarat School of Mines, 1970.
- ↑ Ballarat School of Mines Annual Report, 1986
- ↑ Ballarat School of Mines Annual Report, 1986
- ↑ Ballarat School of Mines Annual Report, 1986
- ↑ The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), Saturday 11 November 1876, page 8. Digital copy accessed via Trove.
- ↑ The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), Thursday 24 April 1890, page 11.
- ↑ The Argus, 16 May 1891.
- ↑ The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954), Wednesday 14 September 1892, page 3. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13285583
- ↑ The Ballarat Courier (Vic. : 1914 – 1918) Wednesday 14 October 1914, page 8.
- ↑ The Ballarat School of Mines and Industries Jubilee Booklet, 1920. University of Ballarat Historical Collection [Cat. No. 317].
- ↑ Perry, Warren, The School of Mines and Industries, Ballarat, Ballarat School of Mines, Ballarat, 1984.
- ↑ Ballarat School of Mines Calendar, 1903-4.
Location map - Google Maps