165th Anniversary of Melbourne AtheneaumPrint Page Print this page

Mechanics Institute of Victoria plaque commemorates the 165th anniversary of the Melbourne Athenaeum.

The Athenaeum or Melbourne Athenaeum is one of the oldest public institutions in Victoria, Australia, founded in 1839. Originally it was called the Melbourne Mechanics' Institute. This was expanded in 1846 to the Melbourne Mechanics' Institution and School of Arts. The building on Collins Street was completed in 1842. The Athenaeum played a role in the establishment of Mechanics' Institutes in Victoria.

The purpose of the MIV Historical Plaques Program is to inform the public of the history of Mechanics' Institutes in Victoria and also give a snippet of history about the individual Institute. The idea of putting a plaque on Mechanics' Institute Halls was advanced by Committee member Alan Tonkin in 1999. Committee member Paul Permezel brought it to reality in 2003 and since then plaques have been installed to mark special occasions within Institutes all across the State. These plaques have been used to commemorate a significant date in the history of an Institute or town; be it an anniversary, or a significant renovation or restoration project.


Address:188 Collins Street, Melbourne Athenauem Building, Melbourne, 3000
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.815131
Long: 144.967406
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:Culture
Approx. Event Start Date:1840
Approx. Event End Date:2005


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Monday 24th October, 2005
Front Inscription

Mechanics Institute of Victoria Inc.
The Melbourne Athenaeum.
Established as the Melbourne Mechanics' Institute 12 November 1839.
The Melbourne Mechanics' Institute was founded in 1839 with Mr Charles Joseph LaTrobe, Superintendent of the District of Port Phillip and Lieutenant-Governor of the Colony of Victoria, as Patron. Captain William Lonsdale as President, and the Rev. James Forbes as Secretary. The present site was purchased on 13 August 1840. The Institute became the Melbourne Mechanics' Institute and School of Arts in 1846 and the Melbourne Athenaeum on 10 February 1873. As part of the 165th birthday celebrations, this plaque, No. 13 in the MIV series, was unveiled on 24 October 2005.

John Landy, A.C.,
MBE Governor of Victoria

Source: MVIC
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au