Mechanics' Institutes of Victoria Inc.

The Mechanics' Institutes of Victoria (MIV) was formed in 1998 following a State Conference of Mechanics' Institutes (MIs) held in Kilmore in April of that year. It aims to foster the preservation and restoration of the social, cultural and physical heritage of active MIs throughout the state as well as to encourage and facilitate recognition and preservation of MI buildings and the revival of inactive MIs.

The purpose of the MIV Historical Plaques Program is to inform the public of the history of Mechanics' Institutes in Victoria and also give a snippet of history about the individual Institute.

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Inverleigh Mechanics' Institute. Officially opened on Tuesday 27 March 1866. The Mechanics' Institute movement began in British urban industrial centres in the early 1800s. A "mechanic" was a person applying skills and technology. During the 19th century, most towns in Victoria established a Mechanics' Institute or Athenaeum with a library and meeting hall. Common objects were the "spread of useful knowledge" and provision for "rational recreation" in the community. The Inverleigh Mechanics' Institute was opened at a concert. Major additions to the original bluestone building have been the cream brick main hall and entry in 1959, the community room and new kitchen in rendered brick in 2002. Events at the hall have included sending off and welcoming home local soldiers, a 'turning on the lights' ceremony when electricity came to Inverleigh in 1952, and the early days of the kindergarten in the 1970s. The hall continues to be a focal point for social, recreational and educational activities, and provides a meeting place for diverse community groups. This plaque, No. 55 in the MIV series, was unveiled in November 2016, at a concert to celebrate the 150 years the hall has served the Inverleigh district. It recognises the hard work, fund raising and generosity of successive generations of committees and the community.

, Inverleigh, Victoria, Australia

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Amphitheatre Mechanics' Institute. Established here in 1901. The Mechanics' Institute movement began in British urban industrial centres in the early 1800s. A "mechanic" was a person applying skills and technology. During the 19th century, most towns in Victoria established a Mechanics' Institute or Athenaeum with a library and meeting hall. Common objects were the "spread of useful knowledge" and provision for "rational recreation" in the community. The Amphitheatre Mechanics' Institute was first instigated by Headmaster, Albert M. Barry. It was constructed by a local builder, Mr. William Whitley, at a cost of 179 pounds. The official opening was on 19th November 1901. The Free Library was established soon after. Many original books remain, including the 1900 edition of the Encyclopaedia Brittanica. In 2011 the library was renamed the 'Glenlogie Room' and is used for meetings and displays of historic memorabilia. The Mechanics' Institute continues to be well utilised by many groups and prides itself on its community support and spirit. This plaque, No.54 in the MIV series, was placed here in 2016.

, Amphitheatre, Victoria, Australia

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Merton Mechanics' Institute (later Merton Memorial Hall). Established 1910. Building opened 1923. The Mechanics' Institute movement began in British urban industrial centres in the early 1800s. A "mechanic" was a person applying skills and technology. During the 19th century, most towns in Victoria established a Mechanics' Institute or Athenaeum with a library and meeting hall. Common objects were the "spread of useful knowledge" and provision for "rational recreation" in the community. In 1910, the Merton community met to discuss building a public hall and Mechanics' Institute. The Mechanics' Institute hall finally opened on 20th June 1923 at a cost of 550 pounds. It had a main hall for social events, and a smaller room for a library. In 1944 the Merton community supported changing the hall's official name to Merton Memorial Hall to honour residents who served in both wars. In 1952 the hall was upgraded with a kitchen and toilets, and major renovations have taken place over recent years. This plaque, No. 53 in the MIV series, was placed here in 2016 to celebrate this historic hall's restoration and its continuing role in the community.

17 Shaws Road, Merton, Victoria, Australia

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Moonambel Mechanics' Institute. Established 1901. First hall built 1901, this hall built 1937. The Mechanics' Institute movement began in British urban industrial centres in the early 1800s. A "mechanic" was a person applying skills and technology. During the 19th century, most towns in Victoria established a Mechanics' Institute or Athenaeum with a library and meeting hall. Common objects were the "spread of useful knowledge" and provision for "rational recreation" in the community. The first Mechanics' Institute hall was built in Brooke Street and was opened in 1901. It was the venue for many enjoyable entertainments until it was washed away in the great floods that occurred late 1933. It was replaced by the present building in 1937. The hall continues to provide a popular community venue, with many regular users including the Moonambel Community Theatre Company. This plaque, No. 52 in the MIV series, commemorates the 80th Anniversary of this hall.

