New Blue Plaques announced as second round of nominations opens

A former Australian Prime Minister, a poet, and the 1965 Freedom Ride are among 14 new Blue Plaque recipients that have been announced as part of the $5 million NSW Blue Plaques program.

Chips Rafferty

Minister for Heritage James Griffin said the 14 new Blue Plaques come as the second round of nominations opens.

"Our newest 14 Blue Plaques recipients are an eclectic mix of people, events and stories that helped shape our State," Mr Griffin said.

"Among them, we have Australia poet and author Dorothea Mackellar who, at the age of 19, wrote the words we all know and love, 'I love a sunburnt country, a land of sweeping plains'.

"We're recognising the 1965 Freedom Ride, which was pivotal in highlighting the racial discrimination experienced by Aboriginal people, challenging a ban on Aboriginal ex-servicemen at the Walgett Returned Services League, and local laws barring Aboriginal children from the Moree and Kempsey swimming pools.

"We're celebrating the life of Dr Thomas Fiaschi, who migrated to Australia from Italy at the age of 22, and went on to become a pioneering surgeon whose expertise significantly improved the survival rate of patients after surgery.

"We're acknowledging the great contribution of Australia's seventh Prime Minister Billy Hughes, who spent 58 years serving his community as a Member of Parliament, which is an impressive life of service, no matter what side of politics you're on.

"The 35 Blue Plaques announced so far are just the beginning of this fantastic program, which is reinvigorating community connections with our rich NSW heritage."

The second round of nominations for Blue Plaques opens today, and closes 21 December 2022.

To be eligible, each Blue Plaque must meet criteria and go through an extensive fact-checking process carried out by independent historians to verify the story behind the Plaque.

The initiative is part of a $5 million heritage program funded by the NSW Government.

The previously-announced 21 Blue Plaques are currently being installed, and the 14 new Plaques will be installed in 2023, with exact locations to be revealed when they're installed.

For more information on Blue Plaques recipients, installation locations, and to find out how to nominate a Blue Plaque, visit the Blue Plaques website.

New Blue Plaque recipients

Recipient Recognition Local Government Area
1965 Freedom Ride Protest tour highlighting racial discrimination against Aboriginal people Council of the City of Sydney
Albert (Tibby) Cotter International test cricketer and soldier Council of the City of Sydney
Arthur Malcolm Stace Chalk writer known as ‘Mr Eternity’ Council of the City of Sydney
Billy Hughes Seventh Prime Minister of Australia known for representing Australia at the Treaty of Versailles, and establishing the Federal Police Force and the CSIRO. Lane Cove Council
Chips Rafferty Australian film actor Broken Hill City Council
Daniel Gowing Prominent early developer in Bega and Tathra Bega Valley Shire Council
Dorothea Mackellar Australian poet and author of ‘My Country’ Woollahra Municipal Council
Dr Thomas Fiaschi Pioneering surgeon Hawkesbury City Council
Grace Cossington Smith Australian artist and pioneer of modernist painting Ku-ring-gai Council
Margaret Catchpole Female convict chronicler Hawkesbury City Council
Mei Quong Tart Philanthropist, merchant, and Chinese-Australian community leader Inner West Council
William and Ian Clunies Ross Science educator and his son, the first Chair of the CSIRO Bathurst Regional Council
WW1 Valentine Day Soldier Riots 1916 soldier riots protesting conditions at military training bases in Liverpool Liverpool City Council
Patrick White Australian novelist The Hills Shire Council