How we started
The Bendigo Trust (now trading as Bendigo Heritage Attractions) was established in 1970 as a response to the Bendigo City Council’s plan to restore, conserve and manage the Central Deborah Gold Mine — which had closed its doors as an operating gold mine in November 1954.
On 22 August 1970 the Mayor of the time, Cr Clark Jeffery, convened a meeting to discuss the future of the mine. It was decided that a committee would be established to prepare a constitution and work on the first stages of redeveloping the mine.
At its first public meeting later that year, membership to The Bendigo Trust was invited and a provisional Board was formed. It was in the same year that The Bendigo Trust was successful in its first venture, when work started on the preservation of the Central Deborah Gold Mine, and the surface of the mine was opened to tourists.
Central Deborah Gold Mine is now Australia’s premier underground tourist mine experience, telling its 15 year history and the story of the richest of Australia’s Goldfields — Bendigo.
What we do
Since then, The Bendigo Trust has continued to run the Central Deborah Gold Mine, while overseeing some of Bendigo’s other cherished historic assets, including the Bendigo Tramways, which had operated in Bendigo since 1890.
In 2007 The Bendigo Trust took responsibility for the Bendigo Joss House Temple. The Bendigo Joss House Temple, a Chinese place of worship, was constructed in the late 1860s with locally hand made bricks by Chinese migrants who came to Bendigo in search of gold.
The Bendigo Trust also managed the Discovery Science & Technology Centre from September 2002 until July 2015, one of the premier science centres in the country, and the oldest centre outside a metropolitan area.
While the Bendigo Tramways, Central Deborah Gold Mine and the Bendigo Joss House Temple make up the core business of The Bendigo Trust, it also has some responsibility for the Bendigo Gasworks, closed in 1973, and Victoria Hill, site of some of the earliest gold workings in Bendigo from the 1850s.
Interestingly, The Bendigo Trust was also responsible for the establishment of Bendigo’s first Visitor Information Centre, a service now provided by Bendigo Tourism.
Bendigo Heritage Attractions
The Bendigo Trust is now trading as Bendigo Heritage Attractions and will continue maintaining and preserving the key attractions and assets of the Trust.
2015/16 Annual Report
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2014/15 Annual Report
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2013/14 Annual Report
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2012/13 Annual Report
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2011/12 Annual Report
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2010/11 Annual Report
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2009/10 Annual Report
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Click here for the Financials only 1.4MB
The Bendigo Trust has worked closely with the City of Greater Bendigo in the running of all of its tourism services. While The Bendigo Trust oversees the daily operations of these services, it is the City of Greater Bendigo who owns many of the physical assets.
The City owns the Tramways Depot, the Central Deborah Gold Mine and Mining Authority, the Bendigo Gasworks and Victoria Hill sites. The Bendigo Trust does own the fleet of trams, and has funded or sourced funding for major works at the Tramways Depot, Central Deborah Gold Mine and Bendigo Gasworks.
The Bendigo Trust became incorporated in October 1973, in order to operate the Vintage ‘Talking’ Tram service and to preserve other aspects of Bendigo’s heritage.
The Bendigo Trust is organised as a company limited by guarantee, with members from the local community and beyond forming its board of Directors. The Trust is registered as a charity and deductible gift recipient. All donations over $2 are tax-deductible.