At Ballarat VRI we offer a range of services, in addition your normal VRI Membership, facilities include:

  • Large main hall
  • Gymnasium 
  • Billiards and Snooker tables and equipment for use
  • Competitive Indoor Bias Bowls teams
  • Social dancing in the main hall
  • Casual / regular hall hire
  • all the benefits of the VRI

For details on how to become involved or hall hire please email

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Messenger hall

Messenger Hall


BALLARAT VRI CENTRE Annual Report 2021

The Ballarat VRI has gone from strength to strength over the past twelve months, with big costly improvements to the interior and outside layout.

Although Covid has hit our income in a bad way, both locally and the VRI in general, our numbers have held fairly steady, with many now renewing their membership due to the easing of restrictions due to covid.

Through some hard work by our General Manager Katherine Jackson the Ballarat VRI secured a $10,000 grant to erect a disability toilet and ramp. This has been completed and already produced two worthy clients having booked the Ballarat VRI for the next twelve months.

The Bias Bowls and Billiard clubs combined to purchase a new heater for the main hall plus secured three gates to keep the graffiti warriors at bay.

Thanks goes to Pellicano and VicTrack who replaced the spouting and drainage at the rear of the building at no cost to the VRI.

The sporting clubs have had a difficult time in trying to compete at local level due to the covid restrictions. No Billiards or Snooker were played during the year. The Bias Bowls completed an interrupted season with strong performances at team level and individually.

In what has been a strange year of restrictions on and off the Ballarat VRI will come back stronger and stronger.

John Wakeling, Secretary, Ballarat VRI



The VRI Board of management is pleased to announce VRI Ballarat Centre as the Premier District Centre of the year for 2020.

Over the past year a major development has been built almost on the boundary of the hall. This has caused many issues for the centre and they have continued to manage the situation with outstanding results for all.

Ballarat VRI Centre always offer outstanding service to their members and are always willing to open the doors to new members and hall users.

We appreciate and acknowledge the extra efforts involved from everyone at Ballarat over the year and wish to congratulate them on this honour.



5dbb9f6994e15d44312b9c55_20140820_155137 Ballarat Billiards

Ballarat History

Ballarat Branch of the VRI was formed in 1916, with the main building opening in 1926, with the bottom or "Messenger Hall" opening in 1959.

The "Messenger Hall" was named after the Secretary Bert Messenger who served as Secretary for Ballarat from 1958 to 1967. The funding from the building came solely from the selling of tobacco and sweets from cupboards manned by Ballarat VRI members, installed at Ballarat North Railway Workshops. Of course you had to sell a lot of tobacco and sweets to have the  building erected, but should also remember that in those days all workers were members of the VRI and in excess of 800 workers worked at the shops so tobacco and sweets were very easy to get rid of.