A live broadcast was made this morning announcing the winners of the 2020 Tamworth Regional Biennial Heritage Awards in a virtual awards ceremony hosted at the Tamworth Regional Gallery.
Tamworth Regional Council, Councillor Juanita Wilson, chairperson of the Tamworth Regional Heritage Working Group said, “We are facing a great number of obstacles with COVID-19 and are challenged to think outside of the box to adapt.”
“We have received a great number of nominations from around the Tamworth region and while we can’t come together to celebrate these people and projects, a live broadcast was a wonderful chance for us to recognise their work and contribution to heritage within the Tamworth region,” she said.
This year, a new award was introduced – The Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Award, to raise awareness and conserve Aboriginal Cultural History within the Tamworth region. The inaugural award was presented to Len Waters for Len Waters Aboriginal Cultural Tours.
In the Adaptive Reuse category, The Leader Building by Lionheart Property was announced the winner. The restoration has been a seamless transition from the building’s original purpose and design into a contemporary use.
The Building Conservation category recognises projects in the region that have preserved the built history of a structure whilst maintaining its integrity. This year, the winner was announced as Duncan and Megan Trousdale for the preservation work on the Odgers and McClelland Exchange Store in Nundle.
Tamworth Powerstation Museum took out two awards; the first for Heritage Resources and Publications for the Veness Letter Book Conservation and Display, and the second in the category Heritage Tourism, Education and Interpretation for the completion of the Display Cabinet Program.
While a winner was not announced for the New Sympathetic Development category, there were a number of commendable projects that have been acknowledged.
The final award – The Warren Newman Memorial Award for Contribution to Heritage within the region – recognised a person who has made a significant and ongoing voluntary contribution to the conservation, promotion and understanding of cultural heritage within the Tamworth region. It was awarded to Kenneth Thomas Russell.
Mr Russell has dedicated many years to the Tamworth Powerstation Museum, promoting Tamworth’s City of Light cultural heritage and in particular, conserving Tamworth’s pioneering heritage on electricity generation and supply during 1888 and 1972.
In addition to the seven award categories, three Commendations were awarded to projects identified by the Tamworth Regional Heritage Working Group for their contribution to heritage. These were awarded to Tamworth Regional Gallery, the Tamworth Regional Film and Sound Archive Centre and the National Guitar Museum.
Tamworth Regional Council Mayor, Cr Col Murray announced the winners of each of the categories in the live stream. He said; “It is a privilege to recognise the work that has been completed to conserve the Tamworth region’s heritage. We are fortunate to have many dedicated and passionate community members whose work continues to keep our heritage alive.”