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VO LU M E 8 N O 2 M AY 2 0 1 4

TRUST

news

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INSIDE >

THE FASHION OF WEDDINGS

NATIONAL TRUST

Australia

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16 WAR WOUNDS 100 HUNDRED STORIES

18 CANBERRA’S CABLE GIRLS

GHOSTLY GOINGS-ON


! e r e h s i l a v i t s Th e 2014 Fe

2014

HERITAGE FESTIVAL Journeys APRIL – MAY

In canoes and caravans, ays, on surfboards and in subw

by stars and satellites, ST OF A TRU U AL

wide brown land.

IA RAL ST

NATIO N

we have journeyed across this

Join the National Trust in celebrating Australian journeys with the Heritage Festival 2014. www.nationaltrustfestival.org.au


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Inside 18

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my W O R D

with editor Gina Pickerin g

ISSN: 1835-2316 Vol 8 No 2 2014 Trust News is published quarterly for National Trust members and subscribers in February, May, August and November. Publication is coordinated by the National Trust of Australia (WA) on behalf of the National Trusts of Australia and supported by the Department of Environment. National Trust of Australia (WA) ABN 83 697 381 616 PO Box 1162 West Perth WA 6872 T: 08 9321 6088 F: 08 9324 1571 W:www.ntwa.com.au Editor: Gina Pickering gina.pickering@ntwa.com.au T: 08 9321 6088 Advertising: For advertising rates, contact the Editor. Design: Dessein Graphics Cover: Kyly Clarke’s wedding dress designed by Alex Perry. Cosprop UK. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are advised that this publication contains images of people who have died. Next Issue: August 2014 Copy deadline:10 June 2014 Please help us to save our environment and circulate this magazine as widely as possible. This magazine is printed on recyclable paper and packed in 100% degradable wrap. The views expressed in Trust News are not necessarily those of the National Trusts or the Department of Environment. The articles in this magazine are subject to copyright. No article may be used without the consent of the National Trust and the author.

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A Strategy for Australia’s Heritage

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Celebrating The Fashion of Weddings

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Reconciliation Through Place in Victoria

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New Light Cast on Melbourne’s Heritage Treasures

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A Matter of Life and Death

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New Home for City of Adelaide

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War Wounds: The One Hundred Stories Project

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Canberra’s West Block ‘Bunker’ and the Cable Girls

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Ghostly goings-on at National Trust properties

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Respect and the Single Smartphone

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Trailblazer: A virtual interactive experience

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Restoration of Sir Donald Bradman’s boyhood home

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Fine seams at Calthorpe

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Celebration at Valley Heights

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All aboard the Orient Express

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Camellias add colour at Harper’s Mansion

MAY - JUNE 2014 Greetings In this edition of Trust News, sharing war wounds, the formidable legacies of those who survived WWI are under a new spotlight as the centenary of the first departure of troops approaches. Cablegrams and conversations between Churchill and Curtin are revealed from an unassuming Canberra bunker, while the consequences of Smartphone ‘sexting’ emerges for teenagers in a National Trust courtroom. We take a look at the new restoration of Sir Don Bradman’s boyhood home as well as ghostly goings-on at Old Government House in Parramatta, while sharing Aboriginal culture at National Trust properties in Victoria takes giant steps forward. A preview too of a breathtaking exhibition at Melbourne’s Rippon Lee as the fashion of weddings takes centre stage. Enjoy

Gina Pickering | Editor

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ERRATUM In the article “Those Flying machines Aviation Centenaries in 2014” in the February edition of Trust News Australia 2014, it was stated that “on 13 January 1914 Harry Hawker and mechanic Harry Kauper flew to Australia from the UK”. Both men travelled by sea. Apologies to author Mark Pilkington who prepared the original text and thanks to Fiona Douglas of Fannie Bay, Darwin for pointing this out.

TRUST NEWS AUSTRALIA MAY 2014


PERSPECTIVES

A Strategy for Australia’s Heritage GREG HUNT MP | MINISTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT

This year’s Heritage Week marked an important milestone for Australian heritage with the release of the Government’s draft National Heritage Strategy.

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he strategy canvasses a way forward, charting the next stage in the evolution of Australia’s heritage sector. The aim of the strategy is to provide a framework for leadership, partnerships and community engagement. It is built around a central vision: that our natural and cultural heritage is valued by all Australians, protected for future generations and cared for by the community. Our heritage is so much more than simply a legacy of our past. Our national heritage continuously shapes and influences our lives and underpins our sense of place and identity. The draft strategy acknowledges that across Australia countless community groups and individuals devote their time, energy and often finances to caring for our heritage. We want to support and celebrate these unsung heroes. They play a vital role in preserving the rich fabric of our unique Australian identity and contribute selflessly to the common good. The three high level goals of the strategy are to improve national leadership on heritage, pursue innovative partnerships and better enable communities to engage in heritage activities and celebrations. The draft strategy was produced after broad consultation with peak bodies and other groups active in the heritage sphere. Now that the draft has been released, public consultation is taking place in every state and territory. ABOVE 

The Australian Government is absolutely committed to providing clear leadership and a clear framework to guide action on heritage in future years. I urge all those with a passion for our heritage to submit their comments and feedback on the draft. The draft National Heritage Strategy will be open for public comment until June 9. For details visit www.environment.gov.au I would also like to take this opportunity to highlight another very special milestone: the addition of the Moree Baths to the National Heritage List - the 100th place to be added to the list.

and racism experienced by Aboriginal people in outback Australia. The Moree protest was a pivotal moment in the Freedom Ride, which saw a group of students travel from Sydney to Moree to challenge the status quo that existed there and in many rural communities. It was at Moree that Charles Perkins took some of the first steps in his lifelong commitment to achieving economic, political, educational and social equity for Aboriginal people in Australia. The protests and the subsequent leadership of Charles Perkins

The inclusion of the Moree Baths on the National Heritage List commemorates its significance as the location of a touchstone event in Australia’s history. It was here that university students and local Indigenous people, led by Dr Charles Perkins, protested the legalised segregation

helped to create an environment for change and moved public opinion towards a ‘Yes’ vote in the 1967 referendum to remove the discrimination against Aboriginal Australians from the Australian Constitution.

The Moree Baths and Swimming Pool Complex, NSW. Department of the Environment

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Celebrating The Fashion of Weddings SHARRON CLARK | MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER NATIONAL TRUST (VIC)

Love, Desire & Riches – The Fashion of Weddings is an exhibition of historic wedding fashions from the National Trust’s significant costume collection as well as iconic gowns from the world of TV, film and celebrity. The exhibition will be at Rippon Lea House and Gardens in Elsternwick, Melbourne from July 1 until September 30. We’ve asked the Trust’s Cultural Collections Curator, Elizabeth Anya-Petrivna, to tell us more...

