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2015 Western Australian Heritage Awards Winners

The winners of the 2015 Western Australian Heritage Awards were announced on 15 April at the WA Museum's Hackett Hall Gallery.

There were 11 individuals and outstanding heritage projects honoured. A summary of each of the winners and commendations recipients is below.

To view the images in a larger format, simply click on the image thumbnail. In addition, there are photo galleries for the Heritage Tourism, Interpretation, Conservation and Judges' Award recipients to give you an insight into each project.

Read the Minister's media statement here. View photographs of the evening.

2015 Western Australian Heritage Awards Winners


Voluntary individual contribution
 Image of Dr Howard Gray

Dr Howard Gray

Judge's citation: A teacher by profession, Dr Gray has made a significant contribution to our knowledge, understanding and celebration of Western Australia’s maritime and Mid West heritage through his thorough research, writing and participation in numerous community organisations including the Batavia Coast Maritime Heritage Association. Through his teaching career, Dr Gray has also promoted maritime heritage via mainstream education courses.

 In 1993, Dr Gray helped establish the Batavia Coast Maritime Heritage Association. He has served as a board member of the Abrolhos Islands Consultative Council, the HMAS Sydney II Memorial Advisory Committee and the Australian Association for Maritime History and in executive roles with the Batavia Coast Maritime Heritage Association.

Dr Gray has published numerous award-winning books that engage a diverse range of audiences and coordinated a series of events to mark the 50th anniversary of the identification of the Batavia wreck site.

Professional contribution
 Image of Dr John Taylor

Dr John Taylor

Judges' citation: A long and distinguished career as a heritage architect, Dr Taylor has demonstrated conservation best practice through meticulous and cautious approach, academic rigour and highly-skilled technical expertise. The conservation of Cape Inscription Lighthouse Keeper’s Quarters, Shark Bay, and the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Mullewa, were internationally recognised through the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards. His voluntary contributions towards the documentation of Western Australia’s built environment, including the compilation of architect biographies, particularly on Hawes and Hobbs, are valuable references and part of a growing body of work.

Dr John Taylor established his architectural and conservation practice in 1990, and in the course of the 25 years of his practice, John has made an exceptional contribution to the heritage of the built environment in Western Australia. He has demonstrated conservation best practice through a meticulous and cautious approach, academic rigour and highly skilled technical expertise.

Dr John Taylor is one of only a few architects in Australia to possess formal training and qualifications in heritage work. His professionalism and skills are well recognised at local, national and international levels and his projects consistently received accolades at the AIA Architecture Awards in the Heritage Conservation category. In 2014, his overseeing of the restoration of Cape Inscription Lighthouse Keepers’ Quarters in Shark Bay won both a WA heritage Award and a UNESCO Asia-Pacific Award for Cultural Heritage Conservation.

Notable projects John Taylor has been involved in include St Francis Xavier Cathedral, Geraldton, St Brigid’s Convent, Northbridge and the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Mullewa.

Community-based organisation
 Image of Macpherson Homestead

Carnamah Historical Society and Museum

Judges' citation: Carnamah Historical Society and Museum uses cutting-edge technology to engage with and promote the heritage of, not only their own and neighbouring districts, but also the State. Impressively, the society has established a virtual volunteering platform that has engaged 7,000 people with online heritage projects, which, in turn has provided a valuable resource for historians and the State.

The Carnamah Historical Society and Museum, in WA's Mid West, works to actively conserve, document and promote local heritage. The Carnamah Historical Society restored State Registered Macpherson Homestead, which is now open to visitors. It also established and operates the Carnamah Museum. The society shares and promotes local heritage online, contributes to the professional development of the heritage sector, and actively works in partnership with local government, other heritage organisations, community organisations and State Government.

In 2014, the society launched a biographical dictionary, rolled out a series of new education resources and engaged thousands of virtual volunteers. Its work was recognised with a Museums and Galleries National Award.

Go to Carnamah Historical Society and Museum's website.

Community-based organisation
 Image of the members of the Historical Society of Cockburn
Historical Society of Cockburn

Judges' citation: Winners of this category in 2014, the Historical Society of Cockburn are custodians of the Azelia Ley Museum complex and continue to maintain extremely high standards, working with their local government and the community to promote heritage through a range of activities. The judges described them as an inspiration to other societies, particularly their work engaging with young people.

