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e-BULLETIN No. 87 – 16 August 2011


Hon Editor, Dr Ruth S. Kerr



1) Cultural heritage landscapes - identifying, recording and preserving


2) Arkaroola, South Australia - preservation


3) Tourist and heritage railways in Victoria


4) Tramway tourist sector


5) Port Arthur, Tasmania - storm surge damage


6) Digitisation of newspapers - National Library of Australia


7) Pandora


8) Collectors program on ABC TV to be concluded


9) Victoria's heritage grants for 2011-2012 now open


10) Federation's advocacy role


11) (advertisement) Affordable digital replacement for your old microfilm readers now locally available



1) Cultural heritage landscapes - identifying, recording and preserving


The Federation of Australian Historical Societies has a project underway to develop an online training manual on Cultural Heritage Landscapes – Identifying, Recording and Preserving. It is designed to assist societies who wish to undertake the identification and assessment of heritage landscapes – that is, the way landscapes have been modified over time by human activity, and what evidence the landscape still holds of those activities. The Project Officer is inviting all historical societies to contribute information on what case studies, if any, they have done so far on cultural landscapes. Could all historical societies receiving the e-Bulletin please advise the FAHS of projects which you would like us to include in our Training Manual on Cultural Heritage Landscapes.  The training manual will ultimately be loaded on our website. The FAHS email address is:


(Source: FAHS Council - 26 July 2011)


2) Arkaroola, South Australia - preservation


The South Australian government announced on 22 July 2011 that it has decided to prevent exploration and mining in the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary area of 226 sq kms. It is to be excised from the operation of the Mining Act 1971 The Premier, Hon Mike Rann MP, stated that special legislation to afford greater protection of the area is also proposed. The government aims to protect the cultural heritage and landscape values of the area in perpetuity. The Premier informed the Weekend Financial Review that it is considering providing compensation to uranium exploration company, Marathon Resources Limited, because the government is ‘proud of our reputation with the mining industry’. Marathon has been exploring for uranium and rare earths at Mount Gee for a considerable period. The Mount Gee deposit had been measured as the fifth largest uranium deposit in Australia. The company has invested substantial amounts of risk capital in the exploration work. On Thursday, 21 July the company had been informed that a declaration of environmental factors for its exploration work was being sent to the Minister for authorisation by the Department of Primary Industries and Resources. Nearby Beverley and Four Mile uranium mines are unaffected by the government’s announcements and proposals.


The South Australian government has announced that it intends to nominate the Arkaroola area for listing on the National Heritage List and eventually on the World Heritage List.


(Sources: The Advertiser (Adelaide) 22 July 2011 pp.1,4; Northern Territory News 23 July 2011 p.13; Weekend Financial Review 23-24 July 2011 p.4; Australian 27 July 2011 p.23;


3) Tourist and heritage railways in Victoria


The Victorian government has enacted special legislation for Tourist and Heritage Railways – the Tourist and Heritage Railways Act 2010. The Act will replace current provisions regulating the sector in the Transport (Compliance and Miscellaneous) Act 1983.


The Tourist and Heritage Railways Act forms part of the transport policy and legislative framework in Victoria under the Transport Integration Act . The responsible Minister for the Tourist and Heritage Railways Act 2010 is the Minister for Public Transport. The Victorian Department of Transport has stated that ‘the tourist and heritage railway sector in Victoria makes valuable social, cultural and economic contributions. Around 3500 Victorians are actively engaged as employees, members and as volunteers in the sector.’ They state that the Act ‘promotes the long term viability of tourist and heritage railways in Victoria.’


(Source: Federation of Rail Organizations New Zealand Journal July 2011, Issue 101 p.1)


4) Tramway tourist sector


2011 is the 60th anniversary of the beginning of the heritage rail movement in the United Kingdom when Tom Rolt and his colleagues began work on saving the Talyllyn Railway. In Australia the Puffing Billy Preservation Society is 57 years old and a number of other Heritage rail organisations have achieved 40 years. For example the trams at Bendigo have been operated longer by the Bendigo Trust than any other operator in the history of the city. With the aging of all of the heritage railway groups the new challenge is succession planning.


