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Australia Is Getting a New National Centre for Photography in Regional Victoria

It'll sit inside a 1860s-era heritage-listed building in Ballarat.
By Sarah Ward
November 20, 2020
By Sarah Ward
November 20, 2020

Sydney might already be home to the Australian Centre for Photography, but there's room in this massive country of ours for more than one institution dedicated to excellent snaps. Soon, Ballarat will welcome another — with the regional Victorian town named as the site of Australia's new National Centre for Photography.

Every two years, Ballarat plays host to the Ballarat International Foto Biennale, so it already has a strong interest in the art form. Indeed, the fact that the town already has a big photography festival is one of the reasons that the National Centre for Photography will also set up shop there. As announced on Tuesday, November 17, the new facility is supported by a $6.7 million investment from the Victorian Government as part of the state's 2020–21 budget.

An opening date hasn't yet been revealed, but the centre will sit on Lydiard Street, in the 1860s heritage-listed Union Bank building owned by the Foto Biennale. That'll place it alongside the Ballarat Art Gallery and the Post Office Gallery, so folks will have plenty to look at in the one area.

Inside, the site will include gallery spaces that'll host major temporary exhibitions, as well as a dedicated photobook library and storage for the Foto Biennale's permanent collection of images. Community artists will also be able to show their work, and the centre will run an artist-in-residence program. It'll also feature public and education classes in its workshop spaces, too, and a professional dark room.


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The aim is to attract visitors to the town — and local, domestic and international artists — and to enable year-round photography exhibitions at the centre. The Victorian Government did just announce a $200 voucher scheme to encourage folks to holiday throughout the state, after all, with increasing regional tourism clearly a big post-lockdown focus.

The new National Centre for Photography will be located on Lydiard Street, Ballarat, opening at a yet-to-be-revealed date — we'll keep you updated with further details as they're announced.

Published on November 20, 2020 by Sarah Ward


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