Protecting and restoring Victoria’s heritage

By Our Reporter
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Photo by Steve Johnson

The state’s most important cultural landmarks and buildings are being restored and protected thanks to the Andrews Labor Government’s $60 million Living Heritage program.

Planning Minister Richard Wynne on Dec 1 visited the Heide Museum of Modern Art to announce 15 projects that will share in $2.1 million in the fifth round of the popular grants program, an official press release said.

The Heide Museum is home to the newly restored Doll’s House which was in ruins before being saved from collapse after receiving a $60 thousand heritage grant three years ago.

The Doll’s house, a former dairy, was bought by art patrons John and Sunday Reed in 1934 and turned into a gathering place for an influential network of Australian modernist artists known as the Heide Circle.

The unassuming little building was once home to the famous Ned Kelly series by artist Sidney Nolan who painted the works on the kitchen table of the Reed’s farmhouse in 1946—before they were donated to the National Gallery of Australia in 1977.

Its transformation into a garden display space for the Museum included the restoration of the structural frame, remounting the watertight exterior envelope, tree removal and garden conservation works.

This round of projects include:

  • $200,000 to rebuild the La Mama Theatre in Carlton after a devastating fire in 2018
  • $196,000 to save the Abbotsford Convent Gatehouse ensemble currently closed due to safety issues.
  • $190,000 to turn the former Railway Engine Shed in Echuca into a functioning community space.
  • $200,000 to support the restoration of Whitburgh Cottage in Kilmore which was built in 1853.

The Living Heritage Grants Program is the biggest boost to heritage assets in Victorian history, funding the repair and restoration of the most significant places and objects throughout the state.

Applications for the next round of grants opens on 1 February 2021.  For more information or how to apply visit: heritage.vic.gov.au/grants/living-heritage-program.


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