Friends of the School of Mines
The Bendigo School of Mines – a rich history
The Bendigo campus of La Trobe University traces its beginnings to 1873 when the Bendigo School of Mines was founded in Mc Crae St.
The Friends of the School of Mines, an organization of past students, has donated this richly carved Coat of Arms with a view to linking the present La Trobe Bendigo campus back to its McCrae Street origins.
The coat of arms, with its gold mining themes shows a heated retort with vapour escaping. This is an allegorical depiction of an early gold refining technique in which impure gold was amalgamated in mercury to form an amalgam. With heat, the mercury evaporated leaving relatively pure gold.
The four fields of the central shield also depict mining themes. A shovel and pick for alluvial mining, a crushing battery representing mineral recovery; next is a hammer and tap for hard rock mining and finally a winding engine shed and poppet head, a common sight in early Bendigo.
The Latin inscription reads - Per varios usus artem experentia fecit. This translates to - Through different exercises practice has brought skill.
Today’s students at La Trobe University have the French motto of Charles Joseph La Trobe’s family to inspire them - Qui cherche trouve - Whoever seeks shall find.
The Friends of the School of Mines and the Bendigo Chapter of La Trobe University Alumni Association, that also includes graduates from the other Bendigo antecedent institutions, provide significant funds for scholarships to encourage and support students enrolled on the Bendigo campus of the university. We trust our contribution to the history of tertiary education in Bendigo continues to inspire students to seek and to find new experiences throughout their lives.