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Joint Media Release
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
Member for Deakin
Mr Philip Barresi MP

20 August 2004

$3 million to explore local strands of national stories

Australian communities will receive a $3 million boost to help tell the country's important national stories, the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell announced today.

"Through the new Sharing Australia's Stories heritage grants programme communities will be able to share their connections to the nation's great events and themes," Senator Campbell said.

"They can apply for grants of up to $50 000 for projects which will showcase Australia's distinctive national character - both natural and cultural.

"This will enable us all to explore more deeply and broadly the stories that relate to the shaping of our land both physically and as a democratic and multicultural nation.

"The location of this announcement, the historic settler-built Schwerkolt Cottage, in Mitcham, Victoria, is an true example of a local story with threads connecting to Australia's broader national stories.

"The cottage was built in 1864 by German settler, August Schwerkolt, using local materials. It reflects the heroic efforts of early migrants who were determined to build a new home in Australia and used their talents and innovation to achieve their goals. The contributions of generations of immigrants to this country have helped to give Australia the rich and distinctive identity it has today."

Senator Campbell said Sharing Australia's Stories was being funded for three years through the Distinctively Australian national heritage program.

It complements new Australian Government heritage legislation which came into effect in January 2004 establishing the National Heritage List of outstanding heritage places.

Eligible projects could:

"I encourage individuals, communities, schools and organisations such as heritage and historical societies, Indigenous groups, conservation bodies and multicultural groups to apply for these grants," Senator Campbell said.

"It's an opportunity to tease out the local strands of the national stories which connect us all.

"Applications will close on 15 October."

For further information about the grants and application material visit:

Commonwealth of Australia