INDIGO SHIRE HERITAGE AWARDS 2016 - LIST OF AWARDS RECIPIENTS & COMMENDATIONS

CATEGORY 1 – CREATIVE USE OF AN HERITAGE PLACE

This Award encourages adaptive re-use of an heritage place. Adaptive re-use is a process that changes a disused or redundant place to a different purpose. Nominations should demonstrate adaptive re-use of an heritage place having minimal impact on its significance and/or setting.

RECIPIENT:  THE ATHENAEUM – CHARLES SLUGA GALLERY, YACKANDANDAH

Located in the ‘Valleys of Gold’ district, Yackandandah is a historic village from the gold mining era, which has a National Trust classification on its whole commercial area. In the heart of the town, in High Street, is the ‘Athenaeum’ is derived from Greek culture, a gathering place for the learned, based on the Greek Goddess Athena, the ‘Goddess of Knowledge’.

It was built in 1878 and was at the time, the social and cultural centre of the town, containing 3,000 books. It was where locals and visitors could come and sit in one of the two reading rooms, catch up with each other, the latest news or just enjoy reading.

The buildings recent history has seen very little maintenance and care.  Today, after considerable external and internal conservation work, painting and repair this important building is re-purposed as The Charles Sluga Gallery and has regained its integrity and place in Yackandandah’s streetscape.

CATEGORY 2 – NEW WORK/DEVELOPMENT WITHIN AN HERITAGE PLACE AWARD

This award encourages sympathetic design of new buildings or structures within heritage conservation areas or within cultural heritage landscape. Nominations should demonstrate fulfillment of local Guidelines and the Burra Charter.

RECIPIENT:  THE HUB 62 CAFÉ, CHILTERN – FORMERLY THE CHILTERN MASONIC HALL, 62 Main Street Chiltern

The historic Masonic Hall, which was built of locally made red bricks in 1903, underwent a major renovation within its heritage charter.

The refurbished building is now a vibrant place featuring the Hub 62 Café serving Platform 9 coffee and quality and nutritious food and the Elvery Fine Art Gallery.   It began operating in December 2015 and the patronage has been increasing quickly requiring an additional three additional staff to assist the three partners in the business.

CATEGORY 3 - RESTORATION OF A HERITAGE PLACE AWARD

This award recognises best practice restoration work that returns fabric to a known earlier state or conserves integrity. Nominations should demonstrate application of the Burra Charter.

RECIPIENT:   Mr IAN ANFRUNS, CHILTERN

PROJECT:   Restoration of the Wheels on the Krupp 77mm Field gun located at the Chiltern War Memorial, Conness Street, Chiltern

In 2013, Mr Ian Anfruns began research, strategic planning, management and secured grant funding to undertake the reconstruction and restoration of the major components including hubs, spokes, felloes and metal work of the wooden Wheels of the Krupp Gun.  The restoration of the wheels was carried out by the Coachbuilding and Wheelwrighting Department at Sovereign Hill, Ballarat.

The gun No: 451, was manufactured at the Krupp Stahlwerks (Steelworks) in A.G. Essen in Germany. Russia and the Ottoman Empire (now Turkey) both bought large quantities of guns of various types. By 1887 Russia owned 2,773 filed guns and the Ottomans 2,772. Between 1854 and 1912, the Ottomans had amassed a total of 3,943 guns of various types and was Krupp’s largest customer.

The Chiltern battle souvenir or trophy was captured by the 5th Australian Light Horse Regiment at the Battle of Ziza on 29 September 1918. Gun number 452 is in Charleville, Queensland.

CATEGORY 4 – SPECIALIST HERITAGE TRADE SKILLS AWARD

This award recognises tradespeople who use specialist and traditional methods and craftsmanship to a very high standard.  Nominations should demonstrate excellence in traditional trades by an individual, group or company.

RECIPIENT:   GREG & LYNDEE OWEN – PERIOD BUILDING CONSERVATION PTY LTD

PROJECT:   Repair and conservation work on the Old Police Stables, Beechworth Historic Precinct

The Beechworth Justice Precinct is of historical significance as activity on the site dates from the time when Beechworth was the focus of Australia's richest goldfields and the administrative centre for north eastern Victoria. The remarkably intact collection of police and justice buildings dating from 1857 to 1913 reflect the site's continuing use and public importance and demonstrate many aspects of the history of law enforcement in Victoria.