(Source: The Electric Telegraph, 10: July  2011, the Victorian Heritage and Rail Tram Newsletter, website:


5) Port Arthur, Tasmania - storm surge damage

The penitentiary at Port Arthur was damaged by storm surge from Carnarvon Bay in the third week of July 2011. The waves tore rocks from the wall and washed away a bridge. Large sandstone blocks were removed from the jetty itself and steps and hurled across the jetty into the water.


The site conservation manager stated that the flooded penitentiary is structurally sound, but needs significant work. The penitentiary itself normally sits in wet conditions and there is a constant problem of salt inundation. The damage bill is expected to be at least $100,000.


(Source: ABC News - July 21, 2011)


6) Digitisation of newspapers - National Library of Australia


The National Library of Australia has announced the list of newspapers scheduled to be digitised through the Australian Newspapers Digitisation Program over the coming year:


Through Trove (, the national resource discovery service,  there is free online access to over 5 million pages from over 130 Australian newspapers. All of the digitised newspapers are fully text-searchable and users can tag subjects and do text correction and annotations.


National Library has selected the titles to be digitised in consultation with the state and territory libraries. A number of the titles are being digitised with funding from a range of organisations. Further information is provided on Contributor Guidelines and a Factsheets to assist organisations wishing to advocate digitisation of particular newspapers. There is also an email contact:


(Source: – 8 August 2011)


7) Pandora


Pandora is Australia’s Web Archive. It is a growing collection of Australian online publications. It was established by National Library of Australia (NLA) in 1996 and has been constructed by NLA and nine other Australian libraries and cultural collecting organisations.




8) Collectors program on ABC TV to be concluded


The ABC is to finish The Collectors show as a cost cutting measure. This reduces exposure to community history. It is a popular program and also an important public celebration of the excitement and commitment of people engaged in preserving and interpreting Australia’s history. A particularly interesting aspect of the program has always been its presentation of vast collections of objects celebrating particular themes – sport, soft drinks, cars, royal souvenirs etc. For example there is a vast collection of Coco Cola bottles and labels and signs in Toodjay, Western Australia.


(Source: Royal Historical Society of Victoria – email on 3 August 2011)


9) Victoria's heritage grants for 2011-2012 now open


Victoria’s Heritage grants support the repair of publicly accessible and important heritage places and objects managed by local government and community not-for-profit organisations. The total funding available is $1 million.

Eligible applicants can apply for funding in the new round which opened on 7 July 2011.

The eligible groups who may apply are: local councils, community not-for-profit incorporated organisations, Committees of Management (under the Crown Lands Reserves Act), the National Trust of Australia (Vic), and religious organisations (the central body of the religious organisation must act as an auspice).

Funding range of grant:
Repair of heritage places- up to $200,000
Conservation of heritage object- up to $20,000

Applications close on 31 August 2011 and may be submitted online via Department of Planning and Community Development's (DPCD) website, or by e-mail, fax or post using the downloadable application form.. Call DPCD's Grants Info line for further information on 1300 366 356 or visit the website at

(Source: Department of Planning and Community Development, Victoria, website – 4 August 2011)


10) Federation's advocacy role


In order to be an effective voice for historical societies throughout Australia, it is essential that the Federation knows what concerns / practical problems societies consider should be addressed at the federal / state / local levels. If your society wishes to enlist the support of the Federation on any issue please go to our website at and complete a form for each concern / practical problem for which you are seeking advocacy support. The form can be electronically completed and emailed to To find the form and further information, hover your mouse over the ‘Support’ button on the horizontal bar on the home page, then on the drop-down menu click on ‘Advocacy Support’.


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