BALLARAT Shule has been awarded a matching grant of $107,000 by the Victorian government for repairs and maintenance to preserve the structural, aesthetic and cultural integrity and values of the historic synagogue.
Synagogue president John Abraham said that apart from matching the grant amount, the shule plans to raise a total of $500,000 for the conservation project.
This is great news. It is the oldest functioning synagogue on mainland Australia and should be restored
— Marsha Thomson (@MarshaThomsonMP) March 2, 2020
The grant is part of the state government’s Living Heritage program overseen by the Department of Environment, Water, Land and Planning, to fund the exterior works, including maintenance works on a 150-year-old Canary pine at the front of the shule.
“Furthermore, BHC Inc will need to raise funds required for the interior works to the shule, as well as a contingency amount to invest for ongoing and future repair and maintenance, and also ultimately the Paul Simon Hall, which in due course will become the subject of a heritage listing application,” said Abraham.
Ballarat Shule, which was built and consecrated in 1861, underwent major renovations in 1866, 1878 and 1903. Extensive restoration work was done in the centennial year of 1961, then in the 1970s, and the shule was recognised by the National Trust in 1974. Further restoration occurred on the 150th anniversary in 2011.