Education and Public Programs

The education program run by the Burke Museum and Beechworth Historic & Cultural Precinct covers both primary and secondary school levels and is being developed to tie directly into the state VELS and forthcoming Australian Curriculum.

The Historic Courthouse

Our tour guides explain the processes of running a trial in Victoria during the 19th Censchool_bookings.jpgtury. Students dress-up and re-enact the committal hearing and trial of the bushranger using a script taken from the original transcripts of his trial, taking on the roles of Judge, Jury, Ned Kelly and the legal team. The Courthouse still with its original furniture and fittings, operated continuously as a working Court for 131 years and has been the setting for some of the most fascinating court cases in Victoria’s history. Our program is being extended to include other aspects of Justice within the curriculum.

The Burke Museum

The museum was named in honour of Robert O’Hara Burke, the explorer,  who  was our Police Superintendent in Beechworth from 1854-1858. The original Athenaeum and Public Library was turned into the Burke Memorial Museum in 1863. Students can gain first account of the history of Beechworth through exhibition spaces such as : The Street Of Shops which is a re- enactment of the shops of Beechworth in the 1860s. Natural History  with indigenous and flora and fauna displays, including an extensive aboriginal collection . Goldrush with a host of memorabilia from the Gold Rush era.Chinese on the goldfields, with important textile piece such as The Chinese Banner. As well as local Beechworth stories from prominent people to Beechworth Industries and Clubs.

The Ned Kelly Vault

The Sub-Treasury Gold office building is now home to one of the most significant collections of Ned Kelly and the bushrangers. It is an annex of the Burke Museum and students can experience the story of law and order and bushrangers in the northeast.

The Telegraph Station

Students can hear the story of communications and get the opportunity to see morse code in action and send telegraphic messages to the world.


The Powder magazine

 The Powder Magazine is where students can see the history of gunpowder used for blasting on the goldfields .

Other Precinct Buildings

Chinese Protector’s Office, the Gold Warden’s Office, Police Stables, Police Lockup, Police Reserve, and The Town Hall.

The Burke Museum’s collection is a valuable teaching resource. Please click on the links below to access information packs prior to your visit.

Current program themes include:

  • Gold!
  • Burke, the explorer
  • Chinese Life
  • Natural History
  • The Street of Shops

We are currently developing a suite of study options within the Museum and across the Historic Precinct to tie units directly to VELS and the forthcoming Australian Curriculum.

Museum staff are available to liaise on other topics of particular interest to assist you in creating programs relevant to your current study areas. We would welcome any feedback that would help us to improve our educational activities.





B U R K E   M U S E U M
Loch Street Beechworth 3747
Phone 03 5728 8067 | email
Open 10am-5pm (last entry 4.30pm) daily except Christmas Day