The Community Heritage Grant program supports local groups to access professional cultural heritage expertise. It provides funding for community organisations to understand the meaning and value of their collections and undertake conservation activities.

Conserving a special natural history collection

The Flinders University Vertebrate Collection (FUVC) was founded during the 1980s to support teaching the first classes in palaeontology at Flinders University. Over the past 30 years, Flinders Palaeontology has grown and developed this collection to represent nearly 200 vertebrate species, and it is used for research, teaching, public outreach programs and displays.

Flinders Palaeontology received a Community Heritage Grant in 2022. As a volunteer-run organisation, this grant will help to employ a specialist conservator to assess the significance of the collection, including identifying rare and unique items that are not represented in other Australian organisations. 

‘Flinders Palaeontology is very grateful to receive Community Heritage Grant funding to undertake a significance assessment of the Flinders University Vertebrate Collection. Natural history collections aren’t just important records of our natural world, but also provide an invaluable resource for studying its past, present and future. 

A significance assessment will help us better understand the value of the FUVC, highlight its uniqueness relative to other natural history collections, and provide a basis for further promoting and encouraging its use for research, reference and education.’ 

women working with bone
Diana Fusco, Lisa Nink working with the Flinders University Vertebrate Collection

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Image: Jacob Blokland, A pair of white-capped albatross skeletons from the Flinders University Vertebrate Collection