Twenty-five New South Wales community groups have been awarded a 2006 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 groups include Tamworth’s Australian Country Music Foundation, the Chinese Australian Historical Society, the Walgett’s Dharriwaa Elders Group, the Museum of Fire, Rookwood Anglican and General Cemetery Trusts, the Sisters of Mercy at Singleton, Sydney Jewish Museum and Unions NSW.

The Minister for the Arts and Sport, Senator Rod Kemp, said significant milestones reached this year indicated the success, popularity and national significance of the program.

“Passing of the $2 million mark, doubling the funding for training grants, and increasing the number of recipients has increased the ability of community groups across the country to preserve Australia’s heritage,” Senator Kemp said at the National Library of Australia tonight.

Senator Kemp announced funding of more than $391,000 for 80 community groups and organisations under the 2006 Community Heritage Grants program.

The groups include museums, libraries, archives, historical societies, art galleries, migrant, Indigenous and religious organisations. Each received funds to assist in the identification and preservation of community owned but nationally significant heritage collections.

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

Senator Kemp said the program, part of the government’s Strengthening Australian Arts commitment, has surpassed expectations on all levels.

“It has been taken up by community groups throughout Australia ensuring the longevity of nationally significant collections and that the collections stay in the community where they belong,” Senator Kemp said.

“The diversity of the collections chronicle our Australian lives – past and present – including transport, sport, science, industry, Indigenous, education, crafts, migration and religion. They also reflect geographic diversity with collection locations ranging from central business districts of our capital cities to tiny, isolated villages. All participants and the national institutions are to be congratulated.”

Jan Fullerton AO, Director-General National Library of Australia, said she, along with the other heads of the partner institutions, was immensely proud of the Community Heritage Grants program.

“It demonstrates our truly national commitment to preserving our heritage for the pleasure and research interests of future generations,” she said.
“Over the years hundreds of people involved in nationally significant collections throughout Australia have been given the opportunity to come to Canberra, enhance their skills through the expertise of the Library, the Museum, and the two Archives, and to then take their new knowledge back to their community to ensure the collections are preserved and managed while remaining in a meaningful context.”

2006 is the 13th anniversary of the program. In that time 506 projects throughout Australia have received a total of more than $2 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.

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.

Media contacts: Yvonne Kennedy 02 6262 1353; 0411 753 891;



Arts Northern Rivers Inc received $9000 for collection management training for staff of 21 museums in the Northern NSW region and significance assessment of their collections.

Established in 2003, Arts Northern Rivers is part of the Regional Arts network. It encompasses Tweed, Lismore, Kyogle, Byron, Ballina, Richmond Valley and Clarence Valley. Its objectives include fostering and promoting the culture of the region, Indigenous arts and cultural programs. It also seeks to enhance the social and economic community development.

Australian Country Music Foundation Inc received $7200 for a significance assessment of the Foundations collection and a significance training project. The collection include the country music reference library of books and magazines, personal papers, letters, diaries, newspaper cuttings and scrapbooks, original manuscripts, photographs, posters, publicity material, sheet music, paintings, as well as audiovisual recordings and sound recordings as acetates, shellac disks, 78 records, vinyl, cassettes, CDs, slides and film.

The Foundation was formed in 1993 to establish a permanent National Country Music Archive and Resource Centre in Tamworth. Smoky Dawson has been the Foundation’s Patron since its inception.

Australian Lebanese Historical Society Inc received $2000 for digitisation of the Society’s photographic collection depicting early Lebanese settlers from 1890 to 1945. This project builds on a previous Community Heritage Grant funded project which saw the Society develop an archival strategy plan.
Formed in 1999, the Australian Lebanese Historical Society undertakes a range of activities such as historical meetings, seminars, displays and exhibitions in focussing on Lebanese settlement in Australia.

Avondale College Ltd received $5900 for a significance assessment and a preservation assessment of the College’s collection housed in the Adventist Heritage Centre. It includes 15 000 photographs, 2100 audio recordings, 1200 building plans, 400 serial titles, 350 videotapes and 45 evangelistic stage backdrops.

The Adventist Heritage Centre was established to collect, preserve and make available for research records and artefacts relating to the origins, development, and activities of the Seventhday Adventist Church in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific Islands.

Cathedral Parish of St Saviour, Goulburn, received $4600 for a preservation survey of the Cathedral’s textile collection and a preservation training workshop. The Cathedral collection of textiles including Sowerby frontals, vestments, a centenary tapestry, a woven wall hanging, 393 kneelers and 8 cushions as well as paintings, photographs, wood carvings, processional crosses, candlesticks, carved furniture, and a crucifix carved by Edmund Blacket, who designed the Cathedral in the 1870s. This project builds on a significance assessment that was funded by a Community Heritage Grant last year.

The Cathedral Parish of St Saviour is part of the Anglican Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn.