14 Woods Street, Moonambel, Victoria, Australia

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Rhyll Mechanics' Institute. Established 1891. Rhyll School No. 3132 from 1891 to 1952. The Mechanics' Institute movement began in British urban industrial centres in the early 1800s. A "mechanic" was a person applying skills and technology. During the 19th century, most towns in Victoria established a Mechanics' Institute or Athenaeum with a library and meeting hall. Common objects were the "spread of useful knowledge" and provision for "rational recreation" in the community. The hall was erected in 1891 by the cooperative effort of Rhyll residents to provide a building for a school. It was let to the Education department for 2/6 per week. After school hours it was used for church services, dances, euchre parties, family events, Christmas parties and Guy Fawkes night with a huge bonfire and fireworks. The school closed in 1952, but the hall remains a vital social centre of the district. This plaque, No. 51 in the MIV series, was placed here in 2016 to celebrate its 125th Anniversary.

Lock Road, Rhyll, Victoria, Australia

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Somerville Mechanics' Institute. Established 1891. Main hall built 1891, front rooms added 1916. The Mechanics' Institute movement began in British urban industrial centres in the early 1800s. A "mechanic" was a person applying skills and technology. During the 19th century, most towns in Victoria established a Mechanics' Institute or Athenaeum with a library and meeting hall. Common objects were the "spread of useful knowledge" and provision for "rational recreation" in the community. The hall was built on land donated by Mr. Henry Gomm and was managed by volunteer committees until the 1980s. It became the centrepiece of the town and a popular venue for community gatherings and the Horticultural Show. In 1916 the two front rooms and facade were added and used by the library, community groups and the Manchester Unity Lodge. These rooms are now the home of the Somerville, Tyabb & District Heritage Society. This plaque, No. 50 in the MIV series, was placed here in 2016 by the Mornington Peninsula Shire to celebrate the Centenary of the front rooms and the 125th Anniversary of the main hall.

66 Station Street, Somerville, Victoria, Australia

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Kyneton Mechanics' Institute. Opened 19 October 1858. The Mechanics' Institute movement began in British urban industrial centres in the early 1800s. A "mechanic" was a person applying skills and technology. During the 19th century, most towns in Victoria established a Mechanics' Institute or Athenaeum with a library and meeting hall. Common objects were the "spread of useful knowledge" and provision for "rational recreation" in the community. In 1855 a committee was formed to establish the Kyneton Mechanics' Institute. The first building opened in 1858, had meeting rooms and a library. Serious fires in 1867 and 1876 destroyed large sections of the building and its valuable library. In 1897 fire damaged the room of the main hall. The building was rebuilt after each of these fires. The original hall had a mural in a Grecian theme that was later replaced with an Art Deco design. The restoration and refurbishment in recent years has returned a grand building to the community where people can meet and socialise in the heart of the town. This plaque, No. 49 in the MIV series, was placed here in 2015. It is dedicated to the pioneers who established the reserve and built the hall.

Mollison Street, Kyneton, Victoria, Australia

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Jeffcott North Mechanics' Institute and Free Library. On this site 1891-1900. The Mechanics' Institute movement began in British urban industrial centres in the early 1800s. A "mechanic" was a person applying skills and technology. During the 19th century, most towns in Victoria established a Mechanics' Institute or Athenaeum with a library and meeting hall. Common objects were the "spread of useful knowledge" and provision for "rational recreation" in the community. The opening of the Jeffcott North Mechanics' Institute and Free Library was celebrated with a Concert and Ball on 19th November 1891. It was a pine weatherboard building, 50ft x 20ft, built by Mr. J. R. Hornsby of Donald. It consisded of a main hall, library and reading room. It was a place for the district people to meet, learn and socialise. The Jeffcott Orchestra played at the Annual Race Concerts, Balls and other social functions. On 3rd January 1900 a fierce storm destroyed the building, a a clearing sale was held. A public hall was later built on a different site. This plaque, No. 48 in the MIV series, was placed on the site in November 2015 by the Jeffcott History Research Committee.

, Jeffcott North, Victoria, Australia

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Ruffy Mechanics' Institute Hall. Ruffy township proclaimed 1878. Ruffy Mechanics' Institute and Free Library established 1893. The Mechanics' Institute movement began in British urban industrial centres in the early 1800s. A "mechanic" was a person applying skills and technology. During the 19th century, most towns in Victoria established a Mechanics' Institute or Athenaeum with a library and meeting hall. Common objects were the "spread of useful knowledge" and provision for "rational recreation" in the community. The first Ruffy Mechanics' Institute & Free Library was a weatherboard building 20ft x 30ft. The hall, with planned improvements, was the venue for balls, church meetings, dances, concerts, card nights, chess and draught club meetings - all regular entertainments for the people of Ruffy and district. The hall has been modified and extended over the years and continues as a popular centre for community events. This plaque, No. 47 in the MIV series, was placed here to acknowledge the generosity, hard work and fundraising efforts of the committee and community.

