Bankfoot House, the Coast’s heritage listed House Museum, continues to attract national industry recognition, taking home a Highly Commended award at the prestigious 2019 Museums and Galleries National Awards in Alice Springs, NT last night.
The award submission, titled Raising the Benchmark, highlighted the extensive work council undertook in 2017 and 2018, designed to increase visitors to the Bankfoot House Heritage Precinct by creating new permanent exhibitions within previously under-utilised spaces and enhancing existing exhibitions.
The Bankfoot House Heritage Precinct is a two-acre property that features Bankfoot House, the Mary Grigor Centre, outbuildings, restored shed, the bullock wagon and the grounds featuring stunning views to the Glass House Mountains.
Heritage Portfolio Councillor Rick Baberowski said the award was icing on the cake for what was now an outstanding museum experience and heritage icon for the Sunshine Coast.
“The Bankfoot House Heritage Precinct and its stunning setting is capturing the hearts of Sunshine Coast residents, and now the refreshed interpretive displays and restored shed offer visitors a deep dive history experience and window into the lives of a significant family and period of our local history,” Cr Baberowski said.
“The reinvigorated Mary Grigor Centre, new displays within Bankfoot House and outbuildings, and the creatively restored shed now provide visitors with an interpretive experience that takes them on a much more complete heritage journey.
“Thanks as always to the Friends of Bankfoot House who have played an important role in the evolution of the heritage precinct. Their commitment, research and cataloguing of the collection has helped us to transform the interpretative displays.
“If you haven’t been to the Bankfoot House Heritage Precinct recently, or have never been, I encourage you to pack a picnic and plan a trip to explore the new-look exhibitions.”
The Mary Grigor Centre’s new permanent exhibition tells the story of the land and its people, from the local Kabi Kabi and Jinibara First Nation Peoples, to the three generations of the one family who lived in Bankfoot House for 134 years.
On show are films, a scale model of the 1868 property and giant floor maps that geographically contextualise the property within the Sunshine Coast region and its history.
After extensive reconstruction, the Bankfoot House shed was officially opened last year by the Governor of Queensland, His Excellency the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC, and features a new permanent exhibition collection of tools and farm equipment, interpretation and display of archaeological findings, time-lapse vision of the deconstruction and reconstruction work and the conserved, original aluminium printing press plate doors.
A larger than life-size reproduction of a bullock team from the early 1900s prompts self-exploration of the grounds to discover the original bullock wagon.