23 Victorian community groups have been awarded a 2005 Federal Community Heritage Grant.
Announced by the Federal Minister for the Arts and Sport, Senator the Hon. Rod Kemp, at the National Library of Australia (Wednesday evening), the successful and diverse groups include the Union of Australian Women, Whitley College, the Armenian Heritage Centre, Central Highlands Regional Library, Back to Back Theatre, Vision Australia, Puffing Billy Preservation Society, The Flying Fruit Fly Circus, Berwick Mechanics Institute and Free Library, Jewish Holocaust Centre and the Echuca, Castlemaine, Kyneton and Tatura Historical Societies.
A total of $377 865 was distributed to 76 groups from around Australia to assist in the identification and preservation of community owned but nationally significant heritage collections. In addition, recipients are attending a three-day intensive preservation and collection management workshop being held at the National Library of Australia, the National Archives, the National Museum of Australia and the National Film and Sound Archives in Canberra .
Senator Kemp said the Community Heritage Grants are very important in supporting the effort to preserve our national heritage at the grassroots.
“From Broome to Burnie the grants provide funds and expertise to ensure our national heritage is protected and accessible with the collections remaining in their local context.
“This year sees the Community Heritage Grants program come of age with a stronger emphasis on training, the inclusion of artefacts, and the participation of the National Museum . The program’s maturity and national significance as part of the government’s Strengthening Australian Arts commitment is recognised with a near doubling of grant funding and the raising of the grant ceiling to $10 000,” he said.
2005 is the 12th anniversary of the program. In that time 426 projects throughout Australia have received more than $1.6 million in funding and extensive training opportunities. The grant money is used for collection assessments, preservation surveys, conservation treatments, preservation training, digitisation, and purchasing quality storage material or environmental monitoring equipment.
Jan Fullerton AO, Director-General National Library of Australia , said the Community Heritage Grants demonstrate the commitment of the National Library and all the partner institutions to preserving our heritage, particularly through training.
“It’s about our national institutions coming together to share their expertise which is then taken back to communities throughout Australia . This skills transfer aims to have heritage collections remain in the community and available for the pleasure and research interests of future generations of Australians,” she said.
The Community Heritage Grants Program is managed by the National Library of Australia. It is funded by the Australian Government through the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, the National Archives of Australia, the Australian Film Commission, the National Museum of Australia and the National Library of Australia.
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Echuca Historical Society received $1320 for archival storage materials to rehouse and make more accessible documents, books and ledgers dating back to the 1850s relating to Echuca and district.
The Echuca Historical Society has been in operation since 1960s with a strong focus on recording the early settlement along the Murray River .
Jewish Holocaust Centre, Elsternwick , received $2500 for a significance assessment of its collection of documents, photographs, textiles and artefacts related to the Holocaust mostly from the period 1933-1950.
The Centre was established in 1984 by a group of Holocaust survivors, dedicated to preserving the memory of the Holocaust and educating visitors about the dangers of racism.
The Melbourne Athenaeum Inc. received $6600 for a preservation survey and archival storage materials of its collection including membership records, hall hire records, accounts and business records, quarterly lists of books, artefacts, artworks, deeds, leases and mortgages, photos and other memorabilia.
The Melbourne Athenaeum Inc. is the oldest public institution in Victoria , founded in 1839.
Berwick Mechanics Institute and Free Library received $3000 for a preservation survey of the collection which represents the local cultural life from early European settlement. In addition The Casey Collection provides a rare insight into the residential lives of Lord and Lady Casey and reflects their diverse careers on the world stage.
The Institute was founded in 1862 to help inform and educate local workers and residents of the area by way of lectures, debates and readings.
Melbourne Steam Traction Engine Club Inc received $5000 for a preservation survey of the collection of an extensive and diverse range of industrially obsolete but technically and historically significant machinery. The emphasis is on representing the evolution of power sources such as steam and internal combustion.
The Melbourne Steam Traction Engine club was founded in 1963 and operates the national Steam Centre in the Melbourne suburb of Scoresby.
Castlemaine Historical Society Inc received $3000 for a preservation survey of the collection which consists of original and copied material relating to the people, establishment and development of the Mount Alexander Goldfields from 1851 to the current day.
The Society was formed in 1965 to collect, study, record and promote the historical heritage of Castlemaine and district.
Kyneton Historical Society Inc received $3900 for a preservation survey of the collection and training workshops to instruct on basic museum management, conservation and handling of items.
The Kyneton Historical Society was founded in 1951, to collect, preserve and make available for research, records and artefacts, relating to the development of the town and its environs.
Tatura and District Historical Society received $8500 for archival storage materials and conservation treatments on items in the collection which includes documents and artefacts focussing on the Tatura District from white settlement to the present day.
