Mechanics' Institutes of Victoria


There was once over 1000 active Mechanics' Institutes in Victoria, and some 400 halls still remain in various uses. It is has been established that over one hundred Institutes still operate in a variety of different ways. Victoria's first Institute, renamed as the Melbourne Athenaeum still operates, as does the early Institutes of Prahran and Ballarat.

In other places Institutes have been reformed, like at Kilmore and Mernda, to protect the assets of formerly active Institutes.

In April 1998 the Inaugural State Conference of the Mechanics' Institutes was held over two days at Kilmore. It dealt with legal and administrative issues, heritage and the proud history of the Mechanics' movement and various Institutes.

The Conference resolved to form a working group to plan the next State Conference at the Melbourne Athenaeum in the year 2000, and to also serve as the bicentenary of the foundation of the Mechanics' movement in Glasgow by Dr George Birkbeck in 1800.

Membership of the Mechanics' Institutes of Victoria Inc. is open to all individuals and Institutes. $15 Australiawide; $25 overseas

For listing of Institutes and the MIV website see:

Back to Directories