South Street turns 125

Since the inaugural Grand Annual Eisteddfod of Australasia was held in Ballarat in 1891, South Street has grown to become one of the largest and the longest running performing arts eisteddfods in Australia. “Royal” status was granted in 1962 for service to the community, therefore forming the Royal South Street Society.

Many people have progressed from South Street to successful careers in performing arts, including:

  • Dame Nellie Melba, principal dancer with the Australian Ballet
  • Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, principal dancer with the Australian Ballet
  • Andrew Olle, journalists
  • Alfred Deakin, political debate
  • Joan Kirner, political debate

The RSSS quotes in their newsletter:

By 1898, the initial 260 entries had grown to over 1,000, and by the end of the 1920s, numbers were well over 3,000. Today, in a new millennium and despite the competition from many other forms of entertainment and emerging technologies, annual entries now number over 10,000

The Calisthenics section runs over 4 weeks and attracts teams from across Victoria and Australia. Our Studio Arc students love performing in this prestigious competition at the historical Her Majestys Theatre in our home town.

Some of the original categories, not surprisingly, have not continued to present day:

  • the under 30’s women’s cooking competition
  • spelling bees
  • typewriting and short hand
  • and gum leaf blowing.

Special activities have been planned for the celebration year.  More information is available from the South Street website.