Nominations Open for 2016 Hunter Bona Fide History Awards

The Hunter Bona Fide History Awards – nominations open for 2016


We are delighted to announce that nominations for the next round of the Hunter Bona Fide History Awards are now open. The award winners will be announced at a ceremony in April 2016, so start nominating those individuals, groups, businesses and organisations that have made a great contribution to the history and heritage of the Hunter Region.

DOWNLOAD Nomination Form HERE

The symbol of the Hunter Bona Fide Awards, the Obelisk, is represented as a glass prism as well portrayed on the winner's certificates.
The symbol of the Hunter Bona Fide Awards, the Obelisk, is represented as a glass prism as well as portrayed on the winner’s certificates.

The Awards draw inspiration from the Latin ‘bona fide’ meaning ‘In Good Faith’ – genuine & trustworthy. The aim of the Awards is to celebrate outstanding scholarship and service to Australian history and heritage in the Hunter Region, and at the same time, inspire young people to get involved in historical research, identification, advocacy and documentation of local heritage.

The Categories

Perpetual Bona
For outstanding achievement in the service of history and heritage in the Hunter region

Golden Bona
–  Best Adaptive Reuse of a Heritage building or historic place

Academic Bona
– Best academic history based upon a local historical theme

Deadly Bona
– Best Indigenous History Monograph, article or digital work

Commemorative Bona
– Best Commemorative History, event or site interpretation of a local historical theme

Family Bona
– Best Family History Monograph

Studious Bona
– Best Student Paper,  design project, or article – including architecture projects, interior design, drafting or colour projects featuring local heritage or history

Amateur Bona
– Best history by an amateur historian

Performing Bona
– Best fictional tale or dramatic production based on a local historical theme

Virtual Bona
– Most popular and/or thought provoking social networking site, blog or wesbite on local heritage and history

Media Bona
– Best media piece or article featuring local history or heritage

Back Bona
– in recognition of the volunteering services of groups and individuals who volunteer their time to the promotion and conservation of local heritage and history

No Bona
– For the most inappropriate development upon a heritage place

DIY Bona
– Make up your own award to represent the important achievement if you can’t find one here

26 June 2015 – Seminar – Technology in the heritage conservation sector

Join us for an informative and inspiring program of talks about the use and application of technology and innovation in the heritage conservation sector. Speakers will cover the use of Apps, Geocaching, 3D imaging and scanning software, and other topics that will inform the way we work here in the Hunter region.

Locally based firm RPS, located at Broadmeadow, are hosting the seminar. Early bird RSVPs may be sent to

A full program and new membership applications will be available here shortly.

Murrurundi Pride of Place Seminar 2012

The 2012 Hunter Heritage Network seminar was held in historic Murrurundi in the upper Hunter valley.

We have to say – Murrurundi is gob-smackingly beautiful – it pulls all the punches – museums, historic homesteads, generations of families on the land, horse breeders, restaurants, outrageously gorgeous landscapes, burning mountains! –  and, people who run as wolves – local heroes – local people – shepherding their town, their existence – from the ravages of mining and unfettered speculation.

We featured a range of interesting talent from the Upper Hunter, who shared their  knowledge and their experiences with our Network. They included:

Welcome to the Upper Hunter
from Mayor Lee Watts

Pride of Place: Murrurundi
Peter Carlin, Murrurundi Chamber Of Commerce Representative

Pros & Cons of Bickham Mine on Heritage
Peter Haydon Chairman of Bickham Coal Action Group & Owner Haydon Horse Stud

“A Peak in the Past” All about Community, Radio Presentation
Mandy Archibald

Preservation and change in historical documents with the advent of the computer age – Des Dugan from the Murrurundi Historical Society


Heritage Landscapes Under Threat; Stroud Gloucester Valley and the Vale of Gloucester – Garry Smith, Historian and Environmental Consultant

Merriwa Historical Society: Merriwa Railway Station Restoration
Bryan Baker

Celebrating Murrurundi: Heritage Brochures, Local tours/ Murrurundi Museum Exhibitions/ walks/ site visits – Upper Hunter Shire Council Heritage Advisor Lillian Cullen

Murrurundi Self-guided walking tour brochure

Hunter Heritage Network Seminar at Murrurundi 30 March 2012

Murrurundi Four Bridges Self-guided Walking tour

Seminar program Friday 30 March 2012

Hi there, the 2012 HHN seminar is being held at beautiful historic Murrurundi in the upper Hunter valley. Our sponsor is Upper Hunter Shire Council. The day rate for members is free while the day rate for non-member is $35 payable on the day (at registration).

