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Heritage news releases: 2012 archive

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News items

Toongabbie Government Farm Archaeological Site listed on the State Heritage Register

Minister Parker announced the listing of the former Toongabbie Government Farm Archaeological Site on the State Heritage Register, onsite on 11 December 2012. This rare place has strong potential for early convict era archaeology and is one of only two government farms of the type ever established in NSW on a model prepared by Governor Phillip. Toongabbie was the colony’s second successful Government Farm which represents one of the earliest colonial expansions of public agriculture and planned convict settlement. By 1792 it was the colony’s principal farm and its main provider of crops, as well as raising most of the government farm stock. It was a major site of convict labour known as a harsh and crowded workplace for convicts as was used as an early place of secondary punishment. The Farm is also known for hostilities with Aboriginal peoples, and also as a site of Irish convict insurgency. This part of the former site of the Toongabbie convict settlement has survived urban expansion as an oasis of peaceful parkland on a bend of the Toongabbie Creek.

Reasons for listing

The Minister directed the listing of the Toongabbie Government Farm Archaeological Site on the State Heritage Register for the following reasons:

  • Toongabbie Government Farm is considered to be of state significance as a rare site of potential early convict era archaeology of one of the only two government farms of their type ever established in NSW;
  • Listing will provide for the identification and registration of this item of state heritage significance;
  • Listing will promote an understanding of the state’s heritage; and
  • Listing will encourage the conservation of this item of the state’s heritage.

Media release 11 December 2012

More information in the online datebase

Cintra in Maitland added to State Heritage Register

Front external view of the two storey home known as Cintra, a Victorian Italianate town villa style building.

Cintra House, Garden and Stables

The Minister for Heritage, The Hon Robyn Parker MP announced the listing of Cintra on the State Heritage Register during a visit to the property on 31 August 2012. A substantial nineteenth century villa designed in the Victorian Italianate style, Cintra was built in 1878 and is a Maitland landmark. The house is special for demonstrating the pattern of settlement and commercial expansion of the region prior to the growth of Newcastle. Built for members of the Levy and Cohen families, the property retains strong links to the Jewish community in Maitland, Sydney and the United Kingdom. Cintra retains its original interiors, stables, carriage house, water tanks, kitchen, laundry and scullery at the rear, plus the original garden layout. The house was nominated for listing by its proud owners.

Reasons for listing

The Minister directed the listing of the Cintra House, Garden and Stables on the State Heritage Register for the following reasons:

  • Cintra House, Garden and Stables is a highly intact example of a Victorian Italianate town villa in a regional area

  • It has original and early interiors and extant outbuildings and service wings.

  • These include the original stables, kitchen, scullery and laundry. 

  • Cintra is a widely recognised architectural landmark in Maitland which contributes to the heritage of the Hunter Valley demonstrating the pattern of settlement and commercial expansion of the region prior to the growth of Newcastle.

Media release 30 August 2012

More information in the online database

Wentworth Memorial Church and moveable heritage collection listed on the State Heritage Register

The Wentworth Memorial Church within the former Wentworth Estate at Vaucluse, Sydney

Wentworth Memorial Church, front facade


The Minister for Heritage, The Hon Robyn Parker MP added the Wentworth Memorial Church and Moveable Heritage Collection to the State Heritage Register as one of the most important ecclesiastical examples of the ‘Sydney School’ of architecture which came to prominence in the 1960s. Designed by architect Don Gazzard and built in 1965, the church served as a memorial to the Second World War and is widely considered the most architecturally refined church of the period in Sydney. With its dramatic position atop a rocky hilltop, the soaring white walled church is a significant landmark. The listing also includes a collection of moveable heritage by significant Twentieth century artists such as Darani Lewers, Helge Larsen and Mona Hessing.

Reasons for listing

The Minister directed the listing of the Wentworth Memorial Church and Moveable Heritage Collection on the State Heritage Register for the following reasons:

  • It is one of the most important ecclesiastical examples of the Sydney School style of architecture, which came to prominence in the 1960s.  The listing also covers a collection of moveable heritage including purpose designed pews, furniture, artworks and metalware by significant twentieth century artists. It is also of State heritage significance for its association with noted architect Don Gazzard and with important colonial figure, William Wentworth and his family who established the Vaucluse estate and arranged for the land on which the Church stands to be transferred to the Anglican church for the establishment of a Church.
  • Listing will provide for the identification and registration of this item of State heritage significance.
  • Listing will promote an understanding of the State’s heritage.
  • Listing will encourage the conservation of this item of the State’s heritage

Media release 25 September 2012

More information in the online database



Captain Thunderbolt sites listed on State Heritage Register



Life-sized statue is of the colourful bushranger, Captain Thunderbolt seated on horseback set against a blue sky in Uralla.

