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e-BULLETIN No. 119 – 22 December 2013


Hon Editor, Dr Ruth S. Kerr



1) Victorian Heritage Register Places and Objects Fund


2) Art, War and Truth Conference, Canberra


3) Noel Butlin Archives repository move, Canberra


4) University of Melbourne - Masters program in Urban and Cultural Heritage


5) Narrabri Historical Society hosting North and North West Regional Conference


6) Ostler House in Traralgon, Victoria


7) Quarantine Station restoration and heritage walk at Bruny Island, Tasmania




1) Victorian Heritage Register Places and Objects Fund

Applications are now open for the Victorian Heritage Register Places and Objects Fund.


On Friday 22 November 2013 the Minister for Planning Matthew Guy MP announced a new grants program, the Victorian Heritage Register Places and Objects Fund. The Victorian Government has provided funding for 2013-2015 of up to $2.7 million for grants which will be delivered by Victoria’s Heritage Restoration Fund (VHRF).

In support of this, VHRF has launched their new website , an online portal where you can find out information about the various grants available, and how to make an application.

Victoria’s Heritage Restoration Fund is a partnership between the City of Melbourne, the Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure (the Department), and the National Trust of Australia (Victoria). The Fund is administered by the National Trust of Australia (Victoria).

VHRF offers grants to restore eligible heritage places and objects. The grants are disbursed from a series of funds managed by VHRF, including: Melbourne Heritage Restoration Fund, Yarra Heritage Restoration Fund, and the Victorian Heritage Register Places and Objects Fund.

The funds are overseen by a Committee of Management comprising representatives of the City of Melbourne, the Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure, the Municipal Association of Victoria and the National Trust of Australia (Victoria). VHRF was formerly known as the Melbourne Heritage Restoration Fund, which has successfully operated in Melbourne since 1988.

Publicly accessible places and objects included in the Victorian Heritage Register and owned/managed by community organisations and local governments can apply for a Victorian Heritage Register Places and Objects Fund grant. Grants ranging from $20,000 – $200,000 are available for heritage places and $5,000 – $20,000 for heritage objects.

For more information, or to make an application, visit the Victoria’s Heritage Restoration Fund


(Source: Royal Historical Society of Victoria – email 6 December 2013)



2) Art, War and Truth Conference, Canberra


13th – 14th February 2014, Australian National University

Conference opening night drinks at the Australian War Memorial, 12th February


This conference will explore the deep and enduring biases about art, war and truth which exist in both popular and academic scholarship. What circumstances lead people to see some types of art or literature as depicting the ‘truth’ of war, and other kinds as merely portraying a manufactured reality?  At what point does war art segue into propaganda during wartime? Can the truth of war be represented in art and literature? In addressing these questions, the conference will provide a unique forum for discussing the relationship between art, war and truth.


Attendance is free for both the opening drinks and the conference itself (with lunch and tea provided), but places are limited!


Register at:


For further details, please contact the conference convenors:
Margaret Hutchison, email: or Emily Robertson, email:


(Source: University of Queensland, School of History, Philosophy, Religion & Classics – email 2 December 2013)



3) Noel Butlin Archives repository move, Canberra


Acton Underhill, the building housing the Archives repository, was originally built over the road tunnel on Parkes Way as a parking station, and there has been increasing interest in its return to its original purpose in recent years. We are currently investigating an alternative archival storage space on campus for the three kilometres of records stored on its upper level. We will keep our depositors and researchers informed if and when this move goes ahead, which we hope to do with minimal disruption to our services. We will continue to occupy the lower level of the repository where the remaining 17 kilometres of material is held.


In preparation for the move, Helen Hopper has consolidated and reboxed a number of trade union collections including deposits of the Seamen's Union of Australia, the Federated Engine Drivers' and Firemen's Association, the National Union of Workers, the Professional Officers' Association and the Bank Employees' Union.


(Source: Noel Butlin Archives Centre News, Australian National University, November 2013)



4) University of Melbourne - Masters program in Urban and Cultural Heritage


A new Masters program in Urban and Cultural Heritage to be launched in the Melbourne School of Design, Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, The University of Melbourne from 2014.

“It is a unique cross-disciplinary program open to a wide range of graduates, who are passionate about the social and cultural dimensions of the built environment in the 21st century. The interpretation, management and conservation of urban and cultural heritage is increasingly a matter of urgency and significance, and this program includes integrated approaches to heritage, and heritage design, research, theory and presentation. It incorporates the possibility of a heritage internship, and is a flexible structure with multiple pathways.”

Information on applying, etc, can be found by clicking here


(Source: University of Melbourne - email 13 December 2013)



5) Narrabri Historical Society hosting North and North West Regional Conference


The Narrabri District Historical Society will be hosting the 2014 North and North West Regional Conference on Saturday 12 April 2014.  The venue will be the Narrabri Bowling Club Auditorium.  The theme for the 2014 conference, “Narrabri Through Time”, is especially apt as the Narrabri Historical Society commenced in 1964 and will be celebrating its 50th Golden Anniversary. Further details are available in the December edition of RAHS History.


(Source: Royal Australian Historical Society E-News November 2013)



6) Ostler House in Traralgon, Victoria


The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) have upheld Latrobe City Council's decision to reject the owner's application to demolish Ostlers House! This news has pleased the Traralgon Historical Society and community, as this is believed to be Traralgon's oldest brick building still standing!