The Historical Society of Cockburn is a not-for-profit organisation made up of volunteers who are the dedicated custodians and curators of the Azelia Ley Museum complex. The 30 active members open the museum regularly, giving the general public, tourists and school groups the opportunity to see restored working displays of old machinery. All members of the society are actively engaged in collecting, acquiring, renovating, conserving, archiving, interpreting and exhibiting artefacts donated by the public.

The society works closely with the City of Cockburn on conserving local heritage assets and has prepared a treatment plan for Davilak House and Archaeological Ruins. It hosted the 2009 Royal Australian Historical Society Conference and coordinated heritage projects such as the local Pioneer Names Board, an annual Vintage Machinery Festival Day and Anzac Centennial commemorations.

Go to the Azelia Ley Homestead Museum's website. 

Public or private organisation
 Image of Heritage Perth walking tour at Governemnt House
Heritage Perth

Judges' citation: Through its innovative programs and projects, Heritage Perth has provided a fresh and public face to heritage. Its premier flagship event, Perth Heritage Days, attracts more than 40,000 participants each year, providing the wider community with not only access to but the stories behind Perth’s built heritage. Other projects include a free WiFi heritage trail and a curriculum-based education resource.

Heritage Perth has carved itself a niche position in Perth’s heritage scene. Rather than duplicate services offered by other heritage organisations, Heritage Perth aims to complement them with an unconventional and approachable method of community engagement while communicating the important messages about heritage conservation and protection.

In just six years, ‘Perth Heritage Days’ has become Heritage Perth’s flagship event. This annual event now attracts more than 40,000 participants each year and provides a wonderful opportunity to explore Perth’s heritage.

Heritage Perth has shone a spotlight on our city's heritage, helping to make it educational, inclusive, valued, interesting and fun. By encouraging a better understanding of Perth’s heritage sites, Heritage Perth is helping to ensure a secure future for them.

Go to Heritage Perth's website.

Heritage practices by a local government

City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder

City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder

Judges' citation: The City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder has a holistic and integrated approach to the recognition, promotion and conservation of heritage across its four directorates. In addition, the City administers a comprehensive suite of measures including policies, grants and other incentives to support owners whilst leading by example with the preparation of conservation plans to guide the future use and management of its own heritage places.

Located in the heart of the Goldfields-Esperance region, the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder is Australia's largest outback city. The city, an amalgamation of the towns of Kalgoorlie and Boulder, was settled after the discovery of gold in 1893. It recognises that heritage is its past, present and future and that it provides a sense of place and time, identifiable landmarks and a sense of belonging.

The City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder administers a comprehensive program of heritage initiatives including policies, grants and incentives to assist owners in the conservation of the city's heritage. The city's History and Heritage Unit maintains an extensive archive of local and family history records as well as the Goldfields War Museum collection.

Interpretation project


 Image of Albany Forts (Princess Royal Fortress) Interpretation project
Albany Forts (Princess Royal Fortress)

Judges' citation: The City’s vision for the refurbishment of the Forts project was to develop a series of spaces that were both symbolic and functional, with the interpretation designed to allow visitors to understand the historical context of the forts as a significant costal defence facility, while serving as a gateway to the National Anzac Centre. The judges said it was a sensitive and engaging project which enhanced the Forts heritage experience.

The Princess Royal Fortress underwent a major upgrade in preparation for the Anzac Centenary Commemorations. The City of Albany’s vision for the refurbishment of the forts was to develop a series of spaces that were symbolic, functional, contributed to the commemoration of the Anzac journey and would serve as a gateway to the National Anzac Centre.

Diverse professionals in heritage, curation, museums, economic development and landscape architecture were brought together in this project. The site refurbishment involved the establishment of the National Anzac Centre, enhancement of the public event space, convoy lookout and walk, as well as a restaurant and retail space.

The forts upgrade has significantly enhanced and revitalised the site as a leading heritage tourism precinct, recasting its place as a significant heritage place that poignantly articulates the Anzac story.

View more photographs of this project.