Statue of Captain Thunderbolt erected in Uralla during Bicentenary.

The Minister for Heritage, The Hon Robyn Parker MP added four sites at Uralla associated with Captain Thunderbolt on the State Heritage Register: Thunderbolt’s Rock; Blanch’s Royal Oak Inn (former); Thunderbolt’s Death Site; and Thunderbolt’s Grave. The Captain Thunderbolt sites together are of State significance due to their associations with the mythology of Captain Thunderbolt, the bushranger. The exploits of Thunderbolt were recorded in newspapers of the day and were widely known across New South Wales and Australia. Thunderbolt has retained a legendary status in the public's imagination, ensuring he is viewed as a significant person in the state's history. A rise in nationalist sentiment leading up to Federation led to the romanticisation of the bushrangers, including Captain Thunderbolt.

 

Reasons for listing

The Minister directed the listing of the Thunderbolt sites on the State Heritage Register for the following reasons:

  • The Captain Thunderbolt Sites are considered to be of State significance as the sites are of historical significance in demonstrating the impact of bushranging on mid-19th century New South Wales. The Captain Thunderbolt sites are of State significance due to their associations with the mythology of Captain Thunderbolt the bushranger. The exploits of Captain Thunderbolt were recorded in newspapers of the day and were widely known across New South Wales. The historical treatment of Captain Thunderbolt has retained his legend in the public's imagination ensuring he is viewed as a significant person in the history of New South Wales.
  • Listing will provide for the identification and registration of these items of State heritage significance.
  • Listing will promote an understanding of the State’s heritage; and
  • Listing will encourage the conservation of these associated items of the State’s heritage.

Media release 20 July 2012

More Information in the online database

The Captain Thunderbolt Sites

The Captain Thunderbolt Site - Thunderbolt's Rock

The Captain Thunderbolt Site - Blanch's Royal Oak Inn

The Captain Thunderbolt Site - Thunderbolt's Death Site

The Captain Thunderbolt Site - Thunderbolt's Grave

The Cathedral of Saints Michael and John in Bathurst listed on State Heritage Register

The Cathedral of Saints Michael and John in Bathurst.

The Cathedral of Saints Michael and John in Bathurst.

The Minister for Heritage announced the addition of the Cathedral of Saints Michael and John, Bathurst, on the State Heritage Register during a visit to Bathurst on 4 June 2012. The Cathedral is a notable example of British architect Charles Hansom's Victorian Gothic ecclesiastical architecture. The building was the second Catholic cathedral established in NSW and built to serve the third Catholic diocese established in NSW in 1865 - the Diocese of Bathurst, which covered much of western and northern NSW at the time.

The Cathedral retains significant research potential as it embodies not only the design aspirations of the architects and designers responsible for the original design drawing from 19th century traditions, but also in demonstrating changes in function and liturgical practice from the mid 19th century to the late 20th century.

The Cathedral of Saints Michael and John is only one of four 19th century Roman Catholic cathedrals in NSW and is a fine example of a NSW Cathedral constructed in the English Gothic Revival style of the 1840s.

Media release 4 June 2012

More information in the online database.

8 June 2012

Minister unveils plaque marking 70th anniversary of the Japanese midget submarine attack at Sydney

Plaque marking the 70th anniversary of the Japanese midget submarine attack

Plaque marking the 70th anniversary of the Japanese midget submarine attack

Sonar image of the M24

Sonar image of the M24

The Minister for Heritage, The Hon Robyn Parker MP, together with the Consul General of Japan, Dr Masahiro Kohara, today unveiled a heritage plaque at North Mona Vale Headland Reserve, Sydney, to mark the 70th anniversary of the historic event which falls on 31 May 2012.