, Ruffy, Victoria, Australia

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Prahran Mechanics' Institute (est. 1854) Formed Prahran Technical School of this site in 1915. The Mechanics' Institute movement began in British urban industrial centres in the early 1800s. A "mechanic" was a person applying skills and technology. During the 19th century, most towns in Victoria established a Mechanics' Institute or Athenaeum with a library and meeting hall. Common objects were the "spread of useful knowledge" and provision for "rational recreation" in the community. This plaque, No. 11 in the MIV series, was unveiled on 8 October 2005 to mark the 90th anniversary of the opening ceremony of this building.

140 High Street, Prahran, Victoria, Australia

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Tallarook Mechanics' Institute. Established on this site 1891. The Mechanics' Institute movement began in British urban industrial centres in the early 1800s. A "mechanic" was a person applying skills and technology. During the 19th century, most towns in Victoria established a Mechanics' Institute or Athenaeum with a library and meeting hall. Common objects were the "spread of useful knowledge" and provision for "rational recreation" in the community. This plaque, No. 3 in the MIV series, was unveiled on 6 April 2003 to mark the restoration of this building.

Main Road, Tallarook, Victoria, Australia

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Maldon Athenaeum Library 1863. The Mechanics' Institute movement began in British urban industrial centres in the early 1800s. A "mechanic" was a person applying skills and technology. During the 19th century, most towns in Victoria established a Mechanics' Institute or Athenaeum with a library and meeting hall. Common objects were the "spread of useful knowledge" and provision for "rational recreation" in the community. This plaque, No. 1 in the MIV series, was unveiled on 21 April 2003 during celebrations of the 150th anniversary of the discovery of gold at Maldon.

97 High Street, Maldon, Victoria, Australia

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Ballan Mechanics' Institute. Founded 1861. Established on this site 1885. The Mechanics' Institute movement began in British urban industrial centres in the early 1800s. A "mechanic" was a person applying skills and technology. During the 19th century, most towns in Victoria established a Mechanics' Institute or Athenaeum with a library and meeting hall. Common objects were the "spread of useful knowledge" and provision for "rational recreation" in the community. This plaque, No. 2 in the MIV series, was placed here on December 6, 2003 on the occasion of major renovations to the building.

143 Inglis Street, Ballan, Victoria, Australia

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Dean Hall & Mechanics Institute. Established on this site in 1891. The Mechanics' Institute movement began in British urban industrial centres in the early 1800s. A "mechanic" was a person applying skills and technology. During the 19th century, most towns in Victoria established a Mechanics' Institute or Athenaeum with a library and meeting hall. Common objects were the "spread of useful knowledge" and provision for "rational recreation" in the community. This plaque, No 17 in the MIV series, acknowledges the vision and dedicated contribution of supporters of Dean and district who have ensured the continuity of Dean Hall and Mechanics Institute as a focal point for the community for successive generations. Dedicated in 2006 in the 115th Anniversary year to celebrate the refurbishment of the historic building.

Daylesford-Ballarat Road, Dean, Victoria, Australia

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Elmore Athenaeum Hall. Established on this site 1869-1924. The Mechanics' Institute movement began in British urban industrial centres in the early 1800s. A "mechanic" was a person applying skills and technology. During the 19th century, most towns in Victoria established a Mechanics' Institute or Athenaeum with a library and meeting hall. Common objects were the "spread of useful knowledge" and provision for "rational recreation" in the community. The Elmore Athenaeum Hall complex comprises the original 1869 building, the 1885 Athenaeum, the 1912 Supper Room and the 1924 Memorial Hall. It was the centre of the social activities and community gatherings by Elmore Residents. After falling into disuse, it faced demolition in 1992. But the community rallied and through individual effort, council assistance and government grants, the building has been restored and is once again a significant social and cultural centre for the Elmore community. This plaque, No. 26 in the MIV series, is dedicated to the local citizens who worked so diligently to achieve this result.

62 Michie Street, Elmore, Victoria, Australia

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Taradale Mechanics' Institute. Established on this site c. 1858. The Mechanics' Institute movement began in British urban industrial centres in the early 1800s. A "mechanic" was a person applying skills and technology. During the 19th century, most towns in Victoria established a Mechanics' Institute or Athenaeum with a library and meeting hall. Common objects were the "spread of useful knowledge" and provision for "rational recreation" in the community. This plaque, No. 4 in the MIV series, was unveiled in 2004.

