Bendigo Law Courts officially open
The new Bendigo Law Courts building has been officially opened by Premier Daniel Andrews and Attorney-General Jaclyn Symes.
Speaking after the official opening, the Chief Magistrate, Justice Lisa Hannan, said the new building was spectacular.
“We wanted to build a modern court that sits within, not apart or above, its community,” Justice Hannan said. “This is important because the court, at its essence, has a single role - and that is to serve.”
“This building was born of a collective will to deliver for this region a court that says something about justice. From the beginning we wanted a court with its foundation in culture, community and service.”
The Chief Magistrate thanked everyone who worked so hard to deliver the building, which features Koori Court, ARC and a specialist family violence court.
“Whether you were part of the imagining, planning, funding, designing, cultural inclusion, building or the many elements that are required to make a court operational – you are now all part of the fabric of the Bendigo Law Courts,” Justice Hannan said.
The five-level building will service the Magistrates' Court, Children's Court and the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal as well as the County Court, the Supreme Court and Federal Circuit Court.
It has 11 courtrooms including two hearing rooms, two mediation suites, remote witness facilities, safe waiting facilities, dedicated jury areas and meeting rooms for support agencies and client services.
It features digital technology integrated through courtrooms, work areas and public spaces to enable remote hearings and improve the efficiency of court operations.
The design helps everyone who is attending court, with secure entrances and separate sections for judicial staff, vulnerable people, people in custody and operational staff, as well as safe waiting areas.
The building’s façade features Dja Dja Wurrung, Barapa Barapa and Boon Wurrung artist Racquel Kerr’s hammered-copper wedge-tailed eagle Bunjil soaring high.
“The Dja Dja Wurrung people were so generous in sharing their culture and their time,” Justice Hannan said. “Bunjil, quite literally, wraps its wings around this building.
“It was so important that this space was culturally safe and welcoming for all court participants. We wanted to build a modern court that functions now and into the future, and I congratulate all those who participated in bringing the new Bendigo Law Courts to life.”
The new Court is open to the public from Monday 27 February 2023.