The Warracknabeal Historical Society are acting as custodians for the courthouse while Working Heritage carries out repairs and develops new uses for the building.
Warracknabeal Court House stands Wotjobaluk, Jaadwa, Jadawadjali, Wergaia and Jupagalk peoples.
The Warracknabeal courthouse was constructed in 1890 after a population and economic boom in the north-west of Victoria throughout the 1870s and 1880s. The building began life as a court of petty sessions and continued to function as a courthouse until 1989. At various time it also hosted the Lands and Survey Department, and, unusually, an Infant Welfare Service. The original building is one of a set of seven similar courthouses throughout north-western Victoria designed by Public Works Department architect S.E Bindley.
Court records reveal that the court at Warracknabeal heard many cases that reveal details about people's lives and changing social mores – including a claim of 'seduction' brought against a local farmer in 1913 and a case of'breach of promise of marriage'.
After carrying out significant repairs, including the removal of more recent additions to the buildings, Working Heritage is now focussed on developing uses for the building which will see it enjoyed and valued by the local community.
Michael Challinger, Historic Courthouses of VIctoria, 2001.
Trudy Rickard, Warracknabeal Court house Conservation Managment Plan, 2011.
Photograph courtesy of the Warracknabeal Historical Society.
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