Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities
Launch of $1 million Heritage Project Jobs Fund Grant at Barwon Park heritage mansion
7 April 2011
I would like to thank Dean Webster, Counsellor Ron Humphrey and also importantly Marco and Kieran because your work is how this started.
The project and what we are here to unveil today very much came from asking a question at a time of economic crisis where people sat around a cabinet table as we watched jobs disappear in other parts of the world. How could we make sure that people kept their work going in Australia, that we didn’t suffer what was happening throughout Europe, and that we didn’t suffer what was happening throughout United States at that time?
And the question was asked, if we are going to spend money how do we - as much as possible, spend that money in projects that build for the future.
One of the wonderful things about this one (restoration work for Barwon Park heritage mansion) is it acknowledges completely that heritage is also about the future.
As Australians we are very much defined in this nation by so many stories. All the stories pretty much in Australia, you can tell them best through place.
So much of our natural heritage is defined through place, and so much of our built heritage and stories of different waves of immigrations are defined through place.
Here we have a magnificent place filled with stories which, with the restoration, were starting to become harboured and given that so much of the work that was done here with the restoration was repairing damage that was water damage, thank heavens we did it when we did. Because it would have been a much tougher job and much more than the 3000 hours of work that went into this particular project if we hadn’t done it when we did.
Today is not just important for the local area that Darren (Cheeseman) represents, these stories tell a story of Australia. Through some expert craftsmanship that both Marco and Kieran are representative of, which has a whole team there doing, we were able to see something through new work look like it was always meant to look, look like it originally did, and that is an extraordinary tribute.
Most of us when we are dealing with homes are used to the concept of giving something a facelift but is never about getting something to its original grandeur.
You walk in there and grandeur is not too strong a term for what has been done through that craftsmanship.
For the immediate economic task that we have of people being kept in work, that is important in its own right. For the legacy that is now there, and surrounding us, which is now kept through the work of so many volunteers and nurtured through the stories and involvement of school students for many many years to come, can I just say congratulations to everyone involved.
I am sure when we get to National Heritage Week in about a fortnight's time we will see people visiting here and appreciating that what they have here is not just a local story but a national story and one as a nation we have decided to always protect, preserve and a story to always be told. Congratulations to you all.