At the conclusion of the deliberations of the Indigo Shire Council Heritage Advisory Committee Jury, the following is the list of finalists for the 2014 Indigo Shire – National Trust of Australia (Victoria) Heritage Awards.  The Categories, Awards and Commendations are as follows:

CATEGORY 3 – Restoration of a Heritage Place Award:


PROJECT:                      The restoration and refurbishment of the Grandstand at the Chiltern Sporting Complex, Alliance Street, Chiltern. The Grandstand replicates the original possibly constructed shortly after the Proclamation of the PublicParkin1873.


PROJECT:                      The restoration and refurbishment of the shop front windows and entry door of 53 Ford Street, Beechworth to replicate the original of the adjoining shopfront at 51 Ford Street, Beechworth.

CATEGORY 5 – Sustainability and/or Greening of an Heritage place Award:

RECIPIENT:                   “FINCHES OF BEECHWORTH”, 3 Finch Street, Beechworth

PROJECT:                      Restoration and refurbishment of the exterior of the heritage home including roof, verandas and balustrades. Work is also continuing to complete refurbishment of the extensive gardens with a focus on introduction of modern sustainable practices: eg. solar power, water capture and consumption.

CATEGORY 6 – Open Heritage Award:

RECIPIENT:                   MS LINDA PEACOCK, Collections Manager, Robert O’Hara Burke Museum, Beechworth

PROJECT:                      Acquisition of Robert O’Hara Burke’s Tranter Revolver sold at Auction in Dublin, Ireland in October 2013 and it’s repatriation to the Burke Museum in April 2014.

Four days before the Tranter Revolver, valued by the auctioneers at around $2,000, was to be auctioned in Dublin, Ireland last October, Linda hurriedly began research to determine the revolver’s authenticity and provenance which determined that it was in fact the revolver presented to Robert O’Hara Burke in Beechworth in 1858.

Realising its importance to Australia and the Indigo Shire, within the three days Linda had arranged for Melbourne Valuer Mr Warren Joel, to bid at auction on behalf of the Indigo Shire, secured $8,000 and additional pledges when a newspaper story alerted further Australian interest that was likely to increase the amount required to secure the revolver. Success was assured when the revolver was sold for $18,000 and following six months of paperwork, scrutiny and many bureaucratic difficulties, the revolver was delivered into Linda’s hands to be escorted to Beechworth on Thursday 10 April 2014 arriving at 6.00pm.

This revolver presented to Robert O’Hara Burke in Beechworth in 1858 is one of the most significant items in the Shire of Indigo – it represents the connection of one of Australia’s most famous and celebrated explorers – and finally it has returned to its rightful home – thanks to the hard work of Linda Peacock.

As collections Manager of the Burke Museum, Linda is a valued Member of the Burke Museum team for twelve years having curated a number of important and innovative exhibitions at the Museum. She has had vast experience working in museums and galleries, is passionate about the collection and has done a lot of work in proving the true owners of many of the objects in our Aboriginal Collection, which we believe should be repatriated to their rightful owners.

Linda has overseen the conservation of many precious and significant objects in the Burke Museum Collection. She is also responsible for the Museum attaining National Museum Standards in the Museum Accreditation Program.



The Collection held by the Yackandandah and District Historical Society is a large and comprehensive collection of the many stories of the district, held in photographs, images, objects, registers, letters, documents, textiles, digital forms and research material. It is almost fully catalogued on a specific cataloguing database; much of it is also either digitally scanned or photographed. It is always a work-in-progress, receiving deposits, creating material or updating processes.

Extensions to the purpose-built storage and completed in October 2013, have added necessary storage space to a building originally built in 1996. It was opened in March 2014 by Susan Reynolds OAM and Ms Cathy McGowan, AO MP.


PROJECT:                      3RD Annual Heritage Weekend celebrating the artist Tommy McCrea, 16 & 17 November 2013

The newly formed Wahgunyah History Group inherited a collection of historic photographs, which the Progress Association of the day had collected to create the 'Wahgunyah Collection’.  In a short space of time an amazing collection of photographs, documents and memorabilia came forward from descendants of early Wahgunyah settlers. Thus began the commitment to organise and stage the Annual Wahgunyah Heritage Weekends.

In 2013, the Theme of the Wahgunyah Heritage Weekend revolved around the life and times of Aboriginal artist Tommy McCrae (c.1835-1901), whose Aboriginal names are recorded as Yackaduna or Warra-euca and was probably a member of the Kwatkwat people. An extensive collection of prints of his art was also displayed.

At Wahgunyah in the 1860’s Tommy McCrae met Roderick Kilborn, a Canadian vigneron and telegraph-master, who became a patron an collector when the artist settled on the shores of Lake Moodemere, probably in the early 1880’s. His books and drawings mostly recorded Aboriginal Life and sketches included squatters and Chinese settlers. Mr McCrae is buried in the Carlyle Cemetery, Wahgunyah/Rutherglen.

His drawings are held in several public collections including the National Gallery of Australia, National Museum of Australia (Canberra), National Library of Australia (Canberra), Melbourne Museum and the State Libraries of Victoria and New South Wales.

CATEGORY 7 – Junior Heritage Award

RECIPIENT:                  Mr BRENDAN HOGAN, Teacher and Yackandandah Primary School Students during the period 2009 to 2012.