Calder Highway, Taradale, Victoria, Australia

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Benalla Mechanics' Institute & Free Library. Established here in 1869. The Mechanics' Institute movement began in British urban industrial centres in the early 1800s. A "mechanic" was a person applying skills and technology. During the 19th century, most towns in Victoria established a Mechanics' Institute or Athenaeum with a library and meeting hall. Common objects were the "spread of useful knowledge" and provision for "rational recreation" in the community. With the placing of this plaque, No. 14 in the MIV series, the Benalla Historical Society Inc. acknowledges the vision of Benalla’s earlier settlers and ensures this building now functions as a museum and is a place of interest, education and enjoyment. October 2005

14 Mair Street, Benalla, Victoria, Australia

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Lilydale Athenaeum. The Mechanics' Institute movement began in British urban industrial centres in the early 1800s. A "mechanic" was a person applying skills and technology. During the 19th century, most towns in Victoria established a Mechanics' Institute or Athenaeum with a library and meeting hall. Common objects were the "spread of useful knowledge" and provision for "rational recreation" in the community. This plaque, No. 5 in the MIV series, was unveiled on 22nd February 2004 by Richard Longmore, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Athenaeum Theatre Company in memory of Geoffrey Arch Page, Founding Director of the Athenaeum Theatre Company, to mark the restoration of the building.

35 Castella Street, Lilydale, Victoria, Australia

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Frankston Mechanics' Institute. Opened on this site 1880. The Mechanics' Institute movement began in British urban industrial centres in the early 1800s. A "mechanic" was a person applying skills and technology. During the 19th century, most towns in Victoria established a Mechanics' Institute or Athenaeum with a library and meeting hall. Common objects were the "spread of useful knowledge" and provision for "rational recreation" in the community. This plaque, No. 8 in the MIV series, was placed here in 2004 in recognition of the importance of this building to the residents of Frankston and to commemorate the reservation of this site as a free library on 15 September 1873.

1N Plowman Place, Frankston, Victoria, Australia

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Minyip Mechanics' Institute. Established on this site in 1891. The Mechanics' Institute movement began in British urban industrial centres in the early 1800s. A "mechanic" was a person applying skills and technology. During the 19th century, most towns in Victoria established a Mechanics' Institute or Athenaeum with a library and meeting hall. Common objects were the "spread of useful knowledge" and provision for "rational recreation" in the community. This plaque, No. 7 in the MIV series, was unveiled on the 12th June 2004 to commemorate the centenary of the main hall.

Main Street, Minyip, Victoria, Australia

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Mount Eccles Mechanics' Institute.

Hall Road, Mount Eccles, Victoria, Australia

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Arthurs Creek Mechanics' Institute and Free Library. Established 1887. The Mechanics' Institute movement began in British urban industrial centres in the early 1800s. A "mechanic" was a person applying skills and technology. During the 19th century, most towns in Victoria established a Mechanics' Institute or Athenaeum with a library and meeting hall. Common objects were the "spread of useful knowledge" and provision for "rational recreation" in the community. This plaque, No. 10 in the MIV series acknowledges the vision of the settlers who established Arthurs Creek Mechanics’ Institute and Free Library on 2 September 1887. We celebrate the contribution of successive generations to ensuring the Hall continues as a community focus. The plaque also commemorates Mr Ken Murphy’s valued contribution in documenting the Hall’s history.

Arthurs Creek Road, Arthurs Creek, Victoria, Australia

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Digby Mechanics' Institute. Established 1870. The Mechanics' Institute movement began in British urban industrial centres in the early 1800s. A "mechanic" was a person applying skills and technology. During the 19th century, most towns in Victoria established a Mechanics' Institute or Athenaeum with a library and meeting hall. Common objects were the "spread of useful knowledge" and provision for "rational recreation" in the community. This plaque, No. 12 in the MIV series, was unveiled to commemorate restoration by the Digby community in 2005

49 Buckingham Street, Digby, Victoria, Australia

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The Melbourne Athenaeum. Established as the Melbourne Mechanics' Institute 12 November 1839. The Melbourne Mechanics' Institute was founded in 1839 with Mr Charles Joseph LaTrobe, Superintendent of the District of Port Phillip and Lieutenant-Governor of the Colony of Victoria, as Patron. Captain William Lonsdale as President, and the Rev. James Forbes as Secretary. The present site was purchased on 13 August 1840. The Institute became the Melbourne Mechanics' Institute and School of Arts in 1846 and the Melbourne Athenaeum on 10 February 1873. As part of the 165th birthday celebrations, this plaque, No. 13 in the MIV series, was unveiled on 24 October 2005 by John Landy, A.C., MBE Governor of Victoria

188 Collins Street, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

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Jindivick Mechanics' Institute.

