Sovereign Hill is a living museum presenting the story of Ballarat as a goldrush boomtown. Gold was discovered here in 1851, triggering the greatest alluvial gold rush the world has ever known. The sleepy pastoral settlement of Ballarat grew rapidly into a fine provincial city built on the wealth derived from its gold.
Covering 15 hectares of a former gold mining site, Sovereign Hill's Outdoor Museum brings the gold rushes to life through a living township with diggings, underground mines, costumed characters, coach rides and 1850s shops, trades, schools and dwellings.
The Outdoor Museum experience is supported by a traditional Gold Museum and AURA, an evening sound-and-light show illustrating the history and importance of gold in our region.
Sovereign Hill opened on Sunday, 29 November 1970. It was born from a vision in the 1960s when community groups sought to preserve the city's vibrant goldrush heritage and the story of its impact on our nation.
Now an Australian tourism icon and a winner of major tourism awards, Sovereign Hill attracts some 450,000 visitors annually. The Outdoor Museum enjoys international renown as a living museum featuring rare trades, working machinery and exhibits, costumed interpreters and visitor participation.
In all, some 350 staff work to bring our goldrush story to life. They are supported by over 250 volunteers who help bring the Outdoor Museum to life and assist with curatorial work and tour guiding at the Gold Museum.
First people's acknowledgement
Sovereign Hill would like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which we stand, the Wadawurrung people of the Kulin nations, and pay our respects to Elders, past and present.
For trade enquiries, contact our Marketing Department:
Telephone 61 3 5337 1100
or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For group bookings, contact:
or fax 61 3 5331 1528
The Sovereign Hill Charter
Connecting people through our history to adapt for a better future.
Providing meaningful immersive experiences that tell stories of our humanity.
Our values identify how we will interact with each other, our visitors and our stakeholders.
- Integrity - Our business is conducted with honesty and integrity.
- Safety - Ensuring the safety of our people and visitors underpins everything we do.
- Sustainability - We strive to balance social, environmental and economic priorities.
- Respect - We respect each other and we respect our visitors, partners, resources, reputation and collections.
- Service - We are passionate about creating a positive and memorable visitor experience.
- Equality - We are committed to achieving equality and we value diversity.
Sovereign Hill Board
Sovereign Hill is a not-for-profit, community-based, cultural tourism organisation administered by The Sovereign Hill Museums Association. The Association is controlled by a Board, which is elected by members of the Association, and serves in a voluntary capacity.
The Board’s responsibilities include the appointment of the Chief Executive Officer, who is responsible for managing Sovereign Hill. Board members meet regularly to monitor Sovereign Hill’s progress against the goals and objectives set out in the Corporate Strategic Plan and report to Members at the Annual General Meeting of the Association. They also assist the CEO with the task of capital fundraising to underpin the Association’s long-term financial viability.
Mr D E Butler – President
Elected to the Board in 2005. Elected Board President in 2018. Chairman of the President's Advisory Committee. Ex-officio member of all Board Trusts and Committees. Director of a Chartered Accountancy Practice.
Dr J A Verlin AM – Vice-President
Elected to the Board in 2011. Member of the President's Advisory Committee. Chairman of the Gold Museum Committee. A Past-Mayor of the City of Ballarat.
Mr C J Alizzi
Elected to the Board in 2017. Chairman of the Finance & Risk Committee. Member of the President's Advisory Committee. Automotive Dealer Principal.
Mrs A L Carey
Elected to the Board in 2016. Member of the Gold Museum Committee and The Sovereign Hill Foundation. Engagement practitioner.
Mr A K Doyle
Elected to the Board in 2010. A Past-President. Member of the President’s Advisory Committee. Chairman of the Narmbool Committee. Certified Practising Valuer. Director of a Property Consulting Firm.
Mr P L McCarthy
Elected to the Board in 2010. Former Board member (1981-1989). Chairman of the Outdoor & Mining Museum Committee. Mining Engineer and Company Director.
Mrs J Ryan
Appointed to the Board in 2018. Member of the Outdoor & Mining Museum Committee. Stakeholder Relations Director with 14 years' Strategic Communications expertise.
Mrs S Quon – Chief Executive Officer (from 21/1/19). Member of the Visit Victoria Board. Formerly Group CEO of Beechworth Honey with a 20-year career spanning the tourism/major events and the food sectors.
Mrs A Morrison – Company Secretary
Company Secretary and Chief Financial Officer, The Sovereign Hill Museums Association Limited. Chartered Accountant and Fellow of the Governance Institute Australia.
If you would like more information about Sovereign Hill, please contact us.
To learn more about supporting Sovereign Hill click below.Supporting Sovereign Hill