Seven Western Australian 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 groups are the Subiaco Museum, Broome Historical Society and Museum, Leonora Gwalia Historical Museum, City of Armadale, Trustees of the Christian Brothers, WA Cricket Association and Museum, and Warmun Art Centre, Turkey Creek.

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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Western Australia

Subiaco Museum received $2700 for a textile handling workshop and conservation treatment of a cashmere shawl woven at Paisley , Scotland in the 1850s and brought to Subiaco by the Monger family, early settlers in the area. The workshop will include staff and volunteers from the Subiaco Museum , Subiaco Medical Museum , Claremont Museum and Subiaco Library.

The Subiaco Museum was opened in 1975 to collect, preserve and display and make available for research items relating to the local history of Subiaco from the earliest habitation.

Broome Historical Society and Museum received $5700 for c onservation and disaster preparedness training. An important reflection of Australia ’s multicultural society, the collection includes pearling documents, photographs and diving suits.

The Broome Historical Society was formed in 1975 to collect, preserve and provide a place for objects relating to Broome and to foster research into the various aspects of Broome's history.

Leonora Gwalia Historical Museum Ltd (LGHM LTD ) received $6800 for a significance assessment and preservation survey of the collection which includes Australia 's largest steam winder engine, a restored steam train, Western Australia ’s first tramway from 1903, the ghost town of Gwalia, photographs, social artefacts and mining equipment dating from 1898 to 1963.

The LGHM Ltd was established as a community museum in 1972 on the original site of the Sons of Gwalia mine.

City of Armadale received $2600 for a preservation survey of the Birtwistle Local Studies Collection which includes oral histories, photographs, local government materials, newspapers and newsletters, community group records and maps.

Officially opened in 2003, the Birtwistle Local Studies Library is named in honour of Ivor T. Birtwistle, the first president of the Armadale - Kelmscott Historical Society.

Trustees of the Christian Brothers in Western Australian Inc received $6800 for archival storage materials to preserve documentation of the Christian Brothers’ activities in Western Australia and South Australia from 1878. The documented activities include child migration, agricultural schemes, educational institutions and refugee and Indigenous welfare support and education. The Trustees also administer a computerised index detailing the location of records held in Australia for former child migrants to Catholic Homes between 1938 and 1965.

Western Australian Cricket Association and Museum , East Perth, received $5500 for a significance assessment and preservation survey of the collection which includes significant items of the greats of cricket in Western Australia and Australia such as objects with direct links to the Victory Tests in England in 1945, the 'Bodyline' series of 1932-33 and the historic first Test March at the WACA in 1970.

Founded in 1885, the Association, through the WACA Museum , seeks to collect, preserve, document, store or display and interpret items that pertain to the history of Western Australian, Australian and International cricket and sport.

Warmun Art Centre, Turkey Creek via Kununurra, received $9000 for a significance assessment of its collection which includes paintings, woodcarvings and smaller cultural items made by the Gija community of Warmun, as well as works by leading first generation Warmun artists.

Warmun is a remote Aboriginal community located within the Gija language group boundary of the East Kimberley region of Western Australia . It services a fluctuating population of approximately 400 people, making it one of the biggest Aboriginal communities in Western Australia . The Art Centre is wholly owned and managed by the Warmun artists.