Interpretation project
 Image of the Esperance Foreshore interpretation project
Esperance Foreshore Interpretation Project

Judges' citation: Part of a broader redevelopment plan for the Esperance Foreshore, this transformational project that has given Esperance a strong focus around the historic Tanker Jetty, ensuring its history was captured and retold in a way that enriches the visitor experience. The signage complements the landscape and incorporates salvaged pylons from Tanker Jetty.

In 2001, the Shire of Esperance began the planning of a major upgrade of the town site shoreline and adjacent foreshore from which the State Registered Tanker Jetty extends. Creative Spaces was engaged in 2014 to ensure the development of Tanker Jetty and its history was captured and retold in a way to enrich visitor experience. It included interpretive signage, panels and sculptures.

The interpretation is also part of a broader redevelopment plan for the Esperance foreshore that includes landscaping, recreational facilities, and renewal of the jetty services.

  View more photographs of this project.

Heritage Tourism project
 Image of the National Anzac Centre in Albany
National Anzac Centre

Judges' citation: An important national and international destination beacon, with world class interpretation that offers visitors a deeply personal connection with the Anzac legend through interactive, multimedia displays; unique artefacts; rare images and film; and audio commentary.

The National Anzac Centre is a world-class visitor attraction set within Albany’s Heritage Park. The centre features high-quality museum content interpreted through a state-of-the-art range of engaging and immersive exhibits and displays.

The centre offers visitors a deeply personal connection with the Anzac legend and played an important role in last year’s Anzac Centenary Commemorations. The Anzac story is revealed through interactive, multimedia displays; unique artefacts; rare images and film; and audio commentary.

Within the first three months of opening, the centre attracted more than 25,000 visitors, many of whom had previously been unaware of the significance of the site. As Australia’s foremost museum dedicated solely to honouring the Anzacs of the First World War, the National Anzac Centre has reinforced and extended the recognition of Albany’s as a key heritage tourism destination.

View more photographs of the National Anzac Centre.

Go to the National Anzac Centre's website. 

Conservation or adaptive reuse of a state registered place

Winner:  Gerry Gauntlett Award

Exterior view of Wanslea, now the Cancer Wellness Centre in Cottelsoe

Wanslea - Cancer Wellness Centre, Cottesloe

Judges' citation: A very good community-based project that is considerate of the past while incorporating contemporary elements, bringing this historic building back to life. Five heritage buildings were conserved and refurbished for contemporary use, facilities enhanced with new buildings, with the landscaping creating a peaceful and pleasant environment for people affected by cancer.

Wanslea, now the Cancer Wellness Centre in Cottesloe, represents the successful conservation and refurbishment of a significant heritage building, allowing its continued use as accommodation for several community organisations.

The National Trust of Australia (WA) completed the project with primary funding from Lotterywest, a significant contribution by the Department of Education and other supporters. Bernard Seeber Architects led the design team, with building work undertaken by Western Projects and Colgan Industries.

Wanslea represents an example of current best practice conservation methods, processes and procedures coming together and achieving a functional and economically sustainable outcome.

View before and after photographs of this project.

Judges' Award: The Professor David Dolan Award Winner

Exterior view of Harwood's Cottage and Cafe in Busselton

Harwood's Cottage and Café, Busselton
Judges' citation: Norma Andrews has carefully restored the last vestiges of the once thriving Quindalup timber town from a near ruinous state into a popular café, short term accommodation stay and tourism attraction. This dedicated owner is an inspiration to others.

Harwood's Cottage and Café is a cluster of buildings of the former Quindalup town site, a satellite settlement for Busselton. From the mid to late 1800s, Quindalup was the hub of a thriving timber industry.

When Norma Andrews inherited the property in 1998, buildings was in a derelict state and in desperate need of repair. It took two years of planning and work to restore and adapt the cottage into a café and to turn the paddock into gardens. She was assisted with a Heritage Council grant for a conservation plan to guide the restoration work. The café was a success and helped her fund the remaining restoration work.

Over the next few five years she restored the outdoor kitchen and government buildings, and adapted the barn into short term accommodation. The government buildings house a collection of memorabilia which has proven popular with locals and tourists.

Through her tireless, conscientious and dedicated approach, Ms Andrews given these significant buildings a new lease of life.

View before and after photographs of this project

Go to Harwoods Cottage website.

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