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Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell

12 April 2006

Hermannsburg’s historic missions honoured

The first Northern Territory place has been added to the National Heritage List, the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell announced.

The Hermannsburg Historic Precinct has been added to Australia’s most prestigious heritage list for its important heritage values, including being one of the longest running Aboriginal missions in Australia and the home of renowned artist Albert Namatjira.

“The historic mission, 140 km west of Alice Springs, was established by German Lutheran missionaries in 1877,” Senator Campbell said.

“The place has a special association with Albert Namatjira, one of Australia’s greatest artists who grew up at the mission. Namatjira was the first Aboriginal Australian to exhibit paintings commercially.

“His work became widely acclaimed and a national symbol for Aboriginal achievement. The missionaries played an important part in supporting and promoting his early work and today the Hermannsburg Historic Precinct continues to be home to many artists painting in the watercolour tradition.

“The listing continues the partnership between the Australian Government and the local community that has previously included a grant of $225,000 in 2001–02 to conserve many of the buildings within the Precinct.

“In addition more than $20,000 has recently been provided to the local Ntaria School through the Sharing Australia’s Stories programme, for a book on Albert Namatjira, to celebrate the life of this great Australian artist. The project is an opportunity for local school children to produce their own works of art, working with visiting artists, and have these included in the book,” Senator Campbell said.

The Hermannsburg Historic Precinct comprises one of the few surviving and relatively intact mid-to-late 19th century evangelical bush mission station complexes in Australia.

For more information on the National Heritage List visit,

Media contact:
Renae Stoikos on 02 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434

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