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Ballarat Through Irish Eyes

by Phillip Moore at our "Irish Afternoon" August 2018

I wish to acknowledge the Wadawurrung and Dja Dja Wurrung people the traditional custodians of the region and pay my respects to elders past and present.

Ballarat's powerful and dynamic history is very much part of Australian history, with its stories of gold discovery, massive immigration, the diggers and life on the goldfields, colonial governance, and its prejudices; followed by rebellion and a stand for democracy. From the early gold digging and pioneering days, Ballarat with its strong civic minded people, has now developed into one of Australia's great elegant and prosperous provincial cities and regional centres.

Not insignificant has been the contribution by people of Irish background to Ballarat's social, cultural and industrial development. There are many such people we could talk about however (today in this short presentation) I have selected just a few.

Nevertheless, throughout the evening, following this address, there was a continuous visual presentation (on the screen) of (those) people, and places, events, buildings and industry - past and present that have helped to make Ballarat what it is today.

The presentation allowed us to see Ballarat through Irish eyes.

Please see some of the details below

The Gift of Gold - BDIABallarats gift to Australian democracy - BDIAThe Theatre of Entertainment - BDIA
BDIA Successful Entrepreneur - Daniel BrophyBDIA - James Coghlan - Ballarat Brewing CompanyBDIA - Her Majestys Theatre
BDIA - William Henry Shaw - Phoenix FoundryMartin Loughlin - successful financial trader - BDIAJames Scullin - Governor General of the CWealth of Australia - BDIA
John Curtin - Wartime Prime Minister - BDIASt John of God Hospital - BDIAJeremy Johnson - CEO Sovereign Hill - BDIA
Sport of Kings - Michelle Payne - BDIA

And there are so many other great characters including James Lolly Long, Francis Wilson Niven, Henry Cuthbert, Hugh Victor McKay
who built his first factory (Sunshine Harvester) in Ballarat.

And today such people as Dr. Anne Beggs-Sunter; one of Ballarat's respected historians and heritage activists.

It is important that we know of such people as they reflect in many ways the characteristics of what is of being of Irish background. 

It is important that we know of their contribution to this great city and also where appropriate that we present, celebrate and commemorate their achievements. 

They have set us an example and we are now challenged to follow in their footsteps to make our contribution.

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