The site was chosen as its lies adjacent to the wreck of the only midget submarine surviving underwater from the raid, M24. The archaeological wreck site is listed on the NSW State Heritage Register under the NSW Heritage Act 1977, and also protected by the Commonwealth Historic Shipwrecks Act 1976.

The plaque recalls the historical events of May 31/June 1, 1942, when a special attack force of five large ocean-going submarines launched three midget submarines against warship targets inside Sydney Harbour. Minister Parker took the opportunity to also release unique sonar imagery of the wreck site gathered through the Heritage Branch's ongoing archaeological surveys of the M24 wreck, with specialist support from the Sydney Ports Corporation. The data allows visitors to 'virtually fly' around the wreck for the first time.

M24 was discovered by a recreational diving group, 'No Frills Divers' in 2006, who joined the Minister to mark the event and the importance of the M24 wreck site in documenting this important aspect of the State's military history.

The Minister also announced that the NSW Government will trial a project to allow recreational diver visitation to the internationally significant wreck later in the year, via a ballot.

Controlled diver access is strongly supported by both the Commonwealth and the Japanese governments.

Because the site represents the tomb of the two Japanese submariners who went down with their craft in 1942, there will be strict conditions on all divers accessing the site.

If successful, consideration will be given to making it an annual event.

Media release 28 May 2012

View the "Virtual fly-through" video and the Image Gallery.

28 May 2012

Royal National Park Coastal Cabin Communities Listed on the State Heritage Register

Royal National Park coastal cabin communities

Royal National Park coastal cabin communities

The Royal National Park (RNP) Coastal Cabin Communities of Little Garie, South Era and Burning Palms are the largest and most intact group of vernacular coastal weekender cabins remaining in NSW.

The coastal cabin communities are located around separate beaches in the southern area of Royal National Park. Each community has a distinctive visual character reflecting particular histories and topography but are generally defined by tight groupings of cabins within cleared grassed areas that are backed by dense rainforest escarpment and separated by headlands.

They are historically important as they provide evidence of the development of simple weekender accommodation around Sydney from the 1920s and 1930s starting with tent accommodation that developed into huts and cabins. Many cabins still contain technology dating from the 1930s including kerosene fridges and stoves.

The cabin communities demonstrate aesthetic and creative achievement with the combination of large village-like groupings of a now rare vernacular building type located within dramatic landscape settings of Royal National Park. These distinctive cabin landscapes have no direct comparison in terms of scale and setting in NSW.

More information in the online database.

Media release.

23 April 2012

Cathedral of the Annunciation of Our Lady listed on the State Heritage Register

Cathedral of the Annunciation of Our Lady

Cathedral of the Annunciation of Our Lady

The Cathedral of the Annunciation of Our Lady is of State heritage significance as an important early ecclesiastical design in the architectural career of Edmund Blacket. Originally St Paul's Anglican Church, its Decorated Gothic design became one of the established architectural models for parish church construction throughout NSW.

This item is also significant as the Greek Orthodox Cathedral for Australia and for its association with the migrant communities that settled in NSW following the Second World War. Establishing churches and maintaining the orthodox faith has always been a significant aspect of the Greek-Australian experience and, since the conversion and re-consecration of the church to the Orthodox faith in 1970, the cathedral has become a centre for worship and the continuity and celebration of Greek customs, traditions and language.

More information in the online database.

23 April 2012








Australian Heritage Week

Australian Heritage Week

Australian Heritage Week

NSW Minister for Heritage, Robyn Parker today announced that Australian Heritage Week opens on Saturday 14 April and will run until Sunday 22 April. The event includes a range of activities across NSW to raise awareness of the places and stories that make our history unique.

The Minister said, "as the first State, New South Wales has a rich social and cultural heritage."

"Australian Heritage Week builds on the National Trust of Australia's annual Heritage Festival, which has been running for 32 years. Heritage week in NSW is an opportunity for us all to celebrate our special legacy."

Key NSW events include:

  • A 'women in heritage' seminar hosted by the Heritage Branch on April 19th to celebrate women architects, town planners and landscape architects who have shaped our history and our national identity.
    For more details go to: What's on
  • An exhibition, Home Front: Wartime Sydney 1939-1945 exhibition; Throsby Park Open Day and Tank Stream tours, run by the Historic Houses Trust.
    For more details go to: www.hht.net.au
  • Several heritage walking tours to showcase our unique heritage run by the National Parks and Wildlife Service.
    For more details go to: www.environment.nsw.gov.au/nationalparks
  • Australian Heritage Week will run from Saturday 14 April until Sunday 22 April. For more information on NSW and national events please visit:

    13 April 2012

Two new sites in Parramatta listed on the State Heritage Register

Media release - 23 March 2012.

