Contract awarded to bring Kelly trials story to life

Published on 23 February 2021

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An internationally recognised creative design agency has been awarded the contract to curate, design, construct and install the Beechworth Historic Precinct – Courthouse Kelly Trials exhibition.

Arterial Design, a Melbourne based exhibition design company, won the $680,000 contract from a pool of 17 tenders.

Indigo Shire and the Victorian Government have each contributed $500,000 towards the exhibition, which when complete, will be a word-class heritage tourism experience based on the trials associated with Ned Kelly, the Kelly family and their associates.

The exhibition will be multi-faceted, featuring a combination of traditional museum displays, original artefacts and modern projection technologies to allow visitors to step back in time and experience these significant events. Visitors will be able to sit in the courtroom where Ned Kelly and others were tried and have the trials play out around them in an immersive projection experience, before exploring the building, artefacts and documents of the period.  

Arterial Design has won nine international design awards across six countries and is behind a number of leading heritage exhibition spaces throughout Australia including the Waltzing Matilda Centre in Queensland, the Blue Mountains World Heritage Exhibition in NSW and exhibitions at the Victoria Police Museum. Arterial will partner with Twisted Pixel, a multimedia company behind White Night Melbourne and VIVID Sydney.

The Beechworth Historic Courthouse played a key role during the Kelly outbreak of 1878-1880, as the location of more than 40 trials and hearings for Ned Kelly, the Kelly Gang and their sympathisers.

Most significantly, the Courthouse was the site of Ned Kelly’s committal hearing after his arrest at Glenrowan, and this new permanent exhibition will explore this key event in Australian history. 

It will focus on the events that took place in the Courthouse, the people who worked there and the changing and sometimes challenging role of the legal system in Australian society. It will also tell the subsequent history of the Courthouse, including its transformation into a community and heritage site in the late 20th Century.

Mayor Jenny O’Connor said this $1M project is a significant investment in cultural heritage interpretation and tourism and is expected to see a massive increase in cultural heritage tourism to the region.

“To award the contract to such a highly credentialed company who will now bring this project to life, is incredibly exciting for not only Beechworth, but all of Indigo Shire.”

The Beechworth Historic Precinct – Courthouse Kelly Trials exhibition is schedule for completion in July 2022.

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