Historical information

Information related to the establishment of the Ballarat School of Mines, the first of its kind in Australia.

Federation University Australia was established on 1 January 2014. Formerly known as the University of Ballarat, its enabling legislation was the University of
Ballarat Amendment (Federation University Australia) Act 2013.
Although formally created as a University in 1994, the University of Ballarat has a lineage back to 1870 with the establishment of the School of Mines Ballarat, making it the third institution of higher learning to be established in Australia and the first to be established in regional Australia. On 1 January 1994, Ballarat University College became the University of Ballarat and in 1998 the University merged with three TAFE Institutes to become a dual sector institution with multiple campuses.
On 1 January 2014, the University of Ballarat amalgamated with the Monash University Gippsland Campus to form Federation University Australia. The Gippsland Campus also had a long lineage dating back to 1928 with the establishment of the Yallourn Technical School which became a predecessor institution to the Gippsland College of Advanced Education formed in 1968. In 1990, it was renamed the Monash University College and in 1993 became the Gippsland Campus of Monash University.
In 2016, Federation University Australia announced plans to take possession, over a two-year period, of Monash’s Berwick Campus in the south-east corridor of Melbourne. Federation University Australia, or FedUni, is headquartered in Ballarat and offers programs in Higher Education and Vocational Education
and Training to regional Victoria and beyond.
The University’s commitment to educational and social equity, teaching excellence, research distinction, environmental sustainability and regional capacity building has enabled it to develop in a way that draws on its proud heritage to inform its future. Its regional character sets a framework for the University’s priorities but does not constrain it from serving wider community interests, nationally and internationally.
The name Federation University Australia was chosen to convey the scope and capacity of an expanded regional university with a federated network of campuses.

Physical description

Copy of a letter signed by James Baker outlining that he had been appointed Collector to the proposed Ballarat School of Mines, and requested co-operation and pecuniary assistance torwards the establishment and maintenance of the new school.

Inscriptions & markings

School of Mines for the COlony of Victoria
Ballarat, 1870
Having been appointed to the Trustees of this proposed Institutin, I have the honor to request your co-operatoin and pecuniary assistance towards its establishment and maintenance.
Your attention is respectfully requested to the appended outline of the Institution, with the names of gentlemen who have accepted provisional offices.
The object sought to be obtained is the cobinatin of the highest scientific with the most practical training for all men engaghed in the enterprise of mining in its various branches, whether so engaged as mining managers, engineers, surveyors, mechanists, working miners, directors or promoters of companies.
Hitherto, in this Colony, no means of scientific educatin, in this most important occupation has been provided. The result has been an enormous waste of captial, time, and labor. Indeed, it may be fairly stated that the persent depression in the mining market and the distrust of mining property as an inverstment may in great part be traced to the numerous failures of enterprises either ignorantly entered upon or unscientifically, pursued.
The scientific education of those engaged in mining pursuits would, it is believed, not merely render gold mining a safe and generally more productive speculation, but would bring into profitable prominence and activity many branches of mining now wholly neglected, or distrustfully, and consequently unsuccessfully, pursued.
The Government has so far recognised the attempt to estalish this, so much wanted, Institution as to grant a ease, at a nominal lease, of the old Court-house in Lydiard street : and steps are being taken to put the building in repair and adapt it to the requirement so fhte proposed School.
You will see from the appended Outline that L600 at least much be subscribed before the School can be opened. Towards thos sum several public bodies and private persons have given subscriptions; either as Life Governors, Annual Governors, or Donors, by whose liberality the Institution may be not only opened, but permanently maintained in the highest state of efficiency.
I trust therefore that you will pardon my earnestly requesting your assistance, which many be effectually rendered by your returning to me one of the enclised forms, signed by you either as a Life Governoe (L50), and Annual Governor (L3 3s), or simply as a Donor of any sum which you may see fit to give.
I have the honor to be,
Your most obedient Servant,
James Baker,
Collector to School of Mines.