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Soldiers Memorial Institute

Architect: G D Garvin 1921, Lovell Chen 2018

Bendigo | 02

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Building Description

The Returned Soldiers’ Memorial Hall grew out of the returned soldiers’ associations that were established throughout Australia during and after World War I. The first such association in Bendigo was established at the home of a local woman but by 1917 the Returned Soldiers’ Association was advocating for the creation of club rooms at the former Hustler’s Royal Reserve mine site, Pall Mall. Local architect George Dawson Garvin was commissioned to design the Memorial Hall and it was officially opened by the Governor of Victoria in 1921. The Institute building was added to the Victorian Heritage Register in 1997. Recent conservation works by Lovell Chen have included the removal of past extensions and, as the building is sited over old mineshafts and on a compacted mullock heap, underpinning. A new gallery designed to Passive House standards and conceived as a contemporary interpretation of the arcaded loggia, nestles behind the Institute. The external use of a single material for the walls and roof blurs the scale of this new addition, allowing it to read as a single storey building. An entry vestibule at the north end mediates between the inner gallery and an encircling verandah that also provides additional exhibition space. The verandah is timber lined (floor, walls and ceiling) focusing and framing the visitors views constantly outwards through the arcaded openings, in-filled with glass and perforated mesh.

What's On

Architect-led tours by Lovell Chen with pre-booked tickets only. Supervised access to rooftop balcony is available to Open House visitors duringWeekend opening hours (no bookings required). The Military Museum is open Sat + Sun 10am-4pm, museum entry fee applies.

Need to Know

  • Open: Saturday 26 & Sunday 27 October 10am-4pm

  • Tour Type: Bookings Required, $5 and Open Entry access to balcony

  • Tour Details: Free access to the balcony is available to Open House visitors during opening hours (no bookings required). Architect -led tours at 10.30, 11:15 am, 12:00pm and 12.45pm Saturday 26, running 30 minutes in groups of 14

  • Access: Limited mobility. All ages

  • Notes: Balcony access is via stairs only and not fully accessible. Bookings open 8.30am Monday 14 October, sharp. Read our booking tips to avoid disappointment.

  • Building Type: Cultural

  • Architecture Era: Interwar (1919-1940)

  • Transport: Receive 15% off GoGet with the code OHM15, see Top Tips For A Great Weekend page for more details.

  • Website:

  • Photo Credit: Leon Schoots


37-39 Pall Mall, Bendigo VIC 3550, Bendigo VIC


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