$25,000 for hospitals healthy heritage project

Heritage Minister Rob Stokes, Health Minister and Member for North Shore Jillian Skinner, Member for Lane Cove Anthony Roberts and Member for Penrith Stuart Ayres today announced $25,000 for a volunteer project to celebrate people’s experiences of the Royal North Shore and Nepean Hospitals.

Mr Stokes said the funding from the NSW Heritage Grants program was awarded to not-for-profit organisation Health and Arts Research Centre Incorporated to increase the skills of the volunteers who look after the hospitals’ heritage collections.

“The Healthy Heritage Moveable Collection Volunteers Program will train volunteers and raise awareness of how important it is to protect and nurture the heritage of these important places in our community,” Mr Stokes said.

“Caring for the heritage collections in these places has generally fallen to dedicated groups of retired doctors, nurses, allied health workers and heritage volunteers, who do an amazing job looking after the heritage assets of these facilities.

“This project will encourage a new generation of volunteers to learn from existing participants to ensure the wealth of collected knowledge is carried into the future and secured for generations to come.

“Younger volunteers will also bring a fresh approach to the way in which we record and communicate with the public about these valuable heritage assets, using platforms like social media and virtual galleries.

“The NSW Heritage Grants program is designed to provide direct financial assistance to private owners, councils and community based organisations to maintain and improve their heritage assets.”

Mrs Skinner said the project would encourage understanding of how these institutions have contributed to our community.

“This initiative will help those who work at the hospitals and the general community to be inspired by the efforts of the thousands of men and women who have been part of these hospitals’ stories,” Mrs Skinner said.

Mr Roberts welcomed the funding for the project.

“Royal North Shore Hospital is a vital part of the Lane Cove community and I’m delighted this project will be supported by the NSW Government,” Mr Roberts said.

Mr Ayres said the project will play an important role.

“The Penrith community is very fond of Nepean Hospital and this project will ensure continued recognition of the part it has played in our community,” Mr Ayres said.

A full list of projects funded under the 2014/15 NSW Heritage Grants program can be found at http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/Heritage/funding/