New round of Blue Plaques recognises the stories of NSW

Fourteen new Blue Plaque recipients have been chosen to highlight significant people and events which have contributed to the rich history of NSW.

Caroline Chisholm plaque installed

The milestones being recognised in round 2 of the Blue Plaques NSW program include the establishment of Australia’s first surf lifesaving club at Bondi Beach, and the world’s first biological program to control pests.

They share the stories of notable Australians including world-renowned artist Sir William Dobell and co-founder of the Country Women’s Association Grace Emily Munro.

They also recognise Kathleen Butler who, despite having no formal qualifications, was instrumental in the development of the Sydney Harbour Bridge; and the Greek brothers who established a thriving cinema complex in Grafton in 1951, which is one of only 13 original condition ‘picture theatres’ in NSW country towns that is still running.

The new plaques have been chosen from 117 nominations made by the public and assessed by independent historians. They join more than 30 plaques already in place, sparking the imaginations of visitors from Broken Hill to Bathurst, and in suburbs across Sydney.

Find out more at the Blue Plaques NSW website.


Quote attributable to Minister for Heritage Penny Sharpe MLC:

'These Blue Plaques recognise the diverse individuals, events and perspectives that make the history of NSW so intriguing, and it’s wonderful this round has been nominated directly by members of the public.

'Whether you’re exploring your local neighbourhood or taking a drive off the beaten track to regional towns like Grafton and Pambula, there’s a Blue Plaque for you to discover.

'The installation of each new plaque brings added interest to the heritage of an area, encouraging locals to explore their backyards, and inviting those from further afield to learn more about the history of these communities.'


Full list of Round 2 Blue Plaques:

Subject Recognition Location
Kathleen Butler A woman without formal engineering qualifications who had a central role in the development of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Sydney CBD
Emma Jane Callaghan Aboriginal midwife, activist, nurse, and Indigenous Culture Recorder. Philip Bay, Sydney
Susan Katherina Schardt Born blind, Schardt established the Commonwealth Home for Destitute Invalids, now known as Royal Rehab. Ryde, Sydney
Dorothy Simpson McGregor Drain One of the first Australian female war correspondents, who reported on the Korean and Vietnam wars. She was also a poet, columnist, and Editor of the Australian Women’s Weekly. Glebe, Sydney
Establishment of the first recorded surf life savers club Founded in February 1907, the Bondi Surf Life Saving Club was the first recorded Surf Lifesaving Club in Australia. Bondi, Sydney
Sir William Dobell A portrait and landscape artist and three-time winner of the Archibald Prize. Wangi Wangi
Syms Covington A cabin boy on the HMS Beagle who became assistant to Charles Darwin. Syms later worked as a businessman and postmaster in Pambula. Pambula
Charmian Clift A prolific writer and essayist. Kiama
Pearl Mary Gibbs A prominent female activist in the Aboriginal rights movement, Gibbs was heavily involved in the development of the Day of Mourning and the establishment of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy. Sydney CBD
Ioannis (Jack) and Antonios (Tony) Notaras Greek immigrant businessmen known for establishing Grafton’s still-thriving Saraton Theatre. Grafton
Beryl Mary McLaughlin One of the first three women graduates of the University of Sydney’s Faculty of Architecture. Wentworth Falls
Ken Thomas Trucker and entrepreneur known for establishing the TNT transport empire and for his contributions to road safety. Murrumburrah
Grace Emily Munro Co-founder and first president of the Country Women’s Association. Bingara
First release of myxomatosis The CSIRO released myxomatosis in Balldale in 1950, to combat a severe rabbit problem. It was the world’s first successful biological program for control of a mammalian pest. Balldale