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Where did the concept for the Love, Desire and Riches exhibition come from? A: The Trust has an outstandingly rich collection of historic fashion. Ever since its beginnings, the Trust has acquired wedding dresses, many have never been on display. It’s time to begin showing our historic fashion in a more comprehensive way.

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What can visitors to the exhibition expect to see at this exhibition? A: Love, Desire and Riches will deliver a wide-ranging exploration of over 200 years of marriage. Romance is never without drama and the fictional element provided by the costumes from the canons of Western literature will be placed along side real life love stories of the women and men of Melbourne. The film costumes have come from classic narratives that involve all three exhibition themes – Love, Desire & Riches. They provide a metaphoric example of historical wedding customs. Fictive examples in this way supplement the history of wedding traditions. They can offer us a more direct means of communicating about marriage, whilst the Trust’s collection provides nuance, comparative decorative surfaces and design treatments.

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Tell us about some of the most famous dresses on display? A: We are very lucky to have been able to source a huge range of beautiful gowns from around the world, including the magnificent Valentino dress worn by Princess Marie Chantal of Greece and an Armani creation worn by Charlene, Princess of Monaco. What we are also excited about are the costumes featured in some of the most loved film adaptations of Sense and Sensibility, Great Expectations and Jane Eyre as well as the small screen classic The House of Eliott.

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What is your favourite piece in the exhibition? A: It is hard to choose one piece. From the charm of a pageboy’s outfit in the Trust’s collection, who was dressed as an 18th century gentleman, to the heavily encrusted and pearled Genoa velvet confections made in Paris for well-known society women in colonial Melbourne, picking a favourite is impossible. FOR MORE INFORMATION   about

the exhibition and some of the amazing dresses that will be on display visit www.nationaltrust.org.au/vic

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ABOVE   The

beautiful wedding dress worn by Kate Winslet in Sense and Sensibility. Cosprop UK

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Reconciliation Through Place in Victoria ALEXANDRA HILL | PROJECTS MANAGER – TRUST DEVELOPMENT NATIONAL TRUST (VIC)

The first National Trust of Australia (Victoria) Indigenous cultural heritage project, launched as part of Reconciliation Week in 2013, has now developed a foundation document for three significant Trust properties.

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he Reconciliation Through Place  project, supported through the Department of E nv i r o n m e n t ’s Indigenous Heritage Program, undertook site assessments and community consultation with Traditional Owner groups at Mooramong in the Western District, McCrae Homestead and Endeavour Fern Gully on the Mornington Peninsula.

BACKGROUND 

The project aim was to identify Indigenous cultural heritage significance. Through consultation and assessment we can plan how best to share this significance with as wide an audience as possible, whilst striking a balance between raising awareness and ensuring that the sites are protected. The resultant Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Surveys will enable the development of new interpretation in consultation with Traditional Owners and the promotion and celebration of shared heritage.

The most exciting outcome of the project has been a strengthening of the National Trust’s relationship with the Boon Wurrung and Wadawurrung peoples. A key aim of the project was to re-engage with the community and encourage the cultural use of our sites by their Traditional Owners. Significantly, we have been able to identify sites of encampment on the stony rises of Mooramong and start discussions around putting in place a Cultural Heritage Agreement. This would allow ongoing access for Wadawurrung to the site and would confirm the National Trust’s commitment to conserving and promoting its Aboriginal history and living cultural heritage.

“Corroberee” by George Gordon McCrae, 1844ca by Georgiana Huntly McCrae, 1845ca. “Arthur’s Seat” by Georgiana Huntly McCrae, 1849. Rueben Berg and artists from Baluk Arts

TOP (L TO R)  “Eliza”

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We have been working with Boon Wurrung people at the Mornington Peninsula properties of McCrae Homestead - a site of colonial contact and friendship between the Boon Wurrung people and the McCrae family and Endeavour Fern Gully, a site of remnant gully forest at Red Hill. We have been able to utilise the Boon Wurrung words for some of the remnant species, like the Djiel Warrk (the fire drill that comes from the Hedycarya and used as fire sticks) for our developmental digital-guided reinterpretation of the gully. Using scannable QR codes at points throughout the gully, visitors will be able to access more information, images, and hear recordings of language. This exciting new direction for the National Trust in Victoria is a key outcome of our inaugural Reconciliation Action Plan, complementing the appointment of our first Indigenous Heritage Advocate, Rueben Berg, and formation of our Aboriginal Advisory Committee.

TOP (L TO R)  “McCrae

Homestead today. NTVic Rueben Berg at Mooramong’s Stony Rises. NTVic RIGHT  Endeavour Fern Gully. NTVic 7

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New Light Cast on Melbourne’s Heritage Treasures ALEXANDRA HILL | PROJECTS MANAGER – TRUST DEVELOPMENT NATIONAL TRUST (VIC)

In only its second year, the White Night event attracted more than half a million people to Melbourne’s CBD in February. From dusk until dawn, in venues and major cultural institutions right across the city centre, visitors participated in an urban adventure of exhibitions, street performances, fashion, lighting installations, film screenings, multimedia projections, concerts, dance and interactive events.

ABOVE  Purple Rain on the Old Melbourne Gaol. A Hill NTVic

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nspired by Paris’ Nuit Blanche, the international network of White Night programmes has grown to more than 20 cities globally and Melbourne’s own unique interpretation of this worldwide phenomenon certainly captured the imagination of everyone who attended. One of the great successes was the reinvigoration of the city’s heritage assets through projection and installation. Melbourne is a beautiful heritage city and White Night revealed that, although we love our heritage, we don’t take ourselves too seriously. Playing with the facades of some of our most iconic Victorian monuments, the State Library of Victoria and Flinders Street Railway Station, the crowds delighted in a reimagined landscape of colour and design. Having the Old Melbourne Gaol included in the program of sites placed this award winning tourism attraction firmly in the realm of dynamic installation. Both the interior spaces of the 19th century gaol, most famous for being the site of Ned Kelly’s execution, and the adjacent Alumni Courtyard, were dramatically used on the night.

As part of a program of screenings across 18 individual locations, the film of Tim Winton’s The Turning was reduced to its component chapter films, each screened in a different environment. The location was guided by the core themes, ideas and experiences in each story. The Old Melbourne Gaol presented Fog under the very gallows where Kelly was hanged. Casting an eerie glow throughout the precinct was Pierre Ardouvin’s Purple Rain located on the Gaol’s former exercise yard, hospital wing, cemetery and execution site. Purple Rain was a breathtaking visual and sound installation where the audience, sheltering under umbrellas, wandered through mauve-coloured rain. Using new media, film, visual art, installation and projection, Melbourne was reimagined and everyone who took part was totally engaged. The National Trust’s activation of our sites in new ways and creation of paths to new audiences was a perfect fit for participation in this dynamic event.

