|Description of this AgencyDescription of this Agency|
The body known as The Exhibition Trustees was established by s9 of the Victorian Exhibitions Act 1878. Its function was to possess and control the Exhibition building in Carlton Gardens and specified surrounding areas for the purposes of public exhibitions and public instruction and recreation (s14 Victorian Exhibitions Act) except for when Exhibition Commissioners were in existence (s10 Victorian Exhibitions Act). Exhibition Commissioners could be appointed for up to three years to "carry out and superintend any public exhibition of works of industry and art authorized to be held in accordance with the provisions of 'The Exhibitors Protection Act' 1872 (s2 Victorian Exhibitions Act, and similarly in s4 Exhibitions Act 1890). Commissioners were appointed for the Melbourne International Exhibition 1880 and the Melbourne International Centennial Exhibition 1888.
The Exhibition Trustees' commencement date is subject to research. It took possession and control of the Exhibition Building and surrounding areas on 1 October 1881. The building and surrounding areas had been controlled by Commissioners for the Melbourne International Exhibition 1880 until 30 September 1881 (s5 Victorian Exhibitions Act 1878). The Exhibition Trustees then managed the Exhibition Building (known from 1 October 1980 as the Royal Exhibition Building) (s2 Exhibition (Amendment) Act 1981)) and surrounding areas from October 1881 except for a short period in 1888 and 1889 during the Melbourne International Centennial Exhibition (file 1/EXORG folio 73; Trustees Annual Report 1993 page 5).
Whether The Exhibition Trustees continued to exist for the duration of the Commissioners for the 1888 Exhibition is subject to research.
The agency was reconstituted in 1958 by s3 of the Exhibition Act 1957 (No. 6120), with the new Trust being successor in law to the old Trustees (s12 Exhibition Act 1957).
Trustees were appointed and removed by the Governor in Council. Up to seven Trustees could hold appointment at a time. Until 1958 the Trustees had to include the Mayor and another Councillor of the City of Melbourne (s7 Victorian Exhibitions Act and s8 Exhibitions Act 1890).
From 1958 to 1979 the Trustees had to include an officer of the Chief Secretary's Department and two Melbourne City Councillors (s4 Exhibition Act 1957). From 1958 to 1979 appointments were for renewable five-year periods (s5 Exhibition Act 1957), and from 1979 they were for periods specified in the instrument of appointment (s2 Exhibition (Amendment) Act 1979, amending s4 Exhibition Act 1957).
The agency was dissolved on 1 April 1996 by s37 of the Museums Act 1983 (No. 9903/1983), which was inserted by s45 Miscellaneous Acts (Omnibus Amendments) Act 1995 (No. 100/1995). The Council of the Museum of Victoria (VA 3152) became the successor in law to The Exhibition Trustees (s38 Museums Act 1983, also inserted by s45 Miscellaneous Acts (Omnibus Amendments) Act.