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People and Organisations

State Government Offices

  • 1979 - current

Known locally as the upside-down building, the unusual design of Geelong’s State Government Offices tends to attract equal amounts of awe, indifference and derision.

Brutalist architecture is not often seen in Geelong but just a few doors down you will find the Geelong Performing Arts Centre, another exposed concrete structure.

The ‘futuristic’ design of the offices was a collaborative effort by the Victorian Public Works Department, the shape of which was described by the Chief Architect as reflecting ‘the strong social influences we are all subject to, and which reach out from the past to include the present, and foreshadow the future’.

Victorian Premier, Rupert Hamer opened the Offices 22 March 1979, on the site previously known as ‘Geelong No. 6 Car Park’. It was planned that 21 government departments and authorities would move in.

Housing an extraordinarily intricate glass mosiac depicting the early history of Geelong and Australia, the upside-down building itself is anything but ordinary.

ABC Café

  • Corporate body
  • 1913-12-16 - ?

The ABC Cafe opened in Geelong in December 1913 at a time when only a handful of such establishments existed. Newspaper articles at the time report that it was built almost exclusively from Geelong sourced materials, and by Geelong tradespeople.

Tragedy struck during construction when a plasterer fell from a scaffold to their death.

The cafe was expanded with a second level added in 1927.

The Geelong Heritage Centre holds a dinner set from the cafe in its collection. You can also see several photos of the ABC cafe here:

Ashby State School

  • Corporate body
  • 1875 - current

Geelong West began under the name of Ashby in the year 1875 as the result of overcrowding of classes being conducted by Church organisations. The first School Committee was officially elected in 1911. In 1968 Ashby was a Special Class school.

Australian Salt Co

  • Corporate body

Purchased by Cheetham Salt Company c.1920s

Australian Women's National League (Geelong Branch)

  • Corporate body
  • 1904 - c.1944

The Australian Women’s National League aimed to promote anti-socialist ideas to Australian women who had been given the right to vote in Australian federal elections in 1902.

Their tenets were loyalty to the throne, counteracting socialist tendencies, educating women in their political responsibilities and safeguarding the interests of the home, women and children.

Lady Janet Clarke was elected the inaugural president in 1904.

In 1912, the Liberal Prime Minister Alfred Deakin described the lobby group as "fierce and unceasing" in their political demands.

At its peak in World War 1, the AWNL had 500 registered branches and more than 54,000 members across Australia including a Geelong branch.

Back to Back Theatre

  • Corporate body
  • 1987 -

Back to Back Theatre is a pioneering contemporary theatre company based in Geelong with a full-time ensemble of eight actors considered to have an intellectual disability.

They are one of Australia's most successful theatre companies. Their 2011 hit 'Ganesh Versus the Third Reich', has toured in 35 cities and 18 countries - taking Geelong based actors around the world.

Bannockburn Yellow Gum Action Group

  • Corporate body
  • July 1997 - c.1998

The Bannockburn Yellow Gum Action Group (BYGAG) was a community group founded in 1997 to protect local woodland that contained many Yellow Gum. At the time, Barwon Water planned to bulldoze the woodland for a sewerage farm.

After a long community campaign including protests and a blockade, ultimately the group was unsuccessful in protecting the trees. The trees were cut down on 19 August 1997.

Ceres State School

  • Corporate body
  • 1875 - current

Replacing two denominational schools, No. 50 Barrabool Hills and No. 151 Ceres, SS1602 Ceres, originally named Barrabool, opened on 1 July 1875. The name changed to Ceres about 1890.

City of Greater Geelong

  • Corporate body
  • 1993 - current

The City of Greater Geelong was created on 18 May 1993 by the City of Greater Geelong Act 1993 amalgamating six Geelong region Councils, Bellarine Rural City, Newtown City, Corio Shire, Geelong West City, Geelong City, South Barwon City and parts of Barrabool Shire and Bannockburn Shire. Local Government Reform The City of Greater Geelong was created as part of a statewide program of local government reform enacted between 1993 and 1995. The reform process reduced the number of councils from 210 to 78.