ABOVE  Flinders Street Station. AHill NTVic

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ABOVE  Winifred

Lee believes conserving the grave of her grandmother Margaret Parker is a sign of respect. G Pickering

LEFT INSERT  (L-R) Nic Drew and Dr Pamela Statham Drew, President Friends of Battye Library Inc with Lorraine Clarke and Cherie Strickland from Swan Genealogy at East Perth Cemeteries. G Pickering CENTRE INSERT  The granite monument feature of William Cameron’s grave took on a precarious lean after the obelisk settled in one Corner. K Rippingale RIGHT INSERT  Monumental masons Stewarts Masonry have underpinned the base of the grave and reinstated the monument using lead spacers to level each piece. K Rippingale RIGHT  The

kerbstones and iron railing have been conserved by Artworks Conservation while the reinstated monument relies on its own weight for stability. K Rippingale

BELOW  The 2014 Australian Rover Moot Service Day at East Perth Cemeteries. Scouts WA

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A Matter of Life and Death GINA PICKERING | EDITOR

Biographical details about hundreds of lives and deaths of early settlers and residents during the first 70 years of settlement of the Swan River Colony are available online for the first time.

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ast Perth Cemeteries Burial at Cemetery Hill is a new website richly informed by registers, archives and records held by the WA’s major collecting institutions, Churches, leading historical organisations including the Western Australian Genealogical Society and the Royal Western Australian Historical Society. The work of volunteers has been critical to the fruition of this innovative project over fifty years. The website gives access to the most extensive database yet of burials in East Perth Cemeteries incorporating the entire colonial period, while providing intricate details about the graves and monuments themselves. The National Trust of Australia (WA) and the Friends of the Battye Library completed the final stages of the new database and its online transition in February with the generous support of a Lotterywest grant. Among the graves are those of prominent and ordinary citizens from many different walks of life, from all levels of social structure and from all the established religious persuasions of that period. The inscriptions on gravestones are significant as a record of the people and the burial customs in the Colonial and Victorian eras of settlement. The Cemeteries are significant because they were the main burial grounds for the Swan River Colony from 1829 to the end of the 19th century. It has been estimated that there were up to 10,000 burials at the Cemeteries and to date some 800 graves have been identified. The site is one of the earliest public sites to be surveyed in Perth and is a rare surviving example of an original burial ground attached to an Australian capital city. East Perth Cemeteries is recognised on the heritage registers at National, State and local

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levels and managed according to conservation plans and in line with standard heritage conservation practice. It has been nominated for the National Heritage List. Growing community interest and support for East Perth Cemeteries site has sparked contrasting activities this year. In January about 80 Rovers Scouts brought their energy and muscle power to the East Perth Cemeteries as part of their 2014 Moot. They cleaned up at least two thirds of the grave sites and filled to overflowing the onsite skip bin with weeds. Success in recent conservation grant applications has also resulted in grave sites and monuments receiving much needed attention. Broken headstones have been repaired and monumental masons have underpinned and reinstated graves to their former glory. Harsh Western Australian conditions have called for specialist work to prevent delamination and further damaging water ingress. For those with family connections the graves have very personal value. Mike Chester recently visited the grave of his ancestor Hon Peter Broun – the Swan River Colony’s first Colonial Secretary – to inspect recent restoration work that involved careful cleaning of the headstone. Mr Chester encouraged those with a family connection at the Cemeteries to keep up the remaining graves. Winifred Lee also recently visited East Perth Cemeteries to ensure proper respect was paid to the grave of her grandmother Margaret Parker. Time has taken a toll on the stone and lead work. Mrs Lee has not only committed personal funds to conserving the grave but is investing generously in the ongoing conservation work at the Cemeteries by the National Trust of Australia (WA).

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New home for City of Adelaide CRAIG WHYTE | NATIONAL TRUST (SA)

She had been absent from our waters for 128 years, but when the City of Adelaide clipper ship arrived at Port Adelaide on 3rd February 2014 on the deck of the freight ship Palanpur, she became the oldest ship in Australia.

1 of Adelaide on barge Bradley. P Roberts of Adelaide at Port on Palanpur. P Roberts 3.  City of Adelaide on barge Bradley moving. P Roberts 4.  L to R Wiebbe Bonsink (HEBO; Netherlands), Rosemary McKay (CSCOAL), Peter Christopher (CSCOAL), Jay Weatherill, Premier of South Australia, Mark Gilbert (CSCOAL), Peter Roberts (CSCOAL), Susan Close MP (Member for Port Adelaide). P Roberts (CSCOAL) 5.  Palanpur at night with City of Adelaide on board. T Powell

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Between the lines

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er final voyage from Britain to Adelaide, her twenty-fourth, differed markedly from her previous passages in the 19th century. Then, it was the age of sail and voyages were unpredictable affairs: there was an outbreak of scarlet fever, the loss of the rudder off Kangaroo Island, not to mention the constant challenges of wind and ocean. This time the City of Adelaide played a more passive role. Riding on the deck of MV Palanpur, she was taken first to Virginia where she was joined on board by six locomotives bound for Port Hedland. Yet the final voyage was not without parallel to those of old. On Christmas Day 2013, she crossed the equator at virtually the same point as on her 1871 voyage. But the City of Adelaide’s historic arrival in Port Adelaide is not the end of the story. At the time of writing, the South Australian state election was imminent, and both main parties have pledged to help find a permanent home for the world’s oldest clipper. For CSCOAL (Clipper Ship City of Adelaide Limited) - the dedicated community group who worked tirelessly to bring the City from Scotland to Adelaide – it’s reason to be optimistic. Before Christmas, they purchased an 82-metre barge, the Bradley, which is currently serving as a floating platform for the City. Together they are berthed at Dock One in the inner harbour while news of a permanent home is awaited. “We are looking to establish a seaport village somewhere around the harbour,” said CSCOAL Director Peter Christopher. Cruickshank’s Corner, Hart’s Mill and Dock One, all on the Port River, are candidates to host the clipper. Many, though, favour Fletcher’s Slip, which has historical associations with the City she underwent repairs here twice, including work to fit a new rudder to replace the original lost off Kangaroo Island in 1877. Peter Christopher argues that existing infrastructure at the Slip, including buildings and security, would reduce the cost of establishing the seaport village. On 30th January, The Messenger newspaper reported the release of the Port Adelaide Precinct Plan, a 20-year blueprint which includes the creation of a marine services precinct at Fletcher’s Slip that could be used for sail making, a boatyard and the showcasing of heritage vessels. Perhaps, here, is a pointer to the historic clipper’s destiny.

NATURE’S LINE: GEORGE GOYDER; SURVEYOR, ENVIRONMENTALIST, VISIONARY AUTHOR:

JANIS SHELDRICK,

REVIEWER: MARCUS BERESFORD, NATIONAL TRUST OF SA MEMBER PUBLISHER

WAKEFIELD PRESS.