Please RSVP by Thursday 22 March to

Hope to see you there – Sarah 🙂

Murrarundi Self-guided walking tour brochure 

Hunter Heritage Network Seminar at Murrurundi 30 March 2012

Murrarundi Four Bridges Self-guided Walking tour


AGM 5 December 2011

Monday 5 December is our annual general meeting, Auchmuty Library, University of Newcastle. If you want, you can have a debate, provide your thoughts and vision, or just have a vent with your colleagues. We all do it.

Take a look at the Agenda; President’s report; and financial statement below.

Financial Statement 2011_2011

AGM 2010_2011 President report

AGM Agenda_051211_AGM 2010_2011-1-1

Minutes (Draft) HHN AGM 2011 (These minutes are draft until adoption at AGM 7 December 2012)

Newcastle as a Museum

New thinking on Newcastle’s open air museum

At the Hunter Heritage Network seminar on 30 September 2011, Dr Nancy Cushing revisited her paper on the City of Newcastle as an open air museum.

Read the paper Nancy Cushing paper_Newcastle as a museum revisited.

We thank Dr Cushing for allowing us to publish this paper on our Blog. Dr Cushing welcomes comments too so be sure to find her email address within the paper.

Minister for Heritage Robyn Parker

The Minister speaks to our network

Friday the 30th September was a day few will forget in a hurry. Our annual seminar was hosted by Cultural Collections at the University of Newcastle, who did a superb job. The Network was welcomed by Deputy Vice Chancellor Kevin McConkey and Greg Anderson, Library Manager.

The Minister for Heritage Robyn Parker addressed the Network about her vision for heritage. In particular, Minister Parker is concerned about the current protections for Aboriginal heritage and  has initiated the current review process in seeking to address this.

The Network welcomed the Minster’s commitment to improving heritage legislation and will be making a submission to the review of Aboriginal protections and the Environmental Planning and Assessment reforms.

The Minister was presented with a framed historic poster of the Duckenfield farms area, where she lives. All we can say is, the Minister was very touched – you had to be there. And here’s a hint – check the smiles in the following image.

Minister For Heritage Robyn Parker with Deputy Vice Chancellor Kevin McConkey, Greg Anderson and Sarah Cameron


Heritage conservation in action

The City of Newcastle is steadily progressing with the conservation of headstones in Cathedral Park, Newcastle. Happily for the City, and the descendant community of those interred in the park, the headstones of the city’s 19th century citizens will be conserved, loved, so they can be returned to their known burial location.  This is absolutely a heart project. The City of Newcastle makes no excuses for that.

Stage 1 involves conserving 10 headstones and re-positioning them back to their burial, based on the 1966 burial plan. William Blackledge, of Long Blackledge Architects, along with Council staff Wendy Badger, Mark Wooley and Sarah Cameron, are collaborating to achieve this important project. Justin McCarthy is Council’s historical archaeologist and plays a pivotal role in advising on site sensitivity issues.

The project is being featured in a new documentary hosted by Tony Robinson (of the BBC’s Time Team series) with filming to commence in mid-December 2011.

There’s no bones about it; this is a spiritual love job. Take a headstone – repair it – reunite said headstone with its burial. Reconciliation. In action. Simple. Beautiful.

The ‘beauty’ in conservation, one could say.

The project is being funded through the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, with significant funding from the Council of the City of Newcastle.

The project involves the conservation of the original burial ground, adjacent to Christ Church Cathedral in central Newcastle.

This is such a great project which will transform a forgotten and neglected historic space into a special and unique historic attraction in the centre of the city.

You can link to the story on NBN TV (link below) if you want to see more.