Celebrating 125 years

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In 1891, the first Royal South Street Society competitions were held and paved the way for future performers around the country to find their vocation and feet on stages both at home and abroad.

Now Australia’s oldest and longest running eisteddfod, it has seen over one million aspiring singers, dancers, orators, writers, musicians and composers pass through its doors – including the likes of Dame Nellie Melba, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Joan Kirner, Andrew Olle, Alfred Deakin, Anthony Calleas and many more.

As the Eisteddfod grows, it continues to be one of Ballarat’s major draw cards and contributes over $14 million a year to the local economy through the generous support of the Ballarat community, our sponsors and our 240 volunteers.

125 Celebrations

In 2016 we celebrated 125 years of pure performance gold with a calendar of events to celebrate the extraordinary role Royal South Street has played in shaping our cultural advancement as a nation and providing a unique environment for young people to flourish in the performing arts.

A key part of the celebrations included our interactive timeline and Royal South Street Society Stories projects, where not only did we capture and showcase our many achievements over the years, but also provided people with an opportunity to explore and share the many remarkable stories of our supporters, participants, families and volunteers.

Our Theme

Our theme, “125 years of pure performance gold’ drew on Ballarat’s rich gold mining heritage when thousands of hopefuls flocked first to find fame and fortune in the ground and then on the stage as the Eisteddfod became the home for new finds and discoveries of a very different nature, contributing to not only our economic but our cultural wealth.

“Ballarat discarded the gold of the earth for the gold of the human mind and voice, and took its place among the cultural cities of the world.” Lyle Blackman,

Featured Stories

My South Street Story – Michael Stewart

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My South Street Story – Ron Harrington

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