Mobilising the Victorian community and major donors behind the transformative development of a national icon.

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The State Library Victoria is a revered institution. Mid-way through 2017, the library began a major $88 million redevelopment. Historically, an important meeting place and centre of knowledge, the library was set to become a centre for entrepreneurship, digital discovery and creative production.

As it prepared for the most important redevelopment in modern history, State Library Victoria needed a social mobilisation campaign that supplemented philanthropic fundraising, built statewide anticipation for the library’s new features and encouraged Victorians to take ownership over one of the state’s most treasured institutions.


With the government providing $55.4 million of the required funding, the remaining funds needed to be raised through the library’s donor network and, for the first time, through the Victorian community.

Ellis Jones worked with the State Library Victoria’s marketing and philanthropy teams to research, workshop and design a community campaign to establish awareness of the library redevelopment among Victorians and drive engagement and giving among engaged library users.

The strategy was to create experiences of mainstream appeal to raise awareness of the library redevelopment and establish that government (and therefore taxpayer) investment is prudent, while targeting user groups with tailored, emotive messaging and calls to action to drive giving and advocacy.

The core creative concept was: ‘Where Victoria Happens’.

Content marketing shared intriguing insights from the library’s archives, each demonstrating the importance it has played in the lives of Victorians – from love and learning to the foundations of democracy.

Activations among employees and the Victorian network of local government libraries placed librarians at the centre of the story, welcoming their participation in promoting the campaign and sharing the redevelopment vision.

Foyer activations and merchandise recommendations were provided for the duration of the redevelopment period.


The State Library Victoria achieved its fundraising goals and, with the redevelopment well underway, anticipation is high for its next chapter (pardon the pun!).