The story of Victoria’s gold - its journey and legacy in the years 1852-1862. The wealth from the goldfields funded what is widely considered one of the finest and most significant nineteenth century public buildings in Australia. The Old Treasury Building was commissioned in 1857 to store the gold bullion pouring into Melbourne
Learn about the stories of Indigenous Victorians from their earliest contact with European settlers to the struggles of one family in the twentieth century and see key documents created by Aboriginal leaders in their quest for control of their own lives.
See the earliest maps of Melbourne and descriptions of the European settlement of Melbourne in 1835. Discover how the Port Philip District was illegally settled by Batman and Fawkner and then developed into a thriving city.
Sitting at the top end of Collins Street in the Melbourne CBD, the Old Treasury Building is widely regarded as one of the finest 19th century buildings in Australia.
The Old Treasury building was designed by nineteen-year-old architect JJ Clark and built between 1858 and 1862.
What can I see?
The Old Treasury Building hosts the original gold vaults where gold bullion was stored during the gold rush era, as well as rare and historic documents from Public Record Office Victoria highlighting key moments from Victoria’s history.
Come and explore the intriguing gold vaults and you may earn yourself a gold licence!
OTB will only be open 2pm-4pm on Friday 30 September due to the AFL Grand Final Parade.
Open Sunday to Friday (closed every Saturday), Free entry (schools and groups by appointment ONLY)
Colonial Robin Hoods or murderous thugs? Discover new stories of Victoria’s bushrangers
If you thought you knew all about Victoria’s bushrangers, think again. There’s far more to it than the story of Ned Kelly.
This exhibition will reveal the long history of bushranging in Victoria, with some new and little-known characters from our frontier past. Meet the first bushrangers convicted in 1842 who were tried and executed publicly as an example to others. And the audacious gang who held up travellers on St Kilda Road in the 1850s. Visitors can also meet the oldest bushranger, and the youngest – John (Jack) Doolan, who inspired part of the well-known bushranging song The Wild Colonial Boy. The Kelly Gang will be there too of course. There’s no story of bushranging without Ned!
Were they indeed nineteenth century ‘Robin Hoods’ – or just common criminals? We’ll leave you to judge.
Paintings of Early Melbourne
Join us for an exclusive tour of this fascinating collection of Early Melbourne paintings. Drawn from the private collection of the Roy Morgan Research Centre, this unique display of oil paintings, watercolours and lithographs provides an insiders glimpse into the early beginnings of colonial Melbourne, from swamp town to the opulence and wealth of the gold rush era. Along your tour, notice our incredible architectural interior features and unique collection of 19th century furniture, all original and purpose-built for the building in the 1860s.
Tour Dates: Sunday 18 September at 11am Wednesday 12 October at 11am Friday 18 November at 11am Monday 5 December ay 11am or by appointment.
Bookings essential: Cost: $8 Adults Bookings: 9651 2233 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Deakin Room currently holds a display of Bendigo, and Victorian Art Pottery, kindly on loan from the Roy Morgan Research Centre Collection.
Bendigo Pottery George Duncan Guthrie (1828-1910), a Scottish Potter, left Scotland to travel to Australia to join the gold rush of the 1850’s. Guthrie arrived penniless, and found no luck in the goldfields; however, he did find a deposit of fine white clay and set up Australia’s most illustrious Pottery works at Huntley, Bendigo in 1857. The Pottery continued business until its closure in 1861. In 1863, Guthrie established a pottery at Epsom, which he later sold in 1882. In 1898 Guthrie entered into a partnership with Mr Edwin J. Hartley and re-purchased the Bendigo Pottery, which he ran almost until his death in 1910.
Victorian Art Pottery William Ferry 1887-1910, worked at the Linthorpe Art Pottery, in Middlesbrough, England, where he worked under the designer Christopher Dresser. William and his elder brother Graham were the principle sculptors for Christopher Dresser and also with Burmantoff’s Pottery, where he later became manager. In 1894 he moved to France and worked at the Niderville Pottery until 1896, when he moved to Australia. By 1898, he leased land in Brunswick, Melbourne, where under the name of Victorian Art Pottery he produced hand finished art wares, often using moulds he had brought from England. He gained a reputation for his beautifully made, colourful and decorative Jardinières, Pedestals and Grotesques. The works closed in 1912.
The Old Treasury Building is a unique resource for students and teachers.
A magnificent gold rush building, it reflects the growth of ‘Marvellous Melbourne’ and changing life in the city. From the basement vaults where gold was stored in the 1860s, to the elegant Executive Council Chamber, still used regularly by the Governor of Victoria, students experience one of Australia’s most beautiful and historic buildings.
Programs include the story of gold, the growth of democracy, early Melbourne, life in the city and urban environment. Programs offered are aligned to curricula for Levels 2 to VCE.