Council of the City of Lithgow received $5000 for archival storage materials for the Eskbank House & Museum collection which has more than 2000 pieces produced or associated with the Lithgow Valley Pottery, a Suttons Crazy Patchwork Quilt dating from 1893, the Lithgow Woollen Mills Collection, the Sir Joseph Cook collection, the Eskbank Ironworks Blast Furnace Collection, a fully restored Hansom cab, wooden sulkies (c.1900), and some fifteen hundred pieces donated by the community of Lithgow. This project implements the recommendation of a preservation survey of the collection funded by a Community Heritage Grant last year.
Eskbank House was donated to the people of Lithgow by Eric Bracey in 1966.

Chinese Australian Historical Society Inc received $5500 for a collection management and preservation training project. The focus of the two and a half day workshop will be to increase the awareness of the older Chinese community organisations in the Sydney region of the importance of collecting, maintaining and preserving their records. Since most of the pre 1960 records will be in Chinese, it is planned to have Chinese archivists present the workshop.
Founded in 2000, the Chinese Australian Historical Society Inc aims to advance the study of the history and heritage of the Chinese in Australia by holding seminars, workshops and conferences.

Chinese Nationalist Party of Australasia (KMT) Inc received $8470 for archival storage and environmental monitoring equipment for the Kuomintang Archives which include artefacts of Chinese Australian history in Australia, membership, subscription and minute books relating to KMT branches in Australasia and the Pacific Islands dating back to the 1920s, KMT Publications from China/Taiwan, and original hanging scrolls of heritage value, two of them in the original handwriting of KMT founder Sun Yatsen.

By 1915 various Chinese revolutionary and republican groups in New South Wales came together to form the Chinese Revolutionary League. In 1916 it was renamed the Chinese Nationalist League, and from that time Sydney became the centre of the Chinese republican movement throughout Oceania. In 1920 it was again renamed as the Chinese Nationalist Party of Australasia, or the Kuomintang (KMT).

Dharriwaa Elders Group (DEG) Inc received $7000 for a collection management training project.
DEG was officially formed in 2000. The Group took its name from one of its sacred sites – Narran Lakes – Dharriwaa meaning ‘common meeting place’. Its members are Aboriginal people aged over 60 who live in Walgett. Amongst DEG’s aims is to support Aboriginal elders to resume leadership roles in the community, keep active and healthy, promote local Aboriginal cultural knowledge and identity and develop the Walgett Aboriginal community.

Flying Fruit Fly Circus, Wodonga, received $4000 for a preservation survey of its collection which includes photographs, slides, videos, posters, programs, costumes, banners, theatre props, memorabilia and circus equipment. This project builds on a significance assessment of the collection funded by a 2005 Community Heritage Grant.
Founded in 1979 during The International Year of the Child, The Flying Fruit Fly Circus has established itself as one of the world's premier youth performing arts companies. It is Australia's only full time circus training institution for children.

Jessie Street National Women's Library (JSNWL) received $9900 for conservation treatments of Pine Gap Story Boards which are primarily of large poster boards put together in the early 1980s following women’s activity against the Pine Gap military installations. This project follows a preservation survey and a digitisation project.
Established in 1989, the JSNWL was named after Jessie Street who was a lifelong campaigner for women’s rights both in Australia and internationally. The Library’s collection includes 128 archival collections as well as a collection of photographs, banners, badges, ephemera as well as scholarly works scholarly works written on women’s history, women’s biographies, government publications which relate to women and women’s issues, works of literature and popular culture.

Museum of Fire Inc received $5900 for a significance assessment and preservation survey of the Museum’s collection which covers all aspects of fire from the earliest days as a tool of Indigenous groups, its role in the environment, bushfires, through to the modern Fire Service that protects our communities.
Established in 1975, the Museum of Fire aims to provide a permanent institution dedicated to the acquisition, conservation, research and communication of fire, fire fighting and fire prevention exhibits for the purpose of research, study, education and enjoyment.

Mutawintji Local Aboriginal Land Council (LALC) received $4000 for a significance assessment and archival storage of the Mutawintji LALC papers dating from 1983 to 1998. During this period title to the Mutawintji land was in dispute with the owners setting up blockades. The papers include the chairperson of the Mutawintji LALC throughout this period, Willaim Bates' personal papers such as letters, letters from and to the Mutawintji LALC, meeting agendas, minutes, notes, legal advice from barristers sympathetic to the movement, material relating to the handback legislation including position papers requesting management by the Aboriginal owners, photograghs of the blockades and meetings, and newspaper clippings.

Mutawintji LALC aims to enable Aboriginal people to access Mutawintji and to negotiate appropriate management of the sensitive and fragile cultural landscape.
Rookwood Anglican and General Cemetery Trusts received $2500 for a preservation survey of the Cemetery’s Burial Records.

The Rookwood Necropolis was founded in response to the problem Sydney was faced by in the early 19th century. Sydney’s first two cemeteries were located where Sydney Town Hall and central Railway Station now stand. These cemeteries were quickly outgrown and also unfavoured as they were situated in the centre of town. Rookwood’s first burial took place in 1867 and is still a working cemetery. It is the largest cemetery in Australia and the Southern Hemisphere, and one of the largest in the world.