St Patricks Cemetery

St Patricks Cemetery

St Patricks Cemetery

The cemetery is a site of state heritage significance for its combination of historical, cultural, social, research and rarity values. Dating from the 1820s it is the earliest formalised Catholic cemetery in Australia. It demonstrates the early recognition of Catholic independence in Protestant-dominated colonial Australia and important phases in the origins, nature and development of Catholicism in Australia. The cemetery has long and continuous links with the Catholic community of the Parramatta region and beyond. A large number of Catholic convicts are buried at the cemetery, including some Irish rebels who were transported to NSW after the 1798 rebellion in Ireland. The 1844 sandstone mortuary chapel, that is the cemetery's central design feature, is the oldest of its kind in Australia and has rare associations with the Francisan and Capuchin communities. The chapel is the focus of the cemetery's rare and early formal landscape design of a carriage entrance from Church Street with sandstone and iron gates, and mourning cypresses lining the path to the chapel.

More information in the online database.

Historian Judith Dunn's talk on on the cemetery.



Lake Parramatta Dam, North Parramatta

Lake Parramatta Dam

Lake Parramatta Dam

Dating from 1853, Lake Parramatta Dam is an important item of NSW's engineering heritage. Originally one of the colony's earliest water storages, the dam still functions and is now a landmark feature of the popular recreation area of Lake Parramatta Reserve. It was the first large dam and the only ashlar masonry arch dam to be built in Australia and is also one of the earliest arch dams in the world. It is believed to have been designed by Captain Percy Simpson, who had earliest supervised the construction of the Old Great North Road at Wisemans Ferry. The dam is also believed to have set the design precedent for the later concrete cylindrical arch dams built in Australia which received international recognition.

More information in the online database.

Three Aboriginal children's homes to be listed on the State Heritage Register

Media release - 16 February 2012.

Apologies to Aboriginal people for the ideology and language discussed here which is historic and not the views of the Heritage Council. Please note there are also references to deceased persons within the text and following web links.

Bomaderry Aboriginal Children's Home

Bomaderry Aboriginal Children's Home

Bomaderry Aboriginal Children's Home

The former Bomaderry Aboriginal Children's Home provides tangible evidence of the social and religious theory of the twentieth century whereby the lives of Aboriginal people were controlled by the Government with the assistance of Christian Missionaries. By institutionalising children at an early age in the Bomaderry Home the United Aborigines Mission indoctrinated young Aboriginal children into their particular Christian world view whilst assisting the Aborigines Welfare Board in bringing about the assimilation of "half caste" Aboriginal people. The Bomaderry Aboriginal Children's Home is the only former Home for Aboriginal babies and young children run by Christian Missionaries in NSW. It was in operation longer than any other Aboriginal Children's Home in NSW and was the first home to be established for Aboriginal children in NSW in the 20th century. The design of the former home is rare as an early intact example of the physical application of "attachment theory" which was becoming prevalent in child care in the 1960's.

More information in the online database.






Cootamundra Aboriginal Girls' Training Home

Cootamundra Aboriginal Girls' Training Home

Cootamundra Aboriginal Girls' Training Home

The former Cootamundra Aboriginal Girls' Training Home provides tangible evidence of the Government policy and practice of taking Aboriginal children away from their families and communities, severing all ties with their culture in order to assimilate them into mainstream Australian society. Placement of Aboriginal girls in the institution of the Cootamundra Girls' Home has caused cultural dislocation for the former residents and ongoing associated problems within the Aboriginal community. The place as a means to reconnect to the past is associated with commemoration and healing of these individuals and communities.

The former Cootamundra Aboriginal Girls' Training Home provides historical evidence of the Government policy of assimilation that was based on Social Darwinism or the premise that "full blood" Aborigines would die out and the "mixed race" Aboriginals would soon have their Aboriginality bred out. The former Home is evidence of the plan to train Aboriginal girls to become domestic servants demonstrating the prevalent ideology of the early to mid twentieth century that Aboriginal people were inferior in intelligence and only fit to become the servants of the rest of society.

