Campaign to save Ballarat Orphanage from redevelopment
Former residents of the Ballarat Orphanage are campaigning to save the remaining buildings following a planning application submitted by Victoria Street developers to demolish most of the buildings on the site.
Deborah Findlay who lived at Ballarat Orphanage for 14 years has been campaigning for the protection of the orphanage school rooms, built in 1918.
“The significance of the site is the fact that over 4,000 children once lived here,” Ms Findlay says.
“Many former residents say it’s wonderful to have memorabilia but it’s not until you actually see the buildings that that’s the connection…it brings back a lot of childhood memories.”
The City of Ballarat held a mediation meeting with objectors and developers on Tuesday 23rd July to try to come to some compromise that might respect the stories of the Forgotten Australians.
The meeting was attended by former residents, neighbours and the stakeholders, City of Ballarat officials, CAFS Child and Family services and members from CLAN Care Leavers Australian Network.
CLAN would like the School turned into a heritage centre for care leavers. CLAN’s Phyliss Cremona has spoken about the school as an important site for the former residents because it represented a safe place from the cruelty of life at the orphanage.
CLAN have an online petition to save the Orphanage which is available at: https://www.change.org/en-AU/petitions/ballarat-council-save-the-ballarat-orphanage-from-the-developers