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The Hon Peter Garrett MP
Minister for Environment Protection, Heritage and the Arts
Senator Ursula Stephens
Parliamentary Secretary for Social Inclusion and the Voluntary Sector

$100,000 to highlight Australian greats

Joint Media release
30 June 2010
PG/75

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Blessed Mary MacKillop and Governor Lachlan Macquarie are among seven great Australians recognised today for their contribution to Australia in the inaugural $100,000 Commemorating Eminent Australians program funding.

Federal Heritage Minister, Peter Garrett, said funding will be used to conserve, interpret and restore memorials to eminent Australians and will help draw attention to those who have made a significant contribution to our history.

"As part of this program I am pleased to announce $20,000 towards developing content for a computer-based interactive educational program on Mary MacKillop's achievements.

"This computer based resource will enrich our understanding of the remarkable work undertaken by Mary MacKillop, who dedicated her life to social reform and welfare."

Parliamentary Secretary for Social Inclusion and the Voluntary Sector, Senator Ursula Stephens, said that the investment was particularly timely in light of the upcoming canonization of Blessed Mary MacKillop later this year.

"With her signature phrase 'never see a need without doing something about it,' Mary MacKillop is an icon for social justice and inclusion in our country. This interactive educational facility will ensure that Australians will be inspired by her example into the future," Senator Stephens said.

Minister Garrett also announced funding for two different projects celebrating the legacy of Governor Lachlan Macquarie.

"This year marks 200 years since Governor Macquarie arrived in Australia.

"The first grant is for works to Macquarie's tomb on the Isle of Mull in Scotland, the second is for interpretative signage at the Major General Lachlan Macquarie statue located at McQuade Park, Windsor.

"Grants have also been made to undertake repairs, perform restoration work and enhance the memory of explorer John McDouall Stuart, sporting legend Les Darcy, Prime Minister Ben Chifley, astronomer John Tebbutt, as well as the restoration of the Corridor of Oaks at Faulconbridge commemorating Australia's Prime Ministers.

"Australia is proud of its cultural heritage and I am very pleased to support these grants to passionate community groups, local governments and individuals.

"Each of these memorials is an important heritage asset and tells a story in Australia's history.

"Many Australians would be unaware of the memorials for these eminent people and this funding will give them due prominence and honours the contribution these significant Australians have made.

"These memorials are a tangible link to our cultural heritage and have the power to bring the past into the present."

Approvals for the first round of Commemorating Eminent Australians program funding include:

Governor Macquarie (1762-1824). Funding of $10,000 for the conservation, interpretation and access to Governor Macquarie's tomb, Isle of Mull, Scotland. Macquarie was Governor of New South Wales from 1810 to 1821, and has been described as "The Father of Australia".

Funding of $7,710 to install interpretive panels at the Governor Macquarie statue located in Mcquade Park, Windsor.

John McDouall Stuart (1815-1866). Funding of $11,323 to restore John McDouall Stuart's grave and prevent water damage to his grave site in Kensal Green cemetery, London. Stuart was one of Australia's greatest inland explorers, who completed the first European crossing of Australia from Adelaide to Van Diemen Gulf in 1862.

John Tebbutt (1834-1916). Funding of $11,112 to preserve the original roof of John Tebbutt's 1894 Observatory which housed his telescopes, as well as restoring the floor. Tebbutt was an internationally recognised astronomer who constructed several observatories on the family property, the Peninsula, at Windsor.

Mary MacKillop (1842-1909). Funding of $20,000 for content development for interactive computers installed in the Memorial Chapel and Museum of Mary MacKillop in North Sydney.

Ben Chifley (1885 1951). Funding of $8,767 to restore paving at former Prime Minister Ben Chifley's home in Bathurst. The Chifley Home contains the original furnishings and many personal effects of Ben and Elizabeth Chifley as well as significant memorabilia of the Chifley era.

Les Darcy (1895-1917). Funding of $9,090 to conserve boxing legend Les Darcy's burial vault in Maitland Catholic Cemetery, including reconstruction works, drainage and restoration of lettering and the cross on his monument.

Corridor of Oaks (1934 - ). Funding of $16,345 to restore the Corridor of Oaks at Faulconbridge NSW, which honours 25 Australian Prime Ministers. Each Prime Minister has an oak tree and plaque to commemorate their leadership. The project includes landscape restoration, reconstruction and specialist care of the trees.

The second funding round of Commemorating Eminent Australians is now open for applications until Friday 13 August 2010.

Visit www.heritage.gov.au  for details about the program, guidelines, and list of funding recipients.

Commonwealth of Australia