Housed in a purpose built, architect designed building on the banks of Lake Benalla, the Benalla Art Gallery has become an cultural and architectural icon of northeast Victoria since it opened in 1975.
The Benalla Art Gallery Collection includes painting, printmaking, works on paper, photography, textiles, ceramics, sculpture and decorative arts spanning three centuries of Australian art. The Ledger Collection focuses on Australian art from the 19th and early 20th centuries with an emphasis on the colonial and impressionist periods. The collection continues to develop with recent acquisitions including outstanding Indigenous and contemporary Australian artworks.
The King Valley in North East of Victoria follows the King River, flowing from its upper reaches in the Alpine National Park, due north to the Rural City of Wangaratta. The valley ranges from a broad river basin in the north around Milawa and Moyhu, to the ranges in the extreme south peaking at over 800m.
The valley’s continental climate provides warm days and cool nights, influenced by the katabatic breeze that sweeps northward down the valley from the high country. A range of microclimates are available from the slightly warmer valley floors to the bracingly cool upper slopes. This variance in elevation is why the King Valley region can produce such a wide range of wine styles.
Wall to Wall presented by Juddy Roller is Victoria’s first regional street art festival running annually in March. The regional town of Benalla was selected to host the festival and provided a forward thinking approach to rejuvenating the town.
Artists involved in Wall to Wall include Rone, Adnate, Askew, Ears, Choq, Shawn Lu, Putos, Slicer, Rashe, Sirum, Kit Ritz, Guido Van Helton, Dvate, 23rd Key and Deams. These artists have painted murals up to 3 stories high using scissor lifts, cherry pickers and scaffolds to create their modern masterpieces.
Ned Kelly is an Australian legend. He epitomised many qualities that ordinary Australians admire. He was a larrikin, loyal to his family and ready to sacrifice himself for his mates. An underdog, he represented the struggling classes and thumbed his nose at the establishment. He was inventive, he was fearless and charismatic.
Benalla's Botanic Gardens commemorates Sir Edward `Weary` Dunlop who was born in Benalla in 1907 and later attended Benalla High School. From March 1942 to the end of the Second World War he was a prisoner-of-war (POW) under Japanese command in Singapore and, from January 1943, in Thailand where he worked on the infamous Burma-Thailand railway.
Unintimidated by the Japanese he became a legend with the Australian prisoners for his modesty and his remarkable efforts in scrounging food for the sick, building makeshift hospitals and operating with hand-made instruments. It is known that, of the 5600 patients he had handled by October 1943, only 56 had died under conditions of extreme deprivation and brutality. Yet he managed to bare no hatred towards the Japanese and became deeply devoted to the peoples of Asia.
After the war he acted as a medical adviser in India, Thailand, Sri Lanka and South Vietnam. Named Australian of the Year in 1977 and a Knight of St John in 1982 he published his best-selling war diaries in 1986. Dunlop died in 1993