Five Western Australian groups will receive grants to help preserve the state’s heritage following the announcement of the 2008 Community Heritage Grants.

The successful and popular program is providing grants worth $37 200 to five community groups and organisations around the state in 2008. The groups include museums, historical societies, and Indigenous, sporting and religious organisations. Each will receive funds to assist in the preservation of community owned but nationally significant heritage collections.

Western Australian highlights include $6 800 to the Wyndham Historical Society for a significance assessment and $8 000 to the Claremont Museum for a significance assessment and a preservation needs assessment. The Eastern Goldfields Historical Society also received $14 300 for archival materials, a disaster bin and a security/fire detection system.

Recipients attend a three-day intensive preservation and collection management workshop held at the National Library, the National Archives of Australia, the National Museum of Australia and the National Film and Sound Archive in Canberra.

National Library Director-General Jan Fullerton said the Community Heritage Grants program showed the commitment by the National Library, along with its partner institutions and the Federal Government, in encouraging communities to care for the nation’s heritage, be it in small country towns or capital cities.

“It is all about working together to help spread the message that if we don’t preserve our history now, it could be lost forever,” she said.

“Through sharing this knowledge, the information can be taken back to the communities where it is most needed to ensure that local heritage collections are still there for future generations.”

The grant money is used for significance assessments, preservation needs assessments, conservation treatments, preservation training, digitisation, and purchasing quality storage materials or environmental monitoring equipment
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The Community Heritage Grants Program is managed by the National Library. It is funded by the Australian Government through the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts; the National Archives of Australia; the National Film and Sound Archive; the National Museum of Australia and the National Library.

Contacts:
Sally Hopman, Media Liaison Manager, 02 6262 1704; 0401 226 697; shopman@nla.gov.au
Erin Stephens, CHG Coordinator, 02 6262 1147; estephens@nla.gov.au

RAAF Association Aviation Heritage Museum of Western Australia received $4 000 for a significance assessment of the collection. The Museum contains over 6000 objects, including 29 aircraft; 38 000 photographs; 8000 books and 50 000 magazines. Included in the collection is a complete Lancaster aircraft and a Wackett aircraft (built by Australian aircraft designer Laurence Wackett). The museum also houses a Catalina Flying boat, artefacts from Australian prisoners of war and artefacts belonging to Amy Johnson, the first woman pilot to fly solo from England to Australia. Charles Ulm and Charles Kingsford Smith are also represented in the collection.

City of Wanneroo received $4 100 for training in preservation and collection management. The City of Wanneroo is currently constructing a new museum which will be opened in 2009. Its collection includes artefacts such as a campaign chest brought to Western Australia in 1829; a 'buka' (an Aboriginal kangaroo skin cloak) believed to be one of only two in West Australian museums; 1890s clothing; farm machinery and photographs.

Wyndham Historical Society (Incorporated) received $6 800 for a significance assessment of the Wyndham Historical Museum collection. Wyndham is the most northern town and port in Western Australia and as such was pivotal in the opening up of the Kimberley region in the late 1800's. The museum houses artefacts relating to exploration; pioneers and pastoral stations; meatworks (1919 - 1985); aviation and shipping; World War II bombings; Chinese and Indigenous history.

Eastern Goldfields Historical Society Inc received $14 300 for archival materials, a disaster bin and a security/fire detection system. The collection has a focus on Kalgoorlie-Boulder, but also covers the sites of many of the early gold rushes in Western Australia, including Coolgardie, Kambalda, Leonora-Gwalia, Laverton, Norseman, Leinster, Wiluna, Menzies and Sandstone. The society boasts one of Australia’s largest collections of historic West Australian goldfields photographs and holds a comprehensive selection of books on the goldfields and Western Australia

Claremont Museum received $8 000 for a significance assessment and preservation needs assessment of the Claremont Museum collection. Collection items of note include the Mews Boat Shed Collection, which has links to the Broome pearling industry and the Fremantle whaling industry; material relating to Sir Paul Hasluck (1905-1993), journalist, diplomat and Governor-General of Australia and Dame Alexandra Hasluck, author and past National President of the Girl Guides Association and Australian Red Cross. This project will inform the museum’s planning for a new collection storage facility.