Geraldton and the Mid West region have featured prominently among 26 regional finalists for the 2014 Western Australian Heritage Awards. The WA Heritage Awards are in their 22nd year and honour the leading contributors to heritage conservation, adaptive reuse, promotion, tourism and interpretation in WA.
Mr Blayney praised the seven finalists in Geraldton and the Mid West that demonstrated the wide spectrum of heritage success stories throughout the region.
The City of Greater Geraldton (CGG) has been named one of eight State-wide finalists in the ‘Outstanding heritage practices by a local government’ award.
Mr Blayney said the city was to be commended for undertaking several key heritage projects and programs over the last twelve months.
‘I Remember When’ collected memories and photographs from the community, while ‘Oral History’ mornings proved a popular event each month.
Recipients of the 2013 CGG Heritage Awards included historian Gary Martin and Glengarry Station.
‘Mining in the Mid West’ was one of twelve booklets in the Mid West Heritage Series, published by the Geraldton Regional Library and the CGG’s Ellendale Pool Interpretive signage project effectively described Aboriginal history and European history in the area.
Mr Blayney said Geraldton’s Sun City Guest House was a welcome addition as one of three finalists in The Professor David Dolan Award for the most outstanding newcomer.
Mr Blayney said judges highlighted multi-use aspects of the house as good examples of heritage conservation and initiatives.
“The CityHive as a collaborative working space designed and run by local social enterprise Pollinators Inc. whose mission is to grow innovations and entrepreneurs that contribute to a healthy, resilient community.
“The Jaffle Shack and Fleur High Tea are new business's that occupy 186 and 188 Marine Terrace - these businesses provide a new style of restaurant and take-away eatery not seen before in Geraldton.
“Their reception by the community has been well received and appreciated.”
Mr Blayney said other finalists to make their mark and earn acknowledgement as finalists in heritage awards from the Mid West were:
- Northampton resident Loretta Wright, a finalist in the ‘Outstanding voluntary contribution to heritage by an individual’ award. Ms Wright has worked hard to help restore and preserve the unique Oakabella Homestead. Her bubbly personality and passion for the rich heritage of Oakabella and the Mid West Region shine through in all her interactions with the homestead’s many and varied visitors from around the world.
- The Oakabella Homestead is a finalist in the ‘Outstanding heritage tourism product’ award. The homestead gives a fascinating insight into early European settlement in the Midwest Region.
- Northampton is also featured by Lynton Convict Hiring Depot a finalist in the award for ‘Outstanding interpretation project that enhances a place’. The Lynton Convict Hiring Depot and nearby Sanford's House are considered the best known examples of how convict depots were constructed and organised in WA.
- The award for ‘Outstanding contribution to heritage by a community-based organisation’ has two Mid West representatives in the seven finalists: the Carnamah Historical Society and the Irwin District Historical Society based in Dongara. The Carnamah Historical Society's small membership has worked tirelessly over its 30 years to establish and operate the Carnamah Museum, restore and continually conserve the State Heritage listed Macpherson Homestead among other achievements. Founded in 1964 the Irwin District Historical Society aims to recognise excellence in the conservation, promotion and education of heritage within the Irwin District.
Mr Blayney said all finalists were to be commended for effectively conveying the message that ‘heritage’ is about so much more than conserving old buildings.