1290 Jacksons Track, Jindivick, Victoria, Australia

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Emerald Mechanics' Institute.

400a Belgrave-Gembrook Rd, Emerald, Victoria, Australia

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Oakleigh Mechanics’ Institute. First Built on this site in 1886. The Mechanics' Institute movement began in British urban industrial centres in the early 1800s. A "mechanic" was a person applying skills and technology. During the 19th century, most towns in Victoria established a Mechanics' Institute or Athenaeum with a library and meeting hall. Common objects were the "spread of useful knowledge" and provision for "rational recreation" in the community.This plaque, No. 18 in the MIV series, was placed in 2006 to commemorate the centenary of the rebuilding of the Oakleigh Mechanics’ Institute and to record its educational, social, cultural and municipal importance to the community including service as Oakleigh Town Hall.

142-144 Drummond Street, Oakleigh, Victoria, Australia

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Newham Mechanics’ Institute. Established 1903. The Mechanics' Institute movement began in British urban industrial centres in the early 1800s. A "mechanic" was a person applying skills and technology. During the 19th century, most towns in Victoria established a Mechanics' Institute or Athenaeum with a library and meeting hall. Common objects were the "spread of useful knowledge" and provision for "rational recreation" in the community. This plaque, No. 19 in the MIV series, celebrates the Newham community 2007.

1292 Rochford Road, Newham, Victoria, Australia

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Nagambie Mechanics' Institute. Established on this site in 1873. Extended in 1930. The Mechanics' Institute movement began in British urban industrial centres in the early 1800s. A "mechanic" was a person applying skills and technology. During the 19th century, most towns in Victoria established a Mechanics' Institute or Athenaeum with a library and meeting hall. Common objects were the "spread of useful knowledge" and provision for "rational recreation" in the community. This plaque, No. 20 in the MIV series, was erected in 2007 on this historic building held in trust for the community.

286 High Street, Nagambie, Victoria, Australia

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Mia Mia Mechanics' Institute. Established on this site in 1907. Extended and renovated in 1983. The Mechanics' Institute movement began in British urban industrial centres in the early 1800s. A "mechanic" was a person applying skills and technology. During the 19th century, most towns in Victoria established a Mechanics' Institute or Athenaeum with a library and meeting hall. Common objects were the "spread of useful knowledge" and provision for "rational recreation" in the community. This plaque, No. 21 in the MIV series, was erected on this historic building in 2007 to mark the centenary celebrations of this hall.

Mia Mia Hall, Valley Road, Mia Mia, Victoria, Australia

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Kinglake West Mechanics' Institute. [Missing]

1055 Whittlesea-Kinglake Road, Kinglake West, Victoria, Australia

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Little River Mechanics' Institute Hall. 1910-2010. The Mechanics' Institute movement began in British urban industrial centres in the early 1800s. A "mechanic" was a person applying skills and technology. During the 19th century, most towns in Victoria established a Mechanics' Institute or Athenaeum with a library and meeting hall. Common objects were the "spread of useful knowledge" and provision for "rational recreation" in the community. A Mechanics’ Institute was established in Little River in 1908. This plaque, No. 24 in the MIV series, commemorates the centenary of the Little River Mechanics’ Institute Hall built and used for social activities, gatherings and a Free Library for the township of Little River since its official opening on 3 August 1910.

8 Rothwell Road, Little River, Victoria, Australia

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EV’s Youth Centre. Croydon Mechanics' Institute. 1909-2009. The Mechanics' Institute movement began in British urban industrial centres in the early 1800s. A "mechanic" was a person applying skills and technology. During the 19th century, most towns in Victoria established a Mechanics' Institute or Athenaeum with a library and meeting hall. Common objects were the "spread of useful knowledge" and provision for "rational recreation" in the community. A Mechanics’ Institute was established in Croydon in 1908. This Plaque, No. 25 in the MIV series, commemorates the centenary of the Croydon Mechanics’ Institute Hall, built and used for social activities and has been utilised over the years as a Library, Cinema, Town Hall, and is currently used as Maroondah City Council’s Youth Centre.