Located in the Police Paddocks, gazetted as a Police Reserve by 1856, are the brick Stables, which were built in red bricks in 1870.

The building was thoroughly investigated and the repairs reflect a prudent mix of preservation, repair and restoration.  Work is to “best practice” conservation standards and complementary to the long term preservation of the building. Works includes installation of remedial damp course, extraction of salts from the brickwork, repair and repointing of the salt fretted brickwork.  Funding for the project was provided by Heritage Victoria.

CATEGORY 5 – SUSTAINABILITY AND/OR GREENING OF AN HERITAGE PLACE AWARD

The Award recognises increased awareness of the contribution of heritage conservation to sustainability.  Nominations should demonstrate an understanding of the environmental performance of heritage buildings and places, options for improving sustainability and/or environmental performance, (i.e. reducing energy and water consumption) and positive impacts.

RECIPIENT: WOORAGEE PRIMARY SCHOOL

PROJECT:         Implementation of sustainable practices to Wooragee Primary School

The Wooragee Primary School excels at sustaining the school’s heritage site by providing students opportunities to learn about the sites history as they garden and engage in sustainable practices. The students have created a sustainable garden and grounds which thrives today as it has been for 150 years.

The students, parents, volunteers and staff members of Wooragee Primary School are very passionate and proud of the sustainable practices implemented to the School.  They continue to protect the heritage landscape, such as the well and 100 year old elms, oaks and the natural native bush reserve and creek frontage.

CATEGORY 6 – THE REX FUGE OAM OPEN HERITAGE AWARD

This award recognises cultural heritage, natural heritage, individuals, groups and collections that contribute to Heritage within the Indigo Shire.  It could be retaining an historic activity, an ongoing event, a cultural landscape reflecting historical or social context, a research project, a private or public collection of published works such as books, journals, photographs, maps or manuscripts, or articles such as toys, clothes, personal objects, household, gardening or farm implements. Nominations should demonstrate a contribution to Heritage through additional knowledge and understanding about where we live and our Shire’s history.

COMMENDATION TO:  Dr Barry McGOWAN, Historian & Heritage Consultant

PROJECT:     SHIRE HISTORY RESEARCH STUDY – RUTHERGLEN/WAHGUNYAH  “Tracking the Dragon”: Thematic History of the Chinese People in the Rutherglen/Wahgunyah Region of the Indigo Shire, Victoria – © 2015

This project had its origins in concerns by the Indigo Shire Heritage Advisory Committee (ISHAC) of the need for a comprehensive study of the history of the Chinese people in the Indigo Shire. The Chinese were one of the most significant immigrant groups in Victoria and the Indigo Shire. However, the focus had been almost exclusively on the Beechworth area, and it was considered that there was a need to embrace other areas such as Stanley, Wahgunyah, Rutherglen, Chiltern, Yackandandah and Woolshed Creek.

While a comprehensive study of the Chinese had considerable merit in its own right, it needed to be seen in the light of its relevance to Australia in the Asian Century and its potential to encourage and underpin Chinese tourism in the long term.

The project is written thematically with chapters on significance and origin, first contact - the Aboriginal connection and Tommy McRae, work and employment, temples, churches and cemeteries, camp and station life, crime and punishment, colonial immigration restrictions and the White Australia Policy, and friends, family and community. Where possible, primary source materials have been used, including that from descendants of local Chinese settlers.

Dr McGowan states in his introduction that: “from the outset “I have been heavily influenced by my earlier work on the Chinese in the Riverina district of New South Wales (NSW). It could hardly have been otherwise, for the parallels are striking in almost every respect. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the discussion of the intercolonial immigration restrictions and the use of contract labour on the pastoral stations.

Both the Riverina and the Wahgunyah-Rutherglen districts were border provinces, the one adjoining the other. In both regions the work opportunities for the Chinese people, and indeed the rationale for their presence, were based largely on agriculture and pastoralism. The history of the Chinese in the Rutherglen Wahgunyah area is an untold story. Hopefully my study redresses that situation”.

