2013 NSW National Trust Heritage Awards winners

May 10, 2013

Winners of the 2013 NSW National Trust Heritage Awards have been announced, including the site of Sir Donald Bradman’s childhood home.

Above: Bradman Project, Bowral, restored by Clive Lucas Stapleton & Partners. Photo by Eric Sierins.

A number of restored heritage projects were announced as winners of the 19th National Trust Heritage Awards for NSW on Wednesday.

The winners for this year’s awards include the restoration of a now-vibrant wetlands in the Hunter Valley, Wollongong’s North Beach Bathers Pavilion, the Chinese Gardens in Darling Harbour and the iconic tank stand at famed Australian cricketer Sir Don Bradman’s childhood home.

National Trust NSW CEO Brian Scarsbrick said: “This is about out future, as much as our past, and what has been saved for the next generation is truly remarkable.”

“We owe a debt of gratitude to all our award winners. What they have managed to give us – sometimes against tremendous odds and with painstaking attention to detail – is a wonderful gift for the future.”

See below for the full list of winners.


Bradman Project, Bowral – Clive Lucas Stapleton & Partners (joint winner)
This project has seen the restoration and rejuvenation of Sir Donald Bradman’s boyhood home. It has incorporated his bedroom, the sitting room, and an exact reconstruction of the famous tank stand on the verandah.
St Josephs Church, St Albans – Blackwoods Constructions (joint winner)
Constructed by a former convict, this is one of the oldest Catholic churches on mainland Australia, with 40 graves belonging to people who arrived on the first fleet. At one stage in its history, three monks even lived in the roof and made herbal remedies for the locals. It has been faithfully restored and converted to a unique guest house.


Yarrangobilly Caves House, Kosciuszko National Park – Office of Environment & Heritage/National Parks & Wildlife Service
One of only three known historic Caves House complexes still in Australia. The aim was to re-open the two-storey wing for self-catered guest accommodation, after being closed for 50 years. An outstanding example of best practice heritage conservation, involving meticulous planning and extraordinary teamwork – delivering a new lease of life for the community.


Tomago Wetland restoration project, Kooragang Wetlands, Hunter Region – UNSW’s Water Research Laboratory, Office of Environment & Heritage Parks and Wildlife Division, NSW Fisheries
Tomago Wetlands, located in the Hunter River estuary, was a large degraded site that had historically been a vibrant part of the environment. Unfortunately the site had suffered severely from over drainage, poor land use practices and even aerial bombing. This project has seen the restoration of the natural hydrology to the 600 hectare site to encourage the rehabilitation of the natural environment.


North Beach Bathers Pavilion, Wollongong – Conybeare Morrison International, Wollongong City Council
This was a heritage structure in a highly corrosive environment, presenting significant challenges in its restoration and transformation to a functional, modern-day asset. There was a long history of advocacy surrounding the site, and partnerships were formed at various stages of the project which re-opened to a community-wide celebration, complete with a surf lifesaving parade, the participation of local clubs and associations, and 1930s themed entertainment.


Repointing Mortar Sands & Sand Library, Government Architect’s Office – Minister’s Stonework Program, Government Architect’s Office (joint winner)
The replacing (repointing) of defective mortar in stonework and brickwork joints can have a detrimental effect on buildings and monuments if carried out incorrectly. The sands within these mortar mixes can be crucial and with a diminishing supply of Kurnell Sydney sands used by the building industry, this project has identified where master trades can access the right materials to complete their respective projects. This is a key new resource for best heritage maintenance.
Chinese Garden of Friendship Horticultural Maintenance Plan, Darling Harbour – Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority (joint winner)
Gardens have a profound meaning in Chinese culture and, 25 years after it was built, the aim of this project was to appreciate the traditions underpinning its design (including concepts such as feng-shui and energy flows) while also using modern photo-shopping techniques to project the ongoing shape of the garden and develop an effective maintenance plan.


Designer Suburbs: Architects and Affordable Homes in Australia (book) – New South Publishing, Powerhouse Museum, UNSW’s Faculty of the Built Environment
This book, by Charles Pickett and Judith O’Callaghan, is the product of two decades of research and writing on the suburban design of Australia’s post-war years. It demonstrates that innovative and sustainable architecture can be compatible with market success.


NSW Public Works’ Heritage Services Team – Public Works NSW, Heritage Services
This team of skilled and complimentary trades is committed to delivering superior heritage outcomes for the NSW community in the maintenance of public buildings, structures and sites. The work of this team has also seen the resurrection of lost skills, including an apprenticeship program for a new generation of stonemasons.


Letizia Coppo-Jones
A mentor and an innovator, Letizia has worked on a broad range of conservation projects. Through these she has explored ways to merge contemporary design and modern technologies with traditional building techniques and conventions.


Joan Domicelj
Joan Domicelj AM is an architect planner, cross-cultural mediator and heritage advisor. She has worked in Europe, Asia and Latin America and has been named as a significant contributor to the UNESCO organisation. Among many other accolades, she has served on the Australian Heritage Commission, the Land and Environment Court and the Sydney Opera House Conservation Council.

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