ISBN: 9781862548251 George Goyder’s national significance lies in not only his surveying work for rural settlement in South Australia and the foundation of Darwin in the Northern Territory, but also his early promotion of forestry and his findings on the limits of land use in Australia’s arid regions, particularly because of their unreliable rainfall. Many early settlers of European extraction had little understanding of such seasonal variability. If the topic sounds a bit dry, Janis Sheldrick nevertheless tells a fascinating story of a pioneering public servant and his family with many twists and turns. If there is at times perhaps too much detail, it is probably a reflection that this work originated as a PhD thesis. Most South Australians have heard of “Goyder’s Line” of reliable rainfall, which dates from 1866 and marks the division between land suitable for crops and land suitable for grazing. Unfortunately later South Australian governments ignored the line in a period of very good rainfall, leading to small wheat farm settlement beyond the line and ultimately much heartbreak. Beyond Goyder’s line there are now many romantic ruined stone cottages, rusting ploughs and strippers which have featured in tourist promotion and even on the cover of a “Midnight Oil” pop record album. Derided for his initial misunderstanding of the arid zone when he first visited and found freshwater lakes after high rainfall, Goyder went on to a clearer understanding of the arid lands than some have to this day. As a surveyor Goyder expanded the role well beyond drawing lines on maps, and took detailed note of a whole range of aspects of the country, leading to his early appointment as an inspector of mines as well as government roles in water collection and forestry. Any claim that he was an “environmentalist” has to be seen in the essentially exploitative, developmental context of the times. Similarly his advocacy for a larger Aboriginal reserve around the Coorong for Aborigines from all over the state. If ever there was an example of exemplary “civil service” and the importance of the public service in social and environmental development, Goyder’s life stands out. While Nature’s Line is a comprehensive book for serious history lovers, it contains much of interest to the general reader and provides important insights to the colonial period from a range of perspectives. Normally $45, National Trust members can obtain the book at 20% discount online: go to www.wakefieldpress.com.au and use the code “Trust”.

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War Wounds: The One Hundred Stories Project PROFESSOR BRUCE SCATES WITH REBECCA WHEATLEY AND LAURA JAMES | MONASH UNIVERSITY

November 2014 will mark 100 years since the first contingent of the First AIF sailed off to war. The Australian government has planned a dramatic re-enactment in Albany. A fleet of naval ships will assemble in King George’s Sound and steam off towards the open ocean. Many a speech will be made about the valour and the sacrifice of the Anzacs and by any objective measure the cost of that war was appalling. Over 60,000 Australians died as a direct result of the conflict - around a sixth of all the men and women who went to war. Their bodies are buried (if they’re buried at all) at the other end of those oceans, in the killing fields of France and Belgium, Turkey and the Middle East.

TOP  Frank

Hurley, Australian wounded on the Menin Road, near “Birr Cross road” on September 20th, National Library of Australia, an245394606 Bertram Byrnes is one of the ‘damaged’ men featured in the One Hundred Stories project. Years of painful surgery did little to restore his facial injuries. His story was recovered from repatriation files recently opened by the National Archives of Australia. Monash University BELOW  Private

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hile we do well to remember the terrible price Australia paid, we are in danger of forgetting something when the media and the politicians gather in Albany: the plight of the men and women who returned. Private James Dann of the 12th Battalion was one such ‘survivor’. A labourer from Broome, Dann enlisted the day after the Anzacs landed at Gallipoli. He arrived on the Peninsula just in time for the August offensive, went over the top at Lone Pine and was wounded soon after. Sent home a ‘cot case’ in 1916, the Repatriation Department put James Dann to work weaving baskets for the Red Cross. ‘I still have the bullet in my body’, Dann told the doctors, ‘[but] so long as I take things quietly I can keep going.’ ‘Heavy work’ was out of the question, ‘any exertion brings on severe pains in the stomach, tremors and … lung trouble’. But weaving baskets wasn’t considered fit work for a digger and in 1921 the authorities encouraged Private Dann to try his hand at farming. ‘Inspector Hadlington has interviewed Dann’, an official from the Lands Department noted, ‘and considers him a likely man to make a success of the holding.’ The property was a poultry farm, a five-acre block, small enough (the Department reasoned) for even a weak man to manage. ‘[H]is experience is not great’, the report concluded, and Dann’s health was not that great either. Within a year of taking up the block, Dann had developed pulmonary tuberculosis, a portion of his lung had collapsed and the bullet lodged in his body caused intense pain. Medical reports chart the steady decline in his health. Patient ‘short of breath’, one

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notes, ‘sleeps badly’, ‘sweats very freely’, and is ‘pale and anemic’. Dann was re-assessed as ‘totally incapacitated’ and the likelihood of further improvement deemed ‘problematical’. ‘I frequently have to rest,’ he complained, ‘the foreign body near my spine handicaps me considerably [and] I get severe backaches and pains in the neck and across the eyes after walking or sitting for any length of time.’ Dann was also separated from his family. TB cases posed too great a risk of infection and he was forced to cope with his work and his injuries on his own. By 1923, Dann’s pathetic poultry farm had been abandoned. Flinching from a ‘stabbing pain’ in his back he returned to weaving baskets. James Dann never recovered from his war wounds; they affected him and his family every day of his life. He died in Concord Repatriation Hospital in 1953, 39 years after the first contingent sailed from Albany. Private Dann’s story is one of thousands. In the 1920s the streets of Australia’s cities and towns were haunted by what they called ‘the war wrecked men’ – a legion of blind and crippled, gassed and insane. Few of these men received what they were promised - a fresh start in peacetime and a land fit for heroes. Most struggled on inadequate pensions, and battled – as hard as they had overseas – to provide for themselves and a family. To mark the centenary of the Great War a team of researchers at Monash University has set out to recover their stories. ‘This is not another story about men’s bravery in battle’, explains Bec Wheatley, a Monash PhD candidate, ‘we’re interested in a very different kind

of courage - the daily struggle to survive the peace. And we know that isn’t just a soldier’s story. All their family, all their community bore the cost of that war.’ Laura James, another young scholar working on the project, says it is time to recover the ‘forgotten stories’. ‘We still don’t know enough about the effect that war had on Indigenous communities. And we need to acknowledge the pain of all those who lost their loved ones’. ‘We’re calling this ‘The One Hundred Stories Project’, says Professor Bruce Scates. ‘One hundred stories drawn from across Australia to symbolise the Centenary of 1915. Many of the stories are horrific, many confronting – but surely a hundred years on it is time we acknowledged the true cost of that war to us all. We’re appealing to the community to nominate their stories.’ The first 20 of the one hundred stories are now available free online https://www.youtube. com/playlist?list=PLMKGvGeUG MY3xczZ59ZTMiK4KEINJ5nhg&f eature=edit_ok. Penguin will publish the book of the One Hundred Stories in November 2015.

