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Media Release
Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment and Heritage

8 November 2001


The Ernabella Old Hospital - which played a major role in the treatment and prevention of diseases and epidemics in the indigenous people of the Central Western Desert region of South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory - is to be preserved.

Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill today announced $205,000 in funding would be made available to restore and conserve the site under the Federal Government's Cultural Heritage Projects Program.

"The Ernabella Old Hospital on the Pitjantjatjara Lands in South Australia was one of the first buildings to be built by the Ernabella Mission established in the 1930's," Senator Hill said.

"In early mission life the hospital was central to the lives of the Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara people. This building is an important part of South Australia's history, many elders living throughout the Central Western Desert today were born at the Mission Hospital."

The hospital buildings are in a triangular setting of three heritage buildings that surround the community's central common - the Manse, the Ernabella Church and the Old Hospital. The Manse was renovated after fire in the 1980's and the Church is in need of restoration work.

In the early 1980's Australia's first Aboriginal Community Television Station was established in the Old Hospital to preserve and promote cultural heritage.

Sites ranging from Indigenous heritage places to colonial buildings and remnants of Australia's industrial past have received funding under the Cultural Heritage Projects Program.

November 8, 2001

Media Contact
Belinda Huppatz 08 82377920 or 0419 258 364

Commonwealth of Australia