The preservation of the region’s heritage was the big winner on Saturday night when the Bathurst branch of the National Trust announced the winners of the Bicentenary Heritage Awards.
Chair Iain McPherson said one of the highlights of Saturday night’s awards ceremony was the announcement that the Wiradyuri Elders Group and Bathurst Regional Art Gallery had won the John Copeman Award for being the overall winner across all categories.
Mr McPherson said this announcement was very warmly received by everyone at the ceremony.
“The Aboriginal community were really pleased to have their contribution, and all the cultural meaning that goes with it, recognised,” Mr McPherson said.
“It was a recommendation by the judging panel who regarded this as a standout bicentennial activity.
“Not only is it a beautiful object but it is symbolically a really important contribution by the Aboriginal community.”
The function, held at the Flannery Centre, was attended by 120 people.
Mr McPherson said the judges were impressed with the passion, strength and depth of heritage involvement in Bathurst.
He said the different categories showed the breadth of the meaning of heritage and the fact that it was something everyone could embrace.
Mr McPherson added that the evening was a wonderful coming together of the Bathurst community to celebrate its wonderful assets and the community’s work in preserving and protecting it.
Vianne Tourle won the conservation of a heritage building category for the work she had done on the Lachlan Inn.
The Lambert Street building was opened as an inn 1855 but filled that role for just six years before being converted into two houses.
When Ms Tourle came to Bathurst in the 1980s she rented number 59. Later she was able to buy both it and the property next door.
She found Murray Arnold, who offered to help restore it, and got her owner builder’s licence.
“It was a lot of work but I love the humble design, the continuity of it, and the way it felt to be able to bring it back to how it used to be,” she said.