ABOVE  Monash

PhD students Laura James and Bec Wheatley (standing), view the Knox family papers in Melbourne with Kate Baillieu, granddaughter of Captain Bill Knox killed near Ypres in 1917. Monash University

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Canberra’s West Block ‘Bunker’ and the Cable Girls DR PETER DOWLING | NATIONAL HERITAGE OFFICER

An innocuous and often ignored building in Canberra’s Parliamentary Triangle has a remarkable story to tell. Located in the West Block curtilage, it is used today as an electricity substation and a place where staff park their bicycles. During the Second World War this small building, tucked away behind the main building which once housed the Prime Minister’s Department, was known by its occupants as the ‘Bunker’.

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est Block, along with its sister building East Block, was erected in 1926 behind what is now Old Parliament House to serve as a temporary secretariat for key departments ahead of the relocation of government from Melbourne to Canberra. Among these was a section responsible for the encryption and decryption of Prime Minister’s Department and External Affairs communications. Cablegrams were then the main means of communication between the Prime Minister and foreign heads of state. One way to secure these messages was to encrypt them at their source, transmit them via the cable links for decryption back into plain language by the recipients. ABOVE  Cable ABOVE RIGHT 

The Cables Branch began as a small group of officers, mainly female. But during the Second World War the volume of highlevel security cables for processing in the Bunker increased so much, more staff and extra space had to be provided in the main West Block building. The small Bunker and the ‘cable

girls’ played a part in one of the defining moments in Australian history and the relationship with Britain. Following the fall of Singapore to Japanese forces in February 1942, Curtin cabled Churchill requesting that the 6th and 7th Divisions then serving in North Africa be returned home to defend Australia. However Churchill tried to divert the Australian troops to Burma. What followed was a tense period of terse cables exchanged via the Bunker between the two leaders with US President Franklin D Roosevelt siding with Churchill. Curtin maintained his ground against these two powerful leaders and the Australian Divisions were returned home.

Girls – Some of the ‘Cable ‘Girls’ outside West Block, Canberra, 1942.N Metcalfe private collection West Block remains nestled in the Old Parliament House precinct. P Dowling

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Nancy Metcalfe, one of the ‘cable girls’ recalls1:

underground business

Cables were pouring in. Some were far from interesting but I felt proud to be doing the few which were addressed ‘Most Immediate. Most Secret. Churchill to Curtin. Himself Alone.’ There was no doubt that the war was on when I also read before me the news of such things as submarines in the Sydney Harbour, the bombing of Darwin and the sinking of HMAS Sydney…’ Today, the Bunker along with the West Block building and the Parliamentary Triangle are on the National Heritage List and are under statutory protection. But a visitor to the West Block site would scarcely cast a glance at the unassuming building at the rear nor realise what occurred there during the days of the Second World War. The Bunker surely deserves a wider recognition. 1

Nancy Metcalfe (nee Ward), Memories of War Time, HMAS Torrens 1939-41, Gorman House & Prime Minister’s Department 1941-43, unpublished memoir, privately held, Canberra.

ABOVE  Cables

exchanged between PM Curtin and PM Churchill, 1942.  Cables were encrypted  before being sent and decrypted after being received by the ‘Cable Girls’ in the ‘Bunker’, West Block, Canberra. NAA A292, C21630

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Ghostly goings-on at National Trust properties ANGELA LE SUEUR | NATIONAL TRUST (NSW)

In an ancient land imbued with the spirits of Dreamtime and brought with a violent jolt into the 19th century by colonisation, it is hardly surprising many of us experience a sense of ‘the other world’ when we visit some buildings which belong to another era.

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any NSW National Trust buildings date from the early days of the colony. Their walls have witnessed many strange and unsettling deeds including murder, madness and other manifestations of the struggle to survive. Ghost tours are increasingly popular at many NSW properties and sometimes visitors get more than they bargained for! Perennially popular are the monthly ghost tours at Old Government House in Parramatta Park, the property which from 1799 to 1850 was the ‘country’ residence of the governors of the colony. Lady Mary FitzRoy, wife of the last governor to use the property, met an untimely death in the grounds when the horse drawing her carriage bolted and hit a tree. But it was Lady Mary Bligh, the daughter of Captain William Bligh - the fourth governor who is thought to be the Lady in Blue, seen on many occasions by different people as she wanders down the main staircase, a small dog in her arms. Visitors to the property tell of rooms pervaded by eerie or cold sensations, the feeling of nausea or goose-bumps, and even the sensation of being whipped. Parapsychologists conducting an investigation some years ago pronounced the presence of ‘malevolent’ ghosts, and left very quickly. Woodford Academy in the Blue Mountains tops the list of bad spirits. The property featured in a recent episode of Haunted Australia as one of Australia’s top four haunted sites. A Lady in White with long dark hair has been ‘seen’ on many occasions, disappearing into the surrounding bush. She is thought to be Mary

James, murdered wife of William James who around 1819 operated a sly grog shop on the site where the earliest part of the building complex was built c1834. Perhaps equally tormented by wrongdoing is Jessie, daughter of William McManamey who opened a boys’ school in the complex (hence its name) in 1909. Jessie is thought to have suffered from mental illness and was frequently locked in a room upstairs. Visitors often report swaying floors and feelings of nausea. Ghost tours are also now a regular feature at Miss Porter’s House in Newcastle West, built and inhabited by the same family throughout almost the entire 19th century. Experiences so far include the sighting of half a body apparition gliding down the hallway, dressed in a long tartan skirt and slippers. On one occasion, using a spirit box in the kitchen (a device which uses radio frequency to generate white noise, thought to give some entities the energy they need to be heard), investigators asked the Porter sisters what their favourite meal had been. The reply was ‘rabbit’.

For details of National Trust Ghost Tours visit our website: www.nationaltrust. org.au/nsw and go to Events.

PAGE OPPOSITE  Is this The Lady in Blue descending the staircase at Old Government House? M Fisher, Old Government House and Friends of Old Government House ABOVE  Unusual light anomalies have been captured at Miss Porter’s House during night-time investigations. R Daniel, Newcastle Ghost Tours RIGHT  The main staircase at Old Government House. C Shain

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Respect and the Single Smartphone MARTIN GREEN, LEARNING & INTERPRETATION MANAGER | NATIONAL TRUST (VIC)

The National Trust in Victoria is partnering with the Gippsland Legal Service to address a serious and growing problem that has found its way into Australian schoolyards. That ‘problem’ is in the pocket or school bag of most high school students irrespective of their school or where they live. And it is a new issue that has concerned parents, teachers and our police and politicians.