Whilst it is the owner's responsibility to maintain the property, the Historical Society and other members of the community are keen to work with the owners to maintain it. It was used as a bar until a couple of years ago, and could be made a profitable outlet if repaired and leased out (subject to Council approval).


VCAT found Ostler's House, the small brick building on the Ryan's Hotel property, had "substantial heritage value" and should not be demolished. "Demolition will adversely affect the significance of the heritage place and it has not been demonstrated that it is justified," the finding stated.


The property owner had sought to demolish the building, saying it was not viable to re-build on its existing site and posed a safety hazard. He proposed it could be dismantled and rebuilt on another site, but Latrobe City Council found none of the work required to fix the building faults were complex, refusing the application to demolish it. The owner then appealed the decision to VCAT.


The precise history of Ostler's House is unclear, but it is believed to have been built around 1890 and comes under a local heritage overlay. Traralgon Chamber of Commerce and Industry secretary Debbie Grist said the building was believed to be the town's oldest brick building standing at its original location. Ostler's House was built before the iconic Ryan's Hotel was constructed in 1914 on the site of the 'Travellers Rest', built by early Traralgon settler Duncan Campbell.


The term 'ostler' historically refers to somebody who cares for horses at an inn. "We believe that the ostler would have stayed there at that building," Ms Grist said. "The coaches would arrive in town and the weary travellers would stay in the Traveller's Rest hotel and the horses would be given to the ostler."


Traralgon and District Historical Society committee member Johanna Sykes said the building was part of the first "hub" of Traralgon and it was a privilege to fight for its preservation. "I hope the owners now recognise they own a very special part of the history of Traralgon," Ms Sykes said.


The VCAT findings stated the building's disrepair included cracking in the brickwork as a result of its brick footings, but there was "no imminent risk of collapse". It advised the owner to seek advice from Heritage Victoria about the best way to address the poor footings. "The owner has apparently not carried out basic maintenance of Ostler's House, or anything to promote its retention," the findings stated. "If the building's integrity can be retained, then Ostler's House would have the potential to have a strong role in telling part of the story of the town."


The chamber and historical society hope to work with the owner to preserve the building and VCAT suggested their goodwill, and perhaps fundraising capacity should be harnessed, along with the support of council. The VCAT report stated that "the owner could allow the building to further deteriorate until such a time that it constituted a risk to public safety and necessitated an order by the council's building surveyor".


(Source: Latrobe Valley Express 21 November 2013;; Traralgon Historical Society)



7) Quarantine Station restoration and heritage walk at Bruny Island, Tasmania


A new heritage interpretive walk has been opened at the Quarantine Station at Barnes Bay, Bruny Island. Volunteer caretakers will host open days each Sunday during summer.


Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) general manager Peter Mooney has applauded the work of the Wildcare Inc group, Friends of Bruny Island Quarantine Station, and Parks and Wildlife Service staff in transforming the Quarantine Station. He stated that it brought a new focus to the site. He noted the potential for visitation to the site.


A Commonwealth Heritage Grant provided the impetus to tell the story of the Quarantine Station through a series of 19 interpretive signs and direction markers on a self-guided heritage walk around the 130 ha state reserve. The new Heritage Interpretive Walk explores the history of the site with signs at the first European settlers’ cottage, the quarantine building sites where saloon and steerage passengers were lodged, the hospital area, and the campsites where soldiers were quarantined on their return from World War I.


About 65 people attended the opening of the Heritage Interpretive Walk on Sunday, 1 December, including a number of people with a close association to the site.
The chair of the Tasmanian Heritage Council, Dr Dianne Snowden, opened the heritage trail and congratulated the Friends of Bruny Island Quarantine Station for their efforts. “The friends group has done an outstanding job in supporting the management, conservation and public appreciation of the Bruny Island Quarantine Site, and also an outstanding job in raising the profile of local history,” Dr Snowden said. “Without well researched local history, the larger pattern of history is incomplete. The layers of history and themes that are an integral part of our national history are revealed on this site. This Quarantine Station is a microcosm of Australian history and a highly significant heritage place.” She also said that 

“Heritage is not just about structures and architecture, but importantly, it’s about the stories of the people behind those buildings, the people who constructed them and lived in them. Heritage is about place and people, and it’s as much about the buildings that disappeared as about those that survived.”


A series of working bees by the volunteers have helped transform the doctor’s house to prepare it for occupation by a volunteer caretaker throughout the summer months. The caretaker will help to look after the site, talk with visitors and open the site each Sunday during summer from 10am to 4pm.


Bruny Island Friends group president and historian Kathy Duncombe described researching the site for the interpretive walk as like opening Pandora’s Box. She said, “The exciting part about the journey of the past two years is how new stories emerge and objects surface to flesh out the history of the site. We’ve had family visits from those associated with the site, many people have shared their stories, and others have donated objects.”


The Quarantine Station was a State and Commonwealth quarantine station and held German internees during the World War I. It became a quarantine site during the 1918-1919 flu pandemic and later a plant quarantine station. It was proclaimed as a state reserve in 2003 and is now managed by the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service.


(Source: Liz Wren, Manager Media and Communications, Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service – Email 6 December 2013)