Cultural & Charitable Foundation


MEDIA RELEASE for immediate use

27 AUGUST 2019


The Aspire Foundation was established to protect and preserve the significant heritage and objects of the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Bendigo. Constructed in the 19th Century and completed in the late 20th Century it is one of the world’s finest Gothic Revival cathedrals. The Cathedral is an icon of Bendigo and occupies a central place in the community for people of all faiths. It provides opportunities for tourism, the performing arts and many other avenues of community participation. Recently there have been music performances at the Sacred Heart Cathedral with highlights including the Melbourne Welsh Choir and the Yarra Brass Quintet. The Foundation is also currently partnering with La Trobe University in a research project exploring “Faith on the Goldfields” which will focus on the region’s rich history from the mid to late 1800s.

The Foundation’s major project located at the corner of High and Wattle Streets has been dealt a further setback with an unsuccessful application for grant funds from the Federal Government. The Foundation had previously received approval to access $5M in grant funding from the State Government. Given the funding shortfall, the Foundation decided to decline the $5m State Government contribution. This allows further consideration of the future possibilities for the site. The ambitious project includes the redevelopment of the former paint shop, an interpretive centre, and the creation of a forecourt piazza with stairs and landscaping up to the Cathedral.

The Foundation’s Board has determined that it is not possible at this time to arrive at an outcome that would satisfy all stakeholder requirements within the overall business case. Looking forward, the Foundation, together with the Diocese and the Cathedral Parish are currently developing plans to enhance the area between the Cathedral and the Parish Hall, including the contemporary sculpture of Saint Mary MacKillop.

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MEDIA INQUIRIES Jordan Grantham, Aspire Cultural & Charitable Foundation Ph 0418 135 278, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.