DegreeSam McColl

Advanced Diploma Live Production and Management Services

Graduation year


Current position

Venue and Events Manager


Ballaarat Mechanics' Institute (BMI) / Minerva Ballarat

What are some of your career highlights so far, and what are your short and long-term career goals?

Working in the live music industry has been quite tough during the pandemic, however, we have been fortunate to come out the other side very strong and ready for a resurgence in local live music.

We recently hosted The Push All Ages gig with Mallrat and Ninajirachi playing at the BMI, and have recently seen sold-out comedy shows for Luke Kidgell and Blake Pavey.

I have also led the organisation through a rebrand with establishing The Minerva Ballaarat name to assist in attracting touring live music artists to our venue.

My main goal is to continue our work in supporting local live music and all-ages gigs, and to help open doors for up-and-coming artists. The BMI has a 160 year history of being Ballarat's independent and not-for-profit home of arts and culture, and it is so exciting to be continuing this legacy into the 21st century.

Describe the most enjoyable and challenging aspects of your job

Working in such a beautiful old building is both enjoyable, and a challenge. There is so much history in our walls, and a few times a week I am discovering new information about the Mechanics' Institute and our relationship with the wider community. Our collection holds so many secrets and memories of past Ballarat, and it is a privilege to be able to have this at my fingertips.

Being a caretaker for such a historic building can also be exhausting. Much of my time is spent in maintenance - touching up paint, fixing leaks, repairing doors, and lubricating old locks. Our building requires heaps of care and attention to ensure it can be enjoyed by future generations.

What are your strongest memories from studying at University?

Some of my great memories are meeting some of the most amazing people in our local live music scene, and now being able to work with them as a peer.

I also have strong memories of my involvement on the Student Senate and the work we did to make sure students knew about the services and support that is available to them during their time at Federation University. This fostered my political journey which has now led to me being a candidate in the 2022 Federal Election, and the candidate for Eureka in the upcoming state election!

Do you have any advice about life after study to pass on to current students?

My only advice would be that your path and journey are not defined, and know that you can change direction whenever you want.

I started my study doing a Bachelor in Rural Social Welfare and within the first few months I realised it wasn't for me, so I took some time to evaluate and figure out what worked best before I changed paths completely.