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ohn C’s mother was unimpressed when she had to drive him to the police station to recover his lost mobile phone. He had lost it in the street coming home from his friend Greg’s 15th birthday party late at night. John didn’t realise that he was about to end up in serious trouble and that he and Greg faced charges as accomplices in a horrible crime. Smartphones are used by students in secondary schools to help them meet Mum or Dad at the train station, follow up on the latest Facebook gossip from their friendship group or even do schoolwork or not do schoolwork in class. But they also can lead young people to commit serious crimes with long lasting consequences to their victims. Sexting is a new practice where people send each other provocative texts or sexually provocative images of themselves or others using their mobile phone. While adults can indulge in this practice, students under the age of 16 can unwittingly break state child pornography laws. The victims of these crimes are mostly girls and young women. Students in general need to be aware of the long lasting injury, feelings of shame,

ABOVE  Students

embarrassment and distress caused by the malicious passing and transfer of images as well as the potential threat of a criminal record as a child pornographer. Greg had no idea when the police came to his school they wanted to speak to him. They wanted to talk to him about the pictures he had sent John. He’d just broken up with Stacey. He’d asked her to send him those pictures for his birthday. Why not share them with a close mate?

Since 2007 the National Trust has been running Court Room Dramas at the Old Melbourne Gaol. We have the only court room in Melbourne that is available full time for students to use as an experimental classroom. The Trust has found itself in a privileged position as a significant provider of legal studies. More than 30,000

face court to learn more about Smart phone responsibilities. NTVic

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students attend the precinct annually and many participate in a recreation of a court trial in the Old Magistrates Court. Our schools programs include past trials like the case of Elizabeth Scott who was the first woman hanged for murder in the State of Victoria in 1863. The Culpable Driving trial and the Koori Court Trial programs are contemporary trials that let students understand the impact of legislation in the immersive environment of a real courtroom. The Trust believes sexting is a contemporary issue vitally worth programming at the Old Magistrates Court. With assistance from the Victoria Law Foundation we found a partner in the Gippsland Legal Service in Morwell. Lawyer Kate Windmill from the Gippsland Legal Service had run similar court room scenarios as part of their public programs in the Magistrates Court in Sale. The Trust hopes to shortly trial these new dramas in Melbourne developed with the Gippsland Legal service. We will offer Melbourne students insight into the terrible impact of a thoughtless moment in the palm of their hand.


CONNECTIONS

Trailblazer: A virtual interactive experience ENZO SIRNA | DEPUTY CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER NATIONAL TRUST (WA)

The National Trust of Australia (WA) has entered into a partnership with Edith Cowan University – Office of Research and Innovation, to develop a software application framework that uses the full capabilities of modern mobile devices to support and enhance interactive multi-modal learning.

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he aim of the Trailblazer project will be to create a platform for the delivery of integrated learning activities, based on the Australian Curriculum and on National Trust places, commencing with the theme of the Swan River Colony and using Peninsula Farm (Tranby) as the historic centrepiece. It is intended for the application framework to assist in easily constructing experiences around the place of significance, thus enhancing a visitor’s experience to the place. Through a webbased interface, an opportunity will be provided to add additional information about the place, including relevant artefacts, physical objects and challenges, and other information relating to the requirements of the Australian Curriculum requirements and the target audience. By using their mobile smart phone or tablet, visitors to the place will choose their experience preferences and the framework will then craft an experience and deliver it through the individual’s mobile device.

Trailblazer utilises the GPS features of a mobile device as well as the camera to capture a view of the environment and presents it on screen with additional virtual content overlayed on the scene. Virtual content may include written text, images, video and recorded voice-over, as well as 3D objects that appear to be part of the actual scene. Several applications will be available in the development of the prototype. These will include: i) The provision of additional information about the objects and the history of the place; ii) The provision of a direct link from this information to meet Australian Curriculum objectives; iii) The provision for events from the past and objects no longer present, to be recreated through augmented reality. To assist with the initial phase of development, a special trial and think tank session was recently organised at Peninsula Farm (Tranby) with members from the ECU Research

Centre for Transformational Games and the Education & Learning team and staff from other disciplines within the National Trust. It was an opportunity to further enhance ideas which would add value to the project and which in due course could be utilised not only for schools and public programmes, but also for interpretation and other experiences relating to National Trust places of significance. Those in attendance were able to experience, in a practical way, how Trailblazer offers the user a transformational experience by enabling Peninsula Farm (Tranby) to be augmented with virtual content and where the user literally becomes the camera. For future schools and public program developments, it is hoped Trailblazer will afford opportunities to capture images and sound on site, upload images/sound files to a document library and then allow the document library to be accessed from the school (or any other place) for further educational activities. The first phase of development for Trailblazer will be completed by June this year.

ABOVE LEFT  Mobile

technology utilises GPS features to bring new educational experiences to users. Edith Cowan University new software application aims to bring Curriculum requirements to students. Edith Cowan University BOTTOM RIGHT  National Trust staff and ECU representative met at Peninsula Farm Tranby to explore Trailblazer potential. M Evans TOP RIGHT  The

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Restoration of Sir Donald Bradman’s boyhood home IAN STAPLETON | CLIVE LUCAS STAPLETON & PARTNERS, ARCHITECTS AND HERITAGE CONSULTANTS

The restoration of the boyhood home of Sir Donald Bradman conserves a very special link in the life of one of Australia’s greatest sporting legends, and the project was a winning highlight of the 2013 National Trust Heritage Awards. Ian Stapleton, architect for the project, talks about how the layers were identified and peeled back to reveal the early home of the Don.

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hen George Bradman brought his family, including his three year old son Donald, to the Southern Highlands in 1911 he purchased an existing weatherboard house on the corner of Shepherd and Holly Streets, Bowral. The house had been constructed in 1890 for Jane Pearce and was a good quality, four square, weatherboard house with slight Italianate styling. George was a builder and just what he did to the house to accommodate the family only became clear during the recent restoration of the house.