212 Mount Dandenong Road, Croydon, Victoria, Australia

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Malmsbury Mechanics' Institute. Founded 1862. First met on this site 1862. The Mechanics' Institute movement began in British urban industrial centres in the early 1800s. A "mechanic" was a person applying skills and technology. During the 19th century, most towns in Victoria established a Mechanics' Institute or Athenaeum with a library and meeting hall. Common objects were the "spread of useful knowledge" and provision for "rational recreation" in the community.The Malmsbury Mechanics’ Institute (MMI) was formed in 1862. The former Caroline Chisholm Shelter Shed, on this site, was renovated for use as council chambers by the Borough of Malmsbury in 1862, and space was granted to the MMI. The site was purchased by the Institute in 1871. The two front rooms of the present building were built in 1876, the Fedral Hall at the rear in 1895. This plaque, No. 27 in the MIV series, was placed here in 2012 by Malmsbury Historical Society to mark the 150th anniversary of the establishment of MMI.

Mollison Street, Malmsbury, Victoria, Australia

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Stanley Athenaeum and Public Room. 1863. The Mechanics' Institute movement began in British urban industrial centres in the early 1800s. A "mechanic" was a person applying skills and technology. During the 19th century, most towns in Victoria established a Mechanics' Institute or Athenaeum with a library and meeting hall. Common objects were the "spread of useful knowledge" and provision for "rational recreation" in the community. The Public Room was erected on this site in Upper Nine Mile in 1856. It was used as a school, for meetings, church services and functions. The Athenaeum was founded in 1863 and a library was established and a librarian appointed. The present brick building opened in 1874 replacing the earlier wooden building destroyed by fire in the late 1860’s. For more than 150 years, the Stanley Athenaeum has reflected the interests, aspirations and challenges of the community as a place of learning, recreation and a meeting place for the people of Stanley. This plaque, No. 29 in the MIV series, was placed here in 2012 by the Stanley Hall and Athenaeum Committee.

Main Street, Stanley, Victoria, Australia

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Leongatha Mechanics' Institute. The Mechanics' Institute movement began in British urban industrial centres in the early 1800s. A "mechanic" was a person applying skills and technology. During the 19th century, most towns in Victoria established a Mechanics' Institute or Athenaeum with a library and meeting hall. Common objects were the "spread of useful knowledge" and provision for "rational recreation" in the community. The original Leongatha Mechanics’ Institute was erected on the Memorial Hall site in 1891. The present building, consisting of two large rooms and a billiard saloon, was opened by The Hon. J. E. Mackey on 26 March 1912. It functioned as a library, meeting room and billiard room until 1982. The Leongatha and District Historical Society was given the use fo the building by the Shire of Woorayl in 1983. It received a National Trust classification in 1984. This plaque, No. 30 in the MIV series, was placed here in 2012 to celebrate the centenary of the building.

McCartin Street, Leongatha, Victoria, Australia

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Spring Creek Mechanics' Institute and Public Library (name changed to Fawcett circa. 1908). On this site from 1882. The Mechanics' Institute movement began in British urban industrial centres in the early 1800s. A "mechanic" was a person applying skills and technology. During the 19th century, most towns in Victoria established a Mechanics' Institute or Athenaeum with a library and meeting hall. Common objects were the "spread of useful knowledge" and provision for "rational recreation" in the community. The original building was opened 8 September 1882. Committee: Messrs. Hall, Long, Coster, Palmateer, Purcell & Morrison. From 1901 to 1906 it served as Fawcett State School No. 3393. Current building, the Fawcett Hall & Public Library, was opened 5 August 1908 by Thomas Hunt M.L.A. Architect: Francis Palmateer. Builder: George William Gilbert. Painter: G. Lea. Restores and Re-opened 28 May 2011. Plaque donated 2012 by: S. Hicks - President; D. I. Newman - Secretary. This plaque, No. 32 in the MIV series, was unveiled on November 24, 2012 to mark the 130th anniversary of this Institute.

655 Spring Creek Road, Fawcett, Victoria, Australia

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Bonnie Doon Free Library. The Mechanics' Institute movement began in British urban industrial centres in the early 1800s. A "mechanic" was a person applying skills and technology. During the 19th century, most towns in Victoria established a Mechanics' Institute or Athenaeum with a library and meeting hall. Common objects were the "spread of useful knowledge" and provision for "rational recreation" in the community. Bonnie Doon Free Library was built in 1930 in the original township of Bonnie Doon. It replaced a Mechanics’ Institute that had operated from 1897 to 1929. The library and public meeting place was relocated to Bon Crescent when the expansion of Lake Eildon Submerged the township in 1955. In 2011 the building was moved to Arnot Street where it has been renovated and restored to its former glory. This plaque, No. 31 in the MIV series, was placed here by the Bonnie Doon Community Group to celebrate the Free Library’s official reopening in 2012.

