Modern technology will bring the past to life, recreating the historic courthouse trials of Ned Kelly and his family while increasing tourism in Beechworth thanks to support from the Victorian Government.
Minister for Regional Development Jaclyn Symes has toured the Beechworth Historic Precinct, which will soon house a state-of-the-art tourism experience recreating one the most historic periods in Australia’s legal history.
“The Kelly story is an integral part of Beechworth’s history and the Courthouse Kelly Trials Experience will be a compelling attraction that that bring more visitors to the region,” said Minister Symes.
“We’ve seen the appetite for more tourism within our regions – that’s why we’re backing projects like this to cater for that increased interest in holidaying in country Victoria.”
The $1 million project will receive $500,000 from the Regional Infrastructure Fund, and will focus on the Kelly family’s historic trials held at the Beechworth Historic Courthouse.
Using projection technology, augmented reality and app-based learning interacting with artefacts to bring characters to life, visitors will be able to relive the more than 40 trials of Ned Kelly, his family and sympathisers.
Inspired by similar cultural sites in France and Scotland that combine museum displays with technology, the centerpiece of the experience will unfold in the main court room where timed projections of Ned Kelly’s committal hearing and other trials will be shown.
The project is expected to take two years to complete and when open will double visitation, raising the number of visitors expected to pass through the 130-year-old courthouse’s doors to more than 50,000 each year.
“Beechworth is telling the stories of its past in innovative ways, ensuring its future as a major tourism drawcard in the North East and growing local jobs,” said Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events, Martin Pakula.
The Regional Infrastructure Fund is part of the Government’s flagship Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund which helps businesses create more jobs in regional Victoria, supports community projects, and assists councils to deliver cultural initiatives of economic significance to the region.
For more information about the Beechworth Historic and Cultural Precinct, visit: www.explorebeechworth.com.au for details.
Image: Old Beechworth Courthouse – courtesy of Indigo Shire Council