TOP LEFT  The

home after restoration. The original character has been restored. Note the reconstructed chimney. E Sierens hall and Donald’s bedroom, its original colour scheme restored. E Sierens BOTTOM RIGHT  A high quality commercial postcard of the house with Don Bradman, aged 3 years, in the foreground. Bradman Museum Trust Collection TOP RIGHT  The

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The Bradmans lived at Shepherd Street until 1924 when they moved to a house George built opposite the present Bradman Oval. Over time there were many minor changes for repairs and functional reasons that had, by the 21st century, obscured the arrangement and early finishes of the building and its garden. Notable amongst these were the loss of the west chimney, the addition of a laundry wing of indeterminate age and the absence of the famous tank stand

that the young Donald used to practice his batting. After interviewing all the previous owners that could be found and searching for old photographs and other records, careful physical investigations were made by removing the more recent finishes. Previous owners had replaced most of the internal linings, so once these had been opened up, most of the changes that had been made to the building became clear. As originally constructed, the main wing had two rooms either side of a central hall and a verandah which ran along three of

the four sides. At the rear a kitchen was connected to the house by a covered way in a somewhat oldfashioned manner. Most notable was the timber trimming surviving in the building’s stud frame for windows facing the rear. One of these windows had been bought around to the west side. The evidence clearly showed that George Bradman had built most of the additions that still survive today. He lengthened the north east sitting room and made a Federation style gable (reportedly to house a piano for one of his three daughters Lilian). He added another bedroom on the north-west corner (reportedly the bedroom for Donald and his brother Victor). Between the main wing and kitchen he created a passage, a bathroom and a small eastern verandah on which was constructed a low brickwork tank stand and a 600 gallon round tank. This was the famous tank stand which the young Donald honed his batting skills. Later in his autobiography he wrote: ‘Armed with a small cricket stump (which I used as a bat) I would throw a golf ball at this brick stand and try to hit the ball on the rebound. The golf ball came back at great speed and to hit it at all with the round stump was no easy task.’ George also extended the kitchen to the west with the addition of a scullery and pantry including a new fireplace and chimney. Down the east side of the building he built an unlined timber framed shed with a brick-paved floor. During the work, evidence of a brickwork laundry copper was

discovered behind the old kitchen fireplace. Later owners had enclosed the tank stand verandah and so changed this laundry wing, including the introduction of second-hand joinery, to the extent that it could only be confirmed to be an early structure after the painted internal framing was uncovered. Consequently, the only relatively modern structures on the site are the detached rear garage and lean-to storeroom. Just where the original water tank for the house was located still remains unclear. During the works, a large stormwater soakage pit was uncovered on the east side of the house - but it was not a well. The famous tank was installed to supply water from the roof direct to the bath tub in the rear bathroom but this was very small. As town water was not connected to the property until the 1930s, there must have been a larger tank. In 1932, the now famous Donald Bradman returned to the house and re-enacted for the Cine-Sound Newsreel the tank stand training routine and also a training routine of throwing the ball against the split rail of the rear fence in order to practice fielding. The recent work has clarified the configuration of the house when lived in by Donald Bradman as well as reconstructing these features which stand tall in in the iconography of Australian cricket.

TOP RIGHT  The LEFT  The

home before restoration. Clive Lucas, Stapleton and Partners rear hall and former kitchen, now arranged as tourist accommodation. E Sierens 23

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Fine seams at Calthorpe

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THE SOFT FURNISHINGS GROUP | NATIONAL TRUST (NSW)

Volunteers from the National Trust’s Soft Furnishings Group have recently completed an intricate project which will transform the main bedroom at Calthorpe House for ACT Historic Houses.

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althorpe House in Canberra’s well known Mugga Way, Red Hill, was built by Harry Calthorpe in 1927. The property is currently administered as a house museum by ACT Historic Places which, as part of its management program, needed to conserve the furnishings of the main bedroom.

The original bedspread, curtains and other soft furnishings had been purchased in 1927 from Beard Watson in Sydney. Made of blue Silk Moire Faille, they had deteriorated after 85 years of continual use and needed repair. ACT Historic Places decided to conserve them and have replicas made for display.

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3

1.  The

completed bedspread. NTNSW of the bedspread, showing ruching and gimp. NTNSW 3 Sharing a quiet joke during painstaking work. NTNSW 2 Detail

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4  Detailed

Sydney’s International Conservation Services (ICS) was approached to carry out the full refurbishment of the bedroom and invited the Soft Furnishings Group to be involved. The Calthorpe commission started with a visit to Canberra to examine the bedroom soft furnishings in situ. The articles were then brought to Sydney to be measured and their embroidery designs copied. There was a fitted and piped double bedspread with a ruched

and embroidered top, and gathered skirt with gimp embroidery around the bottom edge. A bolster with ruching, bordered by gimp embroidery with a tassel on each end, was matched with a plain cushion with a ruched edge. The group also made two pairs of curtains with embroidery around three sides, two pelmets with cord along the top and embroidery and fringe along the bottom - each incorporating four pleated bells with tassels, also embroidered and fringed. Gimp is a narrow ornamental trim used in sewing or embroidery. Made of silk, wool or cotton it is often stiffened with metallic wire or cord. It then has to be stitched onto fabric as trimming or decoration. The gimp embroidery on the original items at Calthorpe was stitched on by machine - but a suitable machine was not available, so it had to be couched on by hand. The embroidery required one metre of gimp to stitch 25cm of finished embroidery (taking about an hour). A total of two hundred metres of gimp was used to complete the required length of embroidered design. The embroidery had to be completed before the articles could be constructed which meant every member of the group was involved in the embroidery task. The design was applied to nearly 50 metres of fabric and, to ensure the gimp looked uniform, the stitching and tension needed to be the same - no matter who did the work. The Soft Furnishing Group has been invited to install the reproduced articles. The originals will be stored for posterity and will be available as research aids for conservation and textile students in the future.

instructions guided the intricate work needed to make two pelmets. NTNSW

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DEPOT

Centenary in the Blue mountains

Celebration at Valley Heights ANDREW TESTER & KEITH WARD | VALLEY HEIGHTS LOCOMOTIVE DEPOT HERITAGE MUSEUM

This year marks the centenary of one of Australia’s most important pieces of early railway infrastructure: the Valley Heights Locomotive Depot in the Blue Mountains.

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he centenary was celebrated on 31 January with the official opening by the Governor of NSW, Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir of a museum on the site of the depot, housing rolling stock, equipment and other memorabilia. Opened in 1914, the depot housed the pilot engines needed to pull trains up the steep gradient between Valley Heights on the mountain slopes and Katoomba at the top. Not only did the engines pilot over the longest distance in NSW, they also had the distinction of having to operate over the longest continual and most steeply graded mainline in Australasia.

ABOVE  Resident

locomotives 5461, 4601 and CPC 2 shelter inside the Valley Heights Roundhouse. K Ward 3827 and the Valley Heights pilot locomotive prepare to leave the station with the Central West Express (c1950). Australian Railway Historical Society BELOW  Locomotive

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The history of the depot is a fascinating one. In 1869 the single line built to cross the Blue Mountains reached Lithgow, enabling the 150km journey from Sydney to be cut to nearly six hours. To pull trains up the steepest part of the track to Katoomba a second locomotive, or pilot, was needed, but it had to join the train at Penrith, the last station before the foothills. The pilot then had to be brought down on the same track which, as demand grew, was an increasing hindrance to the efficient running of the railway. In 1912 a second ‘duplication’ line was built, the final section via Glenbrook Gorge being completed in 1913, but pilot engines were still required for the steep Valley Heights to Katoomba ascent. Valley Heights was a convenient point for maintenance, cleaning and repair of the pilot engines. A pilot was placed at the front of the train and, at Katoomba, would be uncoupled, turned and returned to Valley Heights to repeat the process. The Depot was a crucial piece of infrastructure, vital to westbound train travel enabling the state’s heart to be opened up at a time when road transport was difficult, slow and unreliable. On-site were a Roundhouse (the oldest remaining in NSW), hand-operated turntable (still working!) and a large elevated bin (coal stage) where up to 400 tons of coal were stored and fed by gravity to the loco below. The 1940s and 1950s were the ‘glory days’ of the depot with around 80 staff handling 30 piloting assignments most days. Technology led to more powerful locomotives and fewer trains requiring piloting. The last pilot operation was completed in 1989.

