The former Ballarat Supreme Court in Lydiard St Sth Ballarat is one of Ballarat’s fine heritage buildings and sits next to the 1862 ‘Old Ballarat Gaol.

Timeline History of Courthouse Building, Lydiard St Sth Ballarat:

  • 1868 – Construction completed for Supreme Court Building
  • 1870 – Supreme Court Building opened by Sir Redmond Barry
  • 1944 – The Former Supreme Court House was vacated by Federal Authorities and was allotted for SMB purposes
  • 1947 – Electrical Department transferred to Former Courthouse in Lydiard Street
  • 1970s-Carpentry Department transferred to Courthouse
  • 1982 – Performing Arts Music Programs commence at Courthouse Building SMB
  • 1983 – 3BBB Community Radio granted a lease on part of the Building, inc. downstairs jail cells
  • 1983 – 3BBB Community Radio occupies rear of the Courthouse and commences test transmissions
  • 1984 – Former CourtHouse building restored to accommodate Performing Arts at SMB TAFE and building becomes a Theatre
  • .1985 – Courthouse Theatre used for Theatrical productions including Theatre Sports and Ballarat Theatre Workshop
  • 1986 – 3BBB commences full-time broadcasting, using the rear room as an OnAir Studio, downstairs for office and Studio 2
  • 1988 – Lighting Grid designed by John Beckett installed at Courthouse, with financial assistance from Ballarat National Theatre
  • 1988 – Ballarat National Theatre commences using Courthouse for Productions during Term breaks on a 10-year deal
  • 1994 – Performing Arts and Music Courses continue using The Courthouse for classes and productions
  • 1995 – Technical Theatre Production classes and productions commence at The Courthouse
  • 1999 – First ever Live Internet Broadcast produced from The Courthouse by Dip. of Entertainment Course
  • 2000 – Diploma of Music Course commences at The Courthouse and recording studio established in old jail cells
  • 2001 – Technical Production, Community Theatre and Music Courses share busy course delivery at The Courthouse
  • 2005 – Music Course moves to Camp Street Campus
  • 2009 – Small Companies and Community Theatre Course moves to Camp St Campus
  • 2009 – Advanced Diploma of Live Production Course has sole occupancy of Courthouse Theatre with Ballarat National Theatre during Term breaks.
  • 2011 – Rear dressing rooms converted to multi-purpose classroom and control room with Audio and Video patching into Theatre
  • 2013 – Ballarat National Theatre celebrates it 75th Anniversary in Ballarat
  • 2014 UB rebrands as Federation University Australia and the Live Production Course rebrands as ‘FedUni-Live’ and becomes Australia’s longest running music Webcast

See over 500 videos recorded live at The Courthouse Theatre by University Live Production programs from 1999 to 2015 at www.youtube.com/ublive


Federation University SMB Campus which was formally, University of Ballarat. To locate the Courthouse Theatre you can enter via Lydiard Street South, Armstrong Street or Grant Street in Ballarat Central.


It was previously a courthouse pre-1988. In 1988, the University of Ballarat (at the time) converted the Old Courthouse into a Performing Arts Theatre Venue and was named “The Courthouse Theatre”. The Theatre seats 140 individuals in a tear seating format. Since 1994 the University has been providing Technical Production Courses within the Courthouse Theatre. Over time the course has provided training in several qualifications – Diploma of Entertainment (Lighting and Sound) and Diploma / Advanced Diploma of Live Production, Theatre and Events (Technical Production). You can view more course history at http://www.fedunilive.net/about/.


Currently, Federation University is providing the Diploma / Advanced Diploma of Live Production, Theatre and Events (Technical Production) within the Courthouse Theatre. There are roughly 30 students and 2 staff within the venue on a regular basis. The students have access to many facilities within the Venue with plenty of storage and training rooms for students.

During the off-peak periods (school holidays), The Ballarat National Theatre operated their regular productions.