The Cootamundra Aboriginal Girls' Training Home provides an example of the historical practice of Aboriginal wards of the State being denied their Aboriginality and cultural heritage which was the subject of a National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from the Families in 1997 (Commission of Inquiry). The nation was made aware of how widespread the practice of removal was, which affected every Aboriginal community but was outside the consciousness of mainstream Australians. The Cootamundra Girls' Home provides contemporary Australia with physical evidence as a means to comprehend the pain and suffering of past assimilation practices.

More information in the online database.

Kinchela Aboriginal Boy's Training Home

Kinchela Aboriginal Boy's Training Home

Kinchela Aboriginal Boy's Training Home

The former Kinchela Aboriginal Boys' Training Home provides tangible evidence of the Government policy and practice of taking Aboriginal children away from their families and communities, severing all ties with their culture in order to assimilate them into white Australian society. Placement of Aboriginal boys in an institution that has become notoriously known as a place where cruelty, abuse and deprivation were an everyday occurrence, has caused ongoing health problems and cultural dislocation for the former residents and associated problems within the Aboriginal community. The place is associated with commemoration and healing of these individuals and communities and is a means to reconnect to the past.

The former Kinchela Aboriginal Boys' Training Home provides historical evidence of the Government policy of assimilation that was based on Social Darwinism or the premise that "full blood" Aborigines would die out and the "mixed race" Aboriginals would soon have their Aboriginality bred out. The former Kinchela Aboriginal Boys' Training Home is evidence of the plan to train Aboriginal boys to become agricultural labourers demonstrating the prevalent ideology of the early and mid twentieth century that Aboriginal people were inferior in intelligence and only fit to become the servants of the rest of society.

The Boys' Home provides an example of the historical practice of Aboriginal wards of the State being denied their Aboriginality and cultural heritage. This was the subject of a National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from their Families in 1997 (Commission of Inquiry). The nation was made aware of how widespread the practice of removal was, which affected every Aboriginal community but was outside the consciousness of mainstream Australians. The Kinchela Aboriginal Boys' Training Home provides contemporary Australia with physical evidence as a means to comprehend the pain and suffering inflicted by past assimilation practices.

More information in the online database.

Colebee and Nurragingy Land Grant listed on the State Heritage Register

Colebee and Nurragingy Land Grant

Colebee and Nurragingy Land Grant

The Colebee/Nurragingy Land Grant is a site of state heritage significance because of its combination of historical, social and cultural values. The site was the first land grant ever given to Aboriginal people in Australia. The land grant is associated with two significant Aboriginal figures from the early colonial period - Nurragingy and Colebee - to whom the land was jointly granted in 1816. The location of the land grant is significant because it was an Aboriginal choice, being on land belonging to Nurragingy's clan. The land grant is valued by the contemporary Aboriginal community and the wider Australian community as a landmark in the history of cross-cultural engagement in Australia. For Aboriginal people, in particular, it represents a key historical site symbolising Aboriginal resilience and enduring links to the land.

More information in the online database.

Media release.

16 February 2012

Strickland House, Vaucluse - State Heritage Register listing extended to cover whole of site

Strickland House, Vaucluse

Strickland House, Vaucluse

The Strickland House site on Sydney Harbour, Vaucluse, is of exceptional historical significance as a remarkably intact 1850s villa with a largely unaltered landscape setting. The extension to Strickland House's heritage listing will see the entire property given the State's highest level of heritage protection.

More information in the online database.

Media release

30 January 2012

Homewood: the childhood home of Slim Dusty - Listed on the State Heritage Register

Homewood: the childhood home of Slim Dusty

Homewood: the childhood home of Slim Dusty


Homewood is of State heritage significance for its associations with the formative years of country and western singer Slim Dusty (David Gordon Kirkpatrick) 1927 - 2003. It demonstrates the frugal and simple nature of his boyhood and evokes the cultural and musical influences of the Nulla Nulla community and its bush environment that were the inspiration for his songs. Homewood reflects for a broad audience, both Australian and international, Slim Dusty's character and role as a significant musical and cultural creative figure.

More information in the online database.

Media release.

20 January 2012

Page last updated: 23 December 2013