Arnot Street, Bonnie Doon, Victoria, Australia

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Berwick Mechanics' Institute & Free Library. Established on this site in 1878. The Mechanics' Institute movement began in British urban industrial centres in the early 1800s. A "mechanic" was a person applying skills and technology. During the 19th century, most towns in Victoria established a Mechanics' Institute or Athenaeum with a library and meeting hall. Common objects were the "spread of useful knowledge" and provision for "rational recreation" in the community. This plaque, No. 6 in the MIV series, was unveiled on the 17th March 2004 at the Annual General Meeting to commemorate 126 years on this site.

15 High Street, Berwick, Victoria, Australia

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Mortlake Mechanics' Institute. Established on this site 1869. The Mechanics' Institute movement began in British urban industrial centres in the early 1800s. A "mechanic" was a person applying skills and technology. During the 19th century, most towns in Victoria established a Mechanics' Institute or Athenaeum with a library and meeting hall. Common objects were the "spread of useful knowledge" and provision for "rational recreation" in the community. This plaque, No. 22 in the MIV series, was erected in 2008 to honour the memory of the people of Mortlake and district who have built and maintained our hall for the benefit of our community.

?, Mortlake, Victoria, Australia

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Laen Mechanics' Institute. On this site 1886-1955. The Mechanics' Institute movement began in British urban industrial centres in the early 1800s. A "mechanic" was a person applying skills and technology. During the 19th century, most towns in Victoria established a Mechanics' Institute or Athenaeum with a library and meeting hall. Common objects were the "spread of useful knowledge" and provision for "rational recreation" in the community. The Laen Mechanics' Institute was built in 1186. It was a large (50ft x 20ft) galvanised iron hall, later lined with timber. The opening was celebrated with a concert and ball attended by 250 people. It was the lifeblood of a thriving rural community. There were dances, balls, school concerts, luncheons on picnic days, church services, and a library. It continued as a centre for community activities until the late 1940's. One of the last recorded events was a concert in 1951. In 1955 the building was sold and removed from the site. This plaque, No. 28 in the MIV series, is dedicated to Jack and Ron Della Vedova in recognition of their lifetime of service to the local community.

Donald-Laen Road, Laen, Victoria, Australia

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Tarwin Lower Mechanics' Institute (Later Tarwin Lower Memorial Hall). Founded 1888. Built on this site 1890. The Mechanics' Institute movement began in British urban industrial centres in the early 1800s. A "mechanic" was a person applying skills and technology. During the 19th century, most towns in Victoria established a Mechanics' Institute or Athenaeum with a library and meeting hall. Common objects were the "spread of useful knowledge" and provision for "rational recreation" in the community. In 1888 the first committee applied for land for a mechanics' Institute. The Tarwin Lower Hall was built in 1890 at a cost of £235. It has been well used by the community ever since. It has been the meeting place for many local groups - for the CWA, RSL, Red Cross - a community health centre, a popular venue for family and community celebrations, and its Market Days an ongoing highlight. This plaque, No. 35 in the MIV series, was unveiled in 2013 by Cr Kieran Kennedy (Mayor) South Gippsland Shire Council, to celebrate 125 years of the Tarwin Lower Mechanics' Institute.

Riverside Drive, Tarwin Lower, Victoria, Australia

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Olinda Mechanics' Institute. Established on this site 1913. The Mechanics' Institute movement began in British urban industrial centres in the early 1800s. A "mechanic" was a person applying skills and technology. During the 19th century, most towns in Victoria established a Mechanics' Institute or Athenaeum with a library and meeting hall. Common objects were the "spread of useful knowledge" and provision for "rational recreation" in the community. A site for a Mechanics' Institute was reserved in 1907, a committee was formed, and a grant provided. The construction of the Olinda Mechanics' Institute was jointly supported by the Shire of Lillydale and the local community. It was officially opened in 1913. It has been the venue for fundraising events, films, amateur theatre, balls, concerts, flower shows, church services, local clubs, social evenings and public meetings. It remains a focal point for activities in Olinda. This plaque, No. 33 in the MIV series, was unveiled on the 10th October 2013 to mark the centenary of this building.

Cnr The Georgian & Olinda-Monbulk Rds, Olinda, Victoria, Australia

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Footscray Mechanics’ Institute. Founded 1857. This building constructed 1913. The Mechanics' Institute movement began in British urban industrial centres in the early 1800s. A "mechanic" was a person applying skills and technology. During the 19th century, most towns in Victoria established a Mechanics' Institute or Athenaeum with a library and meeting hall. Common objects were the "spread of useful knowledge" and provision for "rational recreation" in the community. The Footscray Mechanics’ Institute first began in Pilgrim Street in 1857. It then moved to Austin Street, and later in 1870 to the corner of Napier and Nicholson Streets, where the old post office stands. The present building was constructed on this site in 1913, to replace the old wooden building. We are proud to celebrate our 100th year at this site. The Footscray Mechanics’ Institute is truly a part of the living history of the Western Suburbs of Melbourne.

