Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

The Hon Tony Burke MP

Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities

Funding for communities to protect and showcase their heritage

Media release
22 May 2012

The Gillard Government has provided more than $9.8 million in funding to support 237 heritage projects around Australia, helping communities preserve and celebrate their important places and stories.

Heritage Minister Tony Burke said the projects will foster pride in communities across Australia by helping them record, protect and showcase their important heritage.

“Our heritage is fundamental to our national identity and informs us about where we have come from and who we are,’’ he said.

“So many of the stories of Australia reside within our precious heritage sites. These projects have been chosen because of the values of the sites and their capacity to tell that story.”

Mr Burke said Your Community Heritage is a new and practical approach to heritage conservation that recognises our history is not just about 'big' places on the World and National Heritage Lists.

“These projects explore a diverse range of experiences, from stories of the dreamtime and the Canning Stock Route to the experiences of Chinese Australians in the Victorian Gold Rush and the lives of 1960s surfing legends on the Gold Coast,’’ he said.

“It also helps community groups restore and protect historical places, including a pearling lugger in Thursday Island connected to pearling operations in the Torres Strait.

“We are also supporting communities to recover from major natural disasters by providing funding to restore heritage places damaged by fire and floods.

“One project will restore the vegetation surrounding the Ellensbrook Farmhouse that was burnt out in the Western Australian Bushfires of November 2011.

“Projects will also include heritage celebrations. In the Gondwana Rainforests of NSW, the public can get involved by going on guided bushwalks and participating in a community photo exhibition.

“A workshop will be held in Melton, Victoria, to teach the craft of dry stone wall construction and repair. A weekend full of heritage events is planned for Perth to encourage people to explore and celebrate Western Australia’s Indigenous and post colonial heritage.”

The program also funds projects to commemorate graves and monuments of six eminent Australians, including that of pioneering infant care medical practitioner Vera Scantlebury Brown.

The first round of Your Community Heritage funding includes:

  • 153 innovative projects to share community heritage stories that have strong community support
  • 39 projects to celebrate community heritage
  • six projects to commemorate the graves and monuments of eminent Australians
  • six projects to help communities restore heritage places damaged by natural disasters
  • 33 projects to protect national historic sites including sites on the National Heritage List.

Further information about the Your Community Heritage program is available online at