Royal Society of New South Wales received $5000 for continuation of a significance of the remainder of the Society’s document collection dating back to its inception as the Philosophical Society of Australia in 1821, the first scientific society in Australia.

There are many first editions and journals unique to Australian scientific, exploration and social history. Included are original Lawrence Hargrave drawings and works by Charles Darwin and Louis Pasteur.

SDN Children's Services Inc received $6000 for the digitisation of the Services photographic collection of children, staff, board members and significant events that have taken place across throughout the Society’s life. This project will build on a preservation survey and archival storage purchase previously funded by Community Heritage Grants.

Founded in 1905 and originally known as the Sydney Day Nursery Association, SDN Children’s Services was the first such organisation in Australia to provide not for profit long day care.

Sisters of Mercy (Singleton) received $3500 for a significance assessment of Singleton Convent Library Collection which is made up of books that had belonged to the Sisters since their arrival from Ireland.

The Sisters of Mercy Singleton was founded from Ennis, Co Clare, Ireland in August 1875. A group of ten young women arrived to minister within the then Diocese of Maitland. The Sisters gradually spread throughout the Hunter Valley, teaching, nursing, and engaging in various kinds of ministries to the disadvantaged. The Sisters still currently own the Mater Misericordiae Hospital, Waratah, NSW.

Society of the Friends of St Mary's Cathedral Choir Sydney received $2700 for a significance assessment of its collection which includes considerable historical material on the choir, as well as printed music and recorded music.

The Choir is Australia’s oldest continuous musical institution dating from 1817. Currently it is a 60-voice choir comprising men and boys. The Friends aim to publish the history of the choir from its inception in 1817, to build the sound and music archives, and to maintain the historical archives.

St Clement's Monastery – Trustees of the Redemptorist Fathers received $6700 for a significance assessment and preservation survey of the Monastery’s collection and a preservation training project. The collection is diverse spanning pre-European settlement, early settlement and Monastry life, with much of it only being located during the recent renovations at the monastery. Material related to Galong located in other Redemptorist houses is being returned for inclusion in the archive.

The Redemptorists (Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer) came to Australia in 1882. The foundation stone of the monastery was laid in 1917 and the Juvenate, St Clement’s College officially opened in 1918. The college closed in 1975 and the accommodation is now a Retreat Centre.

St George Regional Museum, Hurstville City Council received $2700 for a significance assessment of the Museum’s core collection which relates to the history of the St George district from 1788–1970.

The Museum started its life as the Centennial Bakery. Today it is run by Hurstville City Council, as a facility designed to collect, maintain, interpret and exhibit artefacts that relate to the history, heritage and culture of the regional area.

Sydney Jewish Museum received $4000 for a significance assessment and preservation survey of the National Australian Jewish Ex-Servicemen (NAJEX) collection comprising materials related to the contribution of Australian Jewish personnel to conflicts in which the Australian forces have been involved.

The Sydney Jewish Museum opened in 1992. Its mission is to build cross-cultural understanding by addressing questions of social justice, human rights and tolerance through its displays of the Holocaust, Australian Jewish history and Jewish culture and traditions.

The Oaks Historical Society Inc received $3520 for a significance assessment of the collection at the Wollondilly Heritage Centre. The collection includes artefacts and documents relating to local history such as industry – timber getting, mining, orcharding and poultry farms, education, farming, and local military history represented from the Boer War, WWI, WWII, Vietnam and on the home front.

The Oaks Historical Society was formed in 1979 to research the history of The Oaks and the Burragorang Valley which was flooded by Warragamba Dam.

Trustees of Linden Observatory received $2970 for a significance assessment of the Observatory collection comprising the residence of the engineer Mr Ken Beames, the Observatory dome, various workshops and outbuildings and their contents.

The Linden Observatory Trust came into being in 1989 upon the death Mr Beames, who had built Linden Observatory. His Will created a charitable Trust to promote and encourage the study of astronomy and to maintain in perpetuity the Observatory.

Unions NSW received $6800 for a preservation survey of the Trade Hall Trade Union Banner and Trades Hall and Literary Institute Library collection comprising more than 100 heritage banners, 1000 posters, 10 000 books, an extensive archive, 1200 union badges, and union ephemera.

Established in 1871, the Labor Council of NSW, now Unions NSW, is the oldest trade union peak council in Australia. Unions NSW represents more than 700 000 working people wages, conditions, and occupational health and safety issues. It also develops policy positions on a wide range of economic, environmental and social issues as a voice for union members.

Young and District Historical Society Inc and Lambing Flat Museum received $3850 for conservation of the Roll-up Flag which was used as a marching banner in a series of incidents in mid-1861 organised by miners to protest against the presence of the Chinese at the Burrangong Goldfield on the Lambing Flat diggings, now the township of Young.

The Museum's mission is to demonstrate the unique history of Young and district through the collection, research, presentation and exhibition of objects, documents and audiovisual material.