The Court House stands on the land of the Wotjobaluk people, represented by the Barengi Gadjin Land Council.
2018: Creative Victoria awarded Working Heritage and project partners Monash Art Design & Architecture (MADA) $75, 000 to develop a creative future for the building and surrounds, after Working Heritage completed repairs and improvements to the building in anticipation of developing a new use .
2019: The team from MADA and Working Heritage worked with the local community to pilot an artist residence, studio and accommodation at the site. The court House hosts a Community Film Night on 25 May 2019. Access and amenities, kitchenette and study area undertaken as part of the Stage 1 upgrade works by Working Heritage.
2020-2021: Stage 2 upgrade works: fit-out undertaken by the MADA team.
Eary-2022: The commencement of the Artist in Residence Program via EOI: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Warracknabeal Court House was constructed in 1890 after a population 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 times 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. More recently the Warracknabeal Historical Society used the buildng as a meeting space.
Court records reveal that the court at Warracknabeal heard a range of cases that reveal details about intimate lives and changing social mores – including a claim a case of 'breach of promise of marriage'.
After carrying out significant repairs, building and fit-out works, Working Heritage, in association with MADA, will establish the much-anticipated Artist-in-Residence Program. The program will enable the historic propery to be enjoyed and valued by the local community and those from further afield.
Early-2022 will see the first AiR participant take up residence at the Court House. An EOI for the continuation of the Artist-in-Residence Program will also commence in early-2022. Enquiries via email at: email@example.com
Michael Challinger, Historic Courthouses of Victoria, 2001.
Trudy Rickard, Warracknabeal Court house Conservation Managment Plan, 2011.
Photographs courtesy of the Warracknabeal Historical Society and Dr Matthew Bird.
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