PROJECT:                     “Making History”: Collection of seven short films written, produced and focusing on local and national historical events and personalities.  The subjects of the films have included:

2009 – Sir Isaac Isaacs and Ned Kelly

2010 – Eureka Stockade, Burke & Wills and Sir Donald Bradman

2011 – Anzac Day

2012 – “Straya”

The delightful collection of films continue to be on display at the Yackandandah Museum, which also provided support with information and locations for the production of the films.

Mr Brendan Hogan is now the Principal and Science Teacher at Wahgunyah Primary School.

COMMENDATION:           St MARY’S PRIMARY SCHOOL RUTHERGLEN – Grades 3 to 6 Students 2013

PROJECT:                      “Out of the Ashes”: A Celebration of Our Church’s History (1860-2013).

A booklet created by the Grades Six to Eight Students of St Mary’s Primary School Rutherglen in 2013. The booklet contains is a short colourful history, including some first-hand accounts of the destruction of St Mary’s Catholic Church Rutherglen in 1961 and subsequent construction of the existing church in 1963.

Many interviews were carried out with some poetic license being applied to the actual events on the night the fire destroyed the Church. The event united the Parish in its quest for a new building that opened on 17 September 1963 and celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2013.

Photographs gathered from within the Catholic community used in the booklet have resulted in the staging of an exhibition on display at the Rutherglen Historical Society Inc.

CATEGORY 8 – Individual Heritage Advocacy Award (New Award 2014)


Susan Reynolds is a dedicated community volunteer. She has been a member of the Yackandandah Historical for 34 years with approximately half of these as President. During this time, Susan has established committees and introduced policies and procedures to manage the Society and Museum in a professional and sustainable manner.

Regrettably in December 2006, fire gutted the Yackandandah Museum, after which Susan rallied members of the Society and the wider community, and over two years established and sat with four subcommittees, each having separate responsibilities and challenges which contributed to the successful rebuilding and reopening of the Museum. The Yackandandah community acknowledges that without Susan’s drive and determination much of the history of Yackandandah and the future telling of its story may have been lost.

Susan’s commitment to the preservation of the community memory and the heritage of Yackandandah has led to her presenting lectures in the Conservation Program at the University of Melbourne. As a part of her presentation Susan strongly advocates community museums, historical societies and her belief in volunteering as a key part of building a strong community. The professionalism Susan brings to volunteering has seen her invited back to lecture at the University of Melbourne, which establishes her as an exemplary community leader and an inspiration for those who believe in the role of history and heritage in building strong communities, such as Yackandandah.

Susan has also demonstrated her dedication as a volunteer by travelling across Australia on numerous occasions since 2003 to assist and teach the Benedictine Community of New Norcia, WA of the need for greater professionalism in the management of their collections, in particular their museum collection which is significant on a national level

Her persistent advocacy has directly lead to developing professionalism of the New Norcia Museum at the highest level, including employing trained collection managers, drawing up policies and procedures, gaining Cultural Gifts status with the Commonwealth Government, and taking significant steps in creating more appropriate storage environments for their artworks and artefacts.

Susan has received significant recognition for her achievements including:

  • 1993 Museums Australia (Vic) – Museum Achiever of the year – “in recognition of her significant contribution to the museum industry of Victoria” and “for an individual whose extraordinary efforts have directly contributed to the raising of standards in her organisation”;
  • 2009 Museums Australia (Vic) – Achiever of the Year for Volunteer Museums Finalist;
  • 2009 Victorian Premier’s Community Volunteering Awards – Finalist Community Volunteering Leadership Award Regional;
  • 2011 Queen’s Birthday Honours - Order of Australia Medal (OAM).

For 24 years up until her resignation last year (2013), Susan has also been an active and committed Member of the Indigo Shire Heritage Advisory Committee as well as a Member of the Yackandandah Cemetery Trust for 8 years. (from Published Article by Brett McClellan in YakityYak, Aug/Sept2011 Issue 37)

SPECIAL COMMENDATION 2014:   The Indigo Shire Council Heritage Advisory Committee and the National Trust of Australia (Victoria) North East Branch awarded a special posthumous Commendation to recognise an individual contribution to the cultural heritage of the Rutherglen Community and to its Historical Society.

Special Commendation for Dedication and Contributions to Cultural Heritage

RECIPIENT:                   Mr BARRY DEAS (Deceased December 2013)

Mr Barry Deas was a founding Member of the Rutherglen Branch of the North Eastern Historical Society and attended the first meeting convened by the Rutherglen Shire President on 5 May 1964. He attended over 370 meetings during which he served as Secretary from 1966-1969, President (1971-1974 and 1985-2005) and during the latter time as the Society’s Research Officer.

Barry’s knowledge of Rutherglen and its citizens was phenomenal, usually able to immediately reply to any query in relation to the Town’s history or genealogy. A stickler for accuracy, he would spend many hours on the microfiche reader checking facts to make sure that the information he supplied has accurate. For many years Barry and his son Peter also took care of the surrounds, maintenance and repairs of the old Common School, which is now the home of the Rutherglen historical Society,

Barry’s health declined during the last 18 months and he passed away December 2013, just short of 50 years membership of the Rutherglen Historical Society.

Last updated: 25 November 2015