Ballarat Trades Hall

Architect: James and Piper, 1887


Building Description

The Ballarat Trades Hall was constructed from 1887–1888 as a meeting place for Ballarat’s trade unions and as offices for the Ballarat Trades and Labour Council. It is the second-oldest Trades and Labour Council in the world after Melbourne, founded in 1883 on the back of the Ballarat Eight Hour Committees. The building—at 24 Camp Street, Ballarat—isa three-storey brick building set on a sharply angled site. Its rendered façade is executed in a grandiose Mannerist design using giant Corinthian orders and broken pediments. The building and the surrounding site is included on the Victorian Heritage Register. The building is interwoven with the story of Ballarat and Australia’s industrial and political life. Ballarat is widely recognised as the birthplace of democracy in Australian history with The Eureka Rebellion of 1854, which led to the Electoral Act of 1856. Ballarat Trades Hall was also chosen as the meeting place for the 7th Intercolonial Trades and Labor Union Congress in April 1891, the first to be held outside a capital city. The building is still used today by the Ballarat Trades and Labour Council, unions and community groups.


24 Camp St, Ballarat Central VIC

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