The work received a Commendation in the Victorian Community History Awards 2015Local HistorySmall publication award as an outstanding small, limited run publication or e-book which features Victorian local, cultural or social history.

RECIPIENTS:  THE ROBERT O’HARA BURKE MUSEUM BEECHWORTH and the Friends of the Burke Museum

PROJECT:   Conservation and preservation of 1875 Chinese Banner

The Burke Museum Beechworth has just completed and unveiled a display of 1870’s Chinese Banners in a new, specially designed and constructed display case. The display of banners includes conservation work that exceeds $40,000.

The most recent Banner, the 1875 banner, was conserved by Artlab in Adelaide, and the display case was designed and constructed by prominent Chinese Australian Mark Wang.  The final part of the project was funded through a grant from the Copland Foundation and money raised by the Friends of the Burke Museum.

The Banners were on display in the famous Beechworth Parades of 1873 and 1875 and depicts mid-19th Century Qing dynasty Chinese art and embroidery. During Mao’s Cultural Revolution, all art in China from this period was destroyed, making our collection particularly rare and significant.

This is a great celebration of community work, conservation and nationally significant preservation.

CATEGORY 7 –  JUNIOR HERITAGE

This Category encourages the Shire’s young people to embrace Cultural Heritage. Nominations will be considered from applicants under the age of 18 years, who demonstrate research and enthusiasm for the Shire’s history. Nominations may incorporate performance, collections or research projects.

COMMENDATION:  ST MARY’S PRIMARY SCHOOL RUTHERGLEN – CLASS OF 2013

PROJECT:    CATCHMENT CHAMPION: “Don, Small Town Man with Big Ideas” ©

In 2013, students involved in the Creative Catchment Kids program researched and wrote stories about “Catchment Champions”, people who have made important contributions to managing natural resources in their local community. The Program was generously funded by the Murray and Murrumbidgee catchment management authorities.    The Catchment Champions books are part of the Enviro-Stories Education program.

The book entitled “Don, Small Town Man with Big Ideas” tells the life story of Rutherglen’s much loved and respected local resident and Indigo Shire Councillor Don Chambers who died in Rome in October 2015. To read Don’s story, the web address is: http://www.envirostories.com.au/stories/story-books/2013books-2/ .

Enviro-Stories are an innovative literacy education program that inspires learning about natural resources and catchment management issues. Developed by Peekdesigns, this program provides students with an opportunity to publish their own stories that have been written for other kids to support learning about’ their local area. See www.envirostories.com.au.

Creative Catchment Kids is an initiative and copyright© of the Murray Darling Basin Association. Full details about the Initiative and it partners are published in the inside front cover page of the little red book.

RECIPIENT:  KIEWA VALLEY PRIMARY SCHOOL STUDENTS and the KIEWA VALLEY RSL

PROJECT:   “Flanders Field Story”

The project evolved from the Anzac Day Ceremony and the involvement with the RSL. As it was the Centenary of the landing at Gallipoli, it was felt that the School and the RSL could work together to produce a series of panels, which depict the “Flanders Field Story”. The children, under the direction of the school, produced and painted thee story. 

The project is a wonderful achievement for not only the School and the RS, but also for the residents of Tangambalanga and the wider community.  The project has shown how the School, the RSL, the Indigo Shire and the community can work together to convey the history of the ANZACS through a series of paintings situated in the centre of the town.  This is worth of entry to the Indigo Shire Heritage Awards.

The Panels were unveiled near the Kiewa Cenotaph on Remembrance Day, Novembers 2015.

CATEGORY 8 – INDIVIDUAL HERITAGE ADVOCACY AWARD

This Award, introduced in 2014, is to acknowledge outstanding contributions by an individual towards Heritage Advocacy in the Indigo Shire. An exception this year is that the Award to made to a Group.

RECIPERNTS:  THE BEECHWORTH TREESCAPE GROUP  The MayDay Hills Tree Preservation project 2012 to 2013

The aim of the project was to identify, measure, photograph and catalogue Mayday Hills flora, resulting in significant preservation orders. Data used to engage and educate the community.

