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.
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.