209 Nicholson Street, Footscray, Victoria, Australia

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Narre Warren Mechanics' Institute. Opened on this site 1891. The Mechanics' Institute movement began in British urban industrial centres in the early 1800s. A "mechanic" was a person applying skills and technology. During the 19th century, most towns in Victoria established a Mechanics' Institute or Athenaeum with a library and meeting hall. Common objects were the "spread of useful knowledge" and provision for "rational recreation" in the community. The land was donated by Mr. Sidney Webb in 1890. The total cost of the hall £384 was funded by donations and collections. Two side extensions were added in 1899. Celebrations were held in November 1891 to mark the opening, and again in 1899 for the extensions. Since 1891 the Narre Warren Mechanics' Institute has functioned as a library, meeting hall, billiards room, church venue, and a learning facility. The hall continues to be managed by a committee of management whose aim is to ensure it continues to be available to all community groups and its heritage importance is perpetuated. This plaque, No. 34 in the MIV series, was placed here in November 2013.

59 Webb Street, Narre Warren, Victoria, Australia

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Alexandra mechanics institute plaque
Alexandra Mechanics' Institute. A library service for Alexandra since 1877. The Mechanics' Institute movement began in British urban industrial centres in the early 1800s. A "mechanic" was a person applying skills and technology. During the 19th century, most towns in Victoria established a Mechanics' Institute or Athenaeum with a library and meeting hall. Common objects were the "spread of useful knowledge" and provision for "rational recreation" in the community. In 1877 residents of Alexandra formed a library committee and established a Mechanics' Institute and Free Library in the Protestant Hall. Despite those "who looked upon the venture as altogether too advanced for an outside township" the Alexandra Library and Mechanics Hall was built by Thomas Carrison at a cost of £467 and opened on 6 June 1883. This building was duplicated in 1891 for a Billiard Room, and in 1962 the library expanded into both buildings. in 2005 a new extension was opened. This plaque, No. 39 in the MIV series, was placed here in 2013 to mark the 130th anniversary of the building.

Grant Street, Alexandra, Victoria, Australia

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Lardner Mechanics' Institute

255 Burnt Store Road, Lardner, Victoria, Australia

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Kallista Mechanics’ Institute. Opened 20th December 1913. The Mechanics' Institute movement began in British urban industrial centres in the early 1800s. A "mechanic" was a person applying skills and technology. During the 19th century, most towns in Victoria established a Mechanics' Institute or Athenaeum with a library and meeting hall. Common objects were the "spread of useful knowledge" and provision for "rational recreation" in the community. This plaque, No. 37 in the MIV series, was unveiled on 21st December 2013 to commemorate the centenary of the building of the South Sassafras Mechanics’ Institute and Free Library (name changed to Kallista in 1925). It is dedicated to the pioneers who built this hall and to record its educational, social and cultural importance to the community.

6 Tom Roberts Road, Kallista, Victoria, Australia

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Whorouly Library Hall. Erected in 1907. The Mechanics' Institute movement began in British urban industrial centres in the early 1800s. A "mechanic" was a person applying skills and technology. During the 19th century, most towns in Victoria established a Mechanics' Institute or Athenaeum with a library and meeting hall. Common objects were the "spread of useful knowledge" and provision for "rational recreation" in the community. The Whorouly Library Hall was built by the men of the district from local bricks. A library was established that eventually held 1,600 volumes. In 1921 a plaque was erected to the Whorouly & District War Heroes 1914-1918. It honours the memory of those who served, the five local men who died on active service in the First World War. The library closed in the early 1950s but the hall was always used, and continues to be used, by locals and community groups for a range of social and cultural events.

12 Church Street, Whorouly, Victoria, Australia

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Acheron Mechanics' Institute (later Acheron Community Hall) Officially opened 10 June 1914. The Mechanics' Institute movement began in British urban industrial centres in the early 1800s. A "mechanic" was a person applying skills and technology. During the 19th century, most towns in Victoria established a Mechanics' Institute or Athenaeum with a library and meeting hall. Common objects were the "spread of useful knowledge" and provision for "rational recreation" in the community. This plaque, No. 42 in the MIV series, was placed here by the community of Acheron to acknowledge the vision and generosity of those Acheron residents who, for 100 years, have given of their time, energy and money, to build and maintain this hall for the benefit of the Acheron Community, as a place for meeting, entertainment, education and enjoyment. June 2014

McColl Lane, Acheron, Victoria, Australia

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