Country Roads Board

  • Corporate body
  • 1913 - 1983

Background to Establishment of the Country Roads Board By 1910 it had become increasingly apparent that there was a need for a central roads authority to take over responsibility from the Board of Lands and Works (VA 744) for the care and management of the main roads of the state. Up to this time there was a lack of co-operation between the agencies with operational responsibility for roads, the Roads and Bridges Branch of the public Works Department (VA 669) and local municipalities, in the construction and maintenance of main roads. Expenditure of State funds was without proper supervision or a thorough investigation into actual needs. The absence of a systematic policy, as well as a lack of funds, had resulted in Victorian roads being in a deplorable condition. At this time the use of the motor car accentuated the demands for better roads. As a result of these needs the Country Roads Act 1912 (No.2415) was proclaimed in 1913 providing for the establishment of the Country Roads Board as a central road authority with responsibility for those roads within the State considered to be main roads. Functions of the Board Initial functions of the Board, as defined by the Act, were: to ascertain which roads should be main roads, to ascertain the most effective methods of road construction and maintenance, to ascertain the deviations in existing roads or new roads which would facilitate communication and improve conditions for traffic. After an initial investigation by the Board construction guidelines were established and the letting of construction contracts, either directly by the Board or by municipal councils, proceeded by circa 1915. Although the Country Roads Board was established in 1913 to co-ordinate the construction and maintenance of main roads and bridges the Public Works Department (VA 669), through its Roads and Bridges Section, continued to have a role in the construction of roads and bridges. The final report of the Royal Commission on the State Public Service in 1917 indicates that the Public Works Department confined its operations chiefly to by-roads, tourist roads and special roads, although some overlapping with the Board could occur. The report which made no mention of bridge construction by the Public Works Department, proposed the amalgamation of the Roads and Bridges Section with the Country Roads Board. It is not clear exactly when the Public Works Department ceased to exercise any responsibility for road construction. Therefore, despite the establishment of the Country Roads Board, the Board of Land and Works (VA 744) presumably continued to have some statutory responsibility for roads, and possibly bridges, until the Country Roads Board assumed full authority (by 1936?). Extensions of Responsibilities At various times other types of roads were proclaimed under legislation and subsequently came within the responsibility of the Country Roads Board. The Development Roads Act 1918 provided for the declaration of 'Developmental Roads', roads which would serve to develop any area of land by providing access to a railway station for primary producers. The Highways and Vehicles Act 1924 provided for the declaration of certain arterial roads as State Highways. The Tourists' Roads Act 1936 provided for the declaration of roads of sufficient interest or roads leading to tourist resorts or attractions as Tourists Roads. Construction of tourists roads had occurred prior to this on an ad hoc basis from at least 1917, through the Tourists Resorts Committee which functioned within the Department of Public Works (VA 669), however no provisions had existed for maintenance or improvement prior to this Act. The Country Roads Board continued to have responsibility for tourists' roads until 1983 when it was succeeded by the Road Construction Authority (VA 1054). The Country Roads Act 1956 enabled the Board to construct by-pass roads which became popularly known as freeways. The Board also exercised some responsibility for other outer-metropolitan roads and, in conjunction with Municipal Councils, for unclassified roads. Other functions of the Board have included: inspection and supervision of the construction and maintenance of country bridges, control of speed and weight of commercial goods vehicles, licensing of country, commercial, passenger vehicles including touring and light motor omnibuses and prescription of routes, under the Motor Omnibus Acts (until 1934 when the Transport Regulation Board (VA 2738) inherited this responsibility), collecting on behalf of the Traffic Commission, a body made up of representatives of agencies concerned with traffic management, data on road safety and traffic accidents (until 1971 when this function was inherited by the Road Safety and Traffic Authority (VA 487)). Following an amendment to the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works Act in 1956 (No. 5982) the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works (VA 1007) was vested with responsibility for the construction and maintenance of proclaimed metropolitan bridges and main highways. In July 1974 the Country Roads Board resumed responsibility for such roads and bridges under the provisions of the Metropolitan Bridges Highways and Foreshores Act 1974. Decentralisation of Administration Increases in the Board's direct responsibilities and the necessity for the supervision and control of works entrusted to municipalities led the Board in 1926 to adopt a scheme of decentralization. Over time the following ten regional divisions, each headed by a Divisional Engineer, were established: Bairnsdale, Ballarat, Benalla, Bendigo, Dandenong, Geelong, Horsham, Metropolitan, Traralgon and Warnambool. At present only the Ballarat Division has been registered (VA 1021). Ministerial Responsibility Until 1970, the Country Roads Board reported directly to the Minister responsible for Public Works. On 12 June 1970 the Minister for Local Government assumed responsibility for the Country Roads Act, and from 19 May 1973 the Board reported to the Minister for Transport. Restructuring of Transport Portfolio and Abolition of the Board 1983 In 1982 the administration of the State's transport authorities began to undergo a significant transformation. Under the provisions of the West Gate Bridge Authority (Transfer of Functions) Act 1982, proclaimed on 1 July 1982, responsibility for the functions of the Westgate Bridge Authority were transferred to the Country Roads Board. The following year, on 30 June 1983, the Country Roads Board was succeeded by the Road Construction Authority (VA 1054) established under the provisions of the Transport Act 1983 (No.9921). Location of Records See also List of Holdings 2nd edition 1985, section 3.21.13

Department of Crown Lands and Survey (Geelong Division)

  • Corporate body
  • 1921 - 1983

The primary responsibilities of the Department of Crown Lands and Survey, Geelong Division was the administration of survey and mapping and the sale, occupation and management of Crown land in the region. The Department also exercised responsibility for closer settlement, soldier settlement and the destruction of vermin and noxious weeds. In 1983 the Department of Crown Lands and Survey was abolished and the Department of Conservation, Forests and Lands (VA 1034) was established.

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