Multicultural Sudanese Centre, Newport, received $2500 for a significance assessment of its collection of family history documents of people of the Sudan and the Horn of Africa communities who have mainly arrived recently in Australia . The collection includes photographs, certificates, letters, newspapers, memorabilia to conserve the community’s national heritage.
The Centre was formed in 2002.
The Flying Fruit Fly Circus, Wodonga, received $3300 for a significance assessment of its collection including photographs, slides, videos, posters, programs, costumes, banners, theatre props, memorabilia and circus equipment.
The Flying Fruit Fly Circus was formed in 1979 to promote and enhance the artistic and educational development of young people through high quality circus training, performance and cultural exchange.
Australian Polish Community Services Inc, Footscray, received $3000 for a preservation survey of its collection of documents relating to the establishment of the organisation and its activities.
APCS was established in 1983 to address the growing needs of the ageing Polish population in the Western Metropolitan Region of Victoria.
Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West Inc received $6750 for digitisation of audio and audio visual material.
Australia ’s first eco-museum, the Living Museum of the West focuses on Melbourne ’s western regions and includes oral history audiotapes, books, maps and a large photographic collection.
Puffing Billy Preservation Society Inc, Belgrave, received $3850 for a preservation survey of its collection and training of volunteers in approved methods of archive storage and handling.
The Puffing Billy Preservation Society was established in 1955, to preserve a representative line of the four Narrow Gauge (2'6") (762mm) lines opened by the Victorian Railways from 1898 to 1910 and which were closed due to economic failure by the 1950's.
Vision Australia received $3900 for a preservation survey of its of collection of documents many recording the most important milestones and developments in the history of blind and vision impaired Australia .
Vision Australia is the result of the merging in 2004 of the Royal Blind Society of NSW, the Royal Victorian Institute for the Blind and the Vision Australia Foundation.
Back to Back Theatre, Geelong , received $2700 for a significance assessment of its collection of approximately 3000 items including documentation of creative development processes, finished works, administrative processes and critical responses.
Formed in 1987, Back to Back is a professional theatre company driven by an ensemble with intellectual disabilities, and is recognised nationally and internationally as a leading exponent of disability and the arts.
YWCA Victoria, Melbourne, received $3,500 for a preservation survey of its collection which includes 1700 files boxes documenting the organisation's 123 years of services to women across Victoria .
YWCA Victoria is a non-profit community organisation, providing services to women, particularly the disadvantaged young.
Flagstaff Hill Maritime Museum, Warrnambool, received $4000 for archival storage materials for its collection relating to the maritime history of the south west of Victoria .
Opened in 1975, the Museum houses maritime artefacts, photographs, maps, charts, ledgers and documents including early lighthouse meteorological records, Customs Department records and Harbour Trust material.
Central Highlands Regional Library Corporation, Ballarat, received $5500 for a significance assessment and preservation survey of oral history tapes.
The oral history collection held at Ballarat Branch Library was created in the early 1980s. The oral history project was work experience for young people who interviewed approximately 200 subjects from Ballarat and district, aged at the time around 80 to 90 years. The tapes capture aspects of Australian life, attitudes and experience.
St John’s Anglican Church, Creswick, received $8600 for archival storage materials and bookbinding to preserve its archival collection including registers, minute books and other records of St John's Church Creswick and its associated churches.
St John's Church of England was established c.1855 to serve the major goldmining centre of Creswick, just north of Ballarat.
Armenian General Benevolent Union Vic Inc – Armenian Heritage Centre, Glen Waverley, received $2750 for a significance assessment of its collection which is derived almost exclusively from first and second generation immigrants of Armenian background.
The Union was formed to encourage, support, assist and carry out research into the Armenian community's culture and history and to educate the Australian community about Armenia .
Nobelius Heritage Park and Emerald Museum received $2400 for archival storage materials and training to preserve its collection based on early photographs, memorabilia, maps and documentation of Emerald and district.
Established in 1981, the Emerald Museum is a local history museum and archives operated by a voluntary committee appointed by Cardinia Shire Council.
Whitley College, Parkville, received $6600 for a preservation survey of its collections and conservation training for members of the Victorian Chapter of the Australian and New Zealand Theological Librarians Association.
Whitley College , formerly the Baptist Theological College of Victoria, was established in 1891 and was the first Baptist theological college in Australia .
Union of Australian Women (Victoria), Melbourne, received $8360 to implement the recommendations of a previous preservation survey, including the purchase of archival storage materials and conservation treatments of photographs recording 50 years of Union actions and campaigns .
The Union is a National Organisation formed in 1950. Until the women’s movement of the 1970s it was one of the few to work for the status and well being of women and children, lobbying on such issues as childcare and maternity leave.