A small band of railway enthusiasts recognised the heritage value of the site and thanks to the community and dozens of dedicated volunteers, the new museum is a glowing testimony to the hard work of its past workers and the importance of the depot to the Blue Mountains.

TO FIND OUT MORE about the many special events running in 2014 to celebrate the centenary, visit www.infobluemountains. net.au/locodepot

ABOVE  Locomotives

4001 and 4520 arrive at Valley Heights double-heading the Official Centenary Train with NSW Governor Marie Bashir AC CVO on board. E Ward LEFT  Standard Goods Locomotive 5191 is turned aboard the Valley Heights Turntable (c1950). Valley Heights Locomotive Depot Heritage Museum Collection

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TO U R I

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Destinatison Succes

ABOVE 

above­  Queensland’s Hou Wang Temple is a focus of Queensland’s Destination Success tourism initiative. NTQLD

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GLOBAL

All aboard the Orient Express JONATHAN FISHER | CEO CURRUMBIN WILDLIFE SANCTUARY NATIONAL TRUST (QLD)

The Queensland Government has positioned tourism as one of the four pillars of the state economy and recently released ‘Destination Success’, the 20 year plan for Queensland Tourism.

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mongst seven megatrends that will shape Queensland’s future is ‘The Orient Express’, a term used in relation to the increased growth of tourists from the developing Asia region. National Trust of Queensland properties across the state are well placed to work with Australia’s emerging new tourism market. T h e Nat ion al Tr u s t of Queensland’s Hou Wang Temple in Atherton, north Queensland is the only timber and tin Chinese temple that survives from more than one hundred simple structures that were scattered across northern Australia during the gold rush period. The temple offers a unique cultural experience for Chinese visitors to Australia, to explore the stories of their forebears who came to Australia during this period.

TOP  Visitors

at the Hou Wang Temple. NTQLD Dancers at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. NTQLD BOTTOM RIGHT  The Rainbow Lorikeet experience at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. NTQLD BOTTOM LEFT  Yugembah

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In Cooktown, the James Cook Museum has a unique display dedicated to the rich Chinese heritage of the region. The Palmer River Gold Rush, which began in 1873 attracted approximately 14,000 Chinese who worked the goldfields, along with some 4,500 Europeans. At the southern end of Queensland, Currumbin is also well placed to host the growing number of Asian tourists. Currumbin is well known as the iconic wildlife attraction ‘More Australian, More Natural, More Fun’. It is also exploring interpretation of its important heritage tourism role, founded as it was by a pioneer of Gold Coast tourism, Alex Griffiths. The Sanctuary also supports a regular Indigenous dance show by the Yugambeh Dancers and promotes the Indigenous managed Jellurgal Aboriginal Interpretation Centre at Burleigh Heads. The Australian animal experience combined with the Indigenous cultural experiences are very popular with all our visitors. One of the Destination Success themes is to ‘Preserve our nature and culture’. This offers a great opportunity for the National Trust to promote its properties as places that differentiate the tourism experience by telling the stories about the many cultures that have influenced the state’s history, how we relate our environment to the past, the present, and the influences ahead over the next twenty years.

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Camellias add colour at Harper’s Mansion LAUREL CHEETHAM AND ERIC SAVAGE

An authentic colonial garden at Harper’s Mansion, a National Trust property near Berrima, is set to be enhanced by the addition of rare camellias that could have their origins on the estate of the pioneering Macarthur family.

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he camellias come from Berrima Bridge Nurseries which supplied cold climate trees and shrubs to the Southern Highlands, Monaro, New England, and parts of Sydney between the 1940s and 2000. Many of the plants were propagated by Claude and Isobel Crowe, who established and ran the nursery. As part of a project to recognise the heritage significance of the nursery and its owners, the Southern Highlands branch of the Australian Garden History Society (AGHS) identified and recorded the plants and structures remaining on the property. Among the plants were japonica camellias, listed in Australian plant catalogues from the 1850s to the 1880s. The origin of some of these is thought to be Camden Park, near Camden, where camellias were planted by the Macarthur family. Cuttings were taken of these camellias in 2011, and in 2013 the AGHS has been distributing them to camellia collections where the

public will be able to have access to them. Harper’s Mansion, a National Trust property only about one kilometre away from the old nursery, recently obtained 50 of the propagated japonica camellias. As they are still quite small, it was decided not to plant them out until next winter when they will become the first stage of a heritage camellia collection. Harper’s Mansion is a fine example of a colonial Georgian town house and was built by James and Mary Harper on land purchased in 1834 in the newly established village of Berrima, about 125 km south of Sydney. The garden at Harper’s Mansion is being developed on the two acres remaining from the original 100 acre property. A heritage rose collection is already well established as is a produce garden of fruit trees, edible and medicinal plants and herbs from the colonial period. The garden also has a large hedge maze which delights

TOP RIGHT  Trust

camellias in pots. E Savage of the gardeners creating a wonderful colonial garden at Harper’s Mansion in Berrima. E. Savage TOP LEFT  Harper’s Mansion, Berrima. E Savage INSERT  Some

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visitors. In the future, it is proposed to develop a program to tell the fascinating story of how plants in the garden came to Australia. Camellias in the Harper’s Mansion collection include Chandleri, La Graciola, Mrs Harriet Beecher Sheather, Prince Eugene Napoleon and Paolini Maggi. A location for the collection has been selected and between now and winter 2014 a new garden bed which has the right combination of growing conditions and exhibition potential, will be prepared to take these camellias. This involves removing several trees, thinning out the remaining canopy, cutting back overgrown hedging plants and soil preparation. In coming years the camellia collection will be added to as the opportunity arises.


Discover Australia’s National Trust heritage places and have a great day out! National Trust members gain FREE and discounted entry* *except for special events

The leader in concern for and conservation of significant cultural landscapes and historic gardens through committed, relevant and

www.nationaltrust.org.au

sustainable action. AGHS MEMBERSHIP OFFERS State based specialist lectures, seminars, and garden tours

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Attendance to the Annual National Conference

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Access to historic gardens and working bees

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4 issues per year of Australian Garden History Journal

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Other publications www.gardenhistorysociety.org.au

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Trust News May 2014