In 2012, The Group became aware that the MayDay Hills heritage botanical setting was to change from public to private ownership and began urgent work to ensure the preservation of its botanical history. Work commenced on careful and accurate identification of species, GPS locations, measurements of size, assessments of age, and reasons for significance.  Professional quality photographic images of 215 trees were produced and all information stored in a database for future use.

The data facilitated three important preservation activities:

  • Tree nominations to the National Trust (Victoria) for registration for State and Regional significance;
  • Nominations to Indigo Shire Council for its Significant Tree Register; and
  • Preparation of public information on guided walks in downloadable and hard copy formats.

Outcomes of this considerable body of work include:

  • National Trust Victoria has listed 62 MayDay Hills trees or stands of trees for its Register that has reached totals of 69 trees of State and 146 of Regional significance that represents the largest collection of Trust-classified trees in Victoria;
  • MayDay Hills is now recognised as amongst the top five collections of planted trees (including remnant eucalypts) in Victoria, based on age, complexity, large number of rare species and a good succession plan with constant care over the past 150 years.
  • An informative and stimulating self-guided walking tour map showcasing the botanical beauty and heritage value of MayDay Hills is an available in both printed form and is downloaded from Beechworth Tourism at www.explorebeechworth.com .

The Indigo Shire has commenced the Significant Tree Register and has recognised the value of the botanical setting as integral to the development of Mayday Hills precinct by implementing an additional Neighbourhood character Planning Overlay which includes the natural landscape.

The Beechworth Treescape Group has received National and State recognition as Tidy Towns 2014 State Winner Protection of the Environment and commendations from both the National Trust of Australia Victoria and the Indigo Shire Heritage Advisory Committee for their heritage advocacy.

CATEGORY 9 – HERITAGE GOLD AWARD

2014 Heritage Gold is a special Award presented at the discretion of members of the Indigo Shire Heritage Advisory Committee and the National Trust of Australia (Victoria) – North East Branch The Award specifically recognises an outstanding contribution to Indigo Shire Cultural Heritage in any Award Category by an individual, community group, organisation or business.    

POSTHUMOUSLY AWARDED TO:  Mr Donald Bryan Chambers 1937 to 2015

The nomination is submitted on behalf of the former Members of the Indigo Shire Heritage Advisory Committee (ISHAC) who served following the amalgamation of the former Shires of Beechworth, Chiltern, Rutherglen and Yackandandah from 1994 and the current Committee Members to acknowledge and celebrate Don Chambers’ enormous contribution to his town Rutherglen, the Indigo Shire and to the wider Australian community.

Following his unanimous election to the Indigo Shire Council in 2012, Don became one of two Councillor Representatives on the Indigo Shire Heritage Advisory Committee.  He enthusiastically mentored, supported and encouraged all Committee Members, helped us to navigate the systems with his vast knowledge, patience, despair and humour in varying degrees …… and somehow we all survived the process each still being respectful of the other. 

He was a Councillor of Indigo Shire for 8 years (Mayor for two years) and, for his services to Local Government, was appointed a Life Member of the Victorian Local Governance Association (VLGA).

He was also chairman, a member of or on the board of many of the environmental, sustainability, land care, waste management organisations the North East Victoria Region.  Don was Chairman of the Keep Australia Beautiful National Association for 10 years and Chair of the Victorian Association for four years.

I would like to borrow the following comments from Dick Gross, President of the Keep Australia Beautiful in October 2015:

“Don was a colleague, a friend, a mover and shaker, and a mighty store of knowledge and networks.   Don’s style was unmistakeable. He cared deeply for the environment and the community, would lobby as easily in Parliament and boardrooms as in living rooms and parks. And when you saw the twinkle in his eye, which was often, you knew he was enjoying stirring for a cause.”

“If there was history … he knew it.

Understanding needed … he sought it.

A contact needed … he found it.

A connection required … he made it.”

Don was selfless in his dedication and support for every Committee and Organisation that he was associated with. The Indigo Shire Heritage Advisory Committee will be always grateful that he shared our achievements and persevered with the challenges.

We are honoured that Don’s Son Mark Chambers is with us this evening to receive this Award on behalf of the Chambers family.

Last updated: 16 September 2016