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Blue plaque program to celebrate hidden heritage in NSW

12 Jun 2021

Dozens of Blue Plaques will adorn buildings, heritage sites and other places around NSW in the first round of a fresh investment to unlock the State’s hidden history.

The new $5 million program included in the forthcoming Budget is designed to showcase key heritage assets and will link to ongoing recording, storytelling and digital initiatives.

NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet made the announcement today while unveiling the first Blue Plaque at State Heritage listed Nutcote cottage, the former studio home of celebrated children’s author and illustrator May Gibbs, best known for her Snugglepot and Cuddlepie series.

“Blue Plaques are an internationally recognised way of promoting the heritage significance of our key heritage places, people and stories,” Mr Perrottet.

“This wonderful new program, modelled on the well-known English Heritage plaques program, will help unlock the stories of our heritage, key places and notable people for residents of NSW and visitors alike.“

Other people and places being recognised today include:

  • The former Registrar General’s Building in Sydney, designed by NSW Government Architect Walter Liberty Vernon;
  • Caroline Chisholm Cottage at East Maitland, a hostel for homeless migrants run by campaigner and advocate for girls, women and families Caroline Chisholm; and
  • Sir Edward Hallstrom, inventor, businessman, President of the Taronga Zoological Park Trust, and generous benefactor to the Taronga Zoo.

The Treasurer said the Government would develop a program to allow the public to nominate people and places for inclusion in the Blue Plaques program.

“We want to celebrate our State’s rich heritage and the many cultures that have  contributed, and public input will be key to that.”

Minister responsible for Heritage Don Harwin said the NSW Blue Plaques program will be delivered through Heritage NSW.

“Heritage is about recognising and celebrating our progress as a State and a nation. These sites and stories engender a shared sense of belonging, of identity, and connection. In a post-COVID world, focusing on our local communities and local environment has never been more important.

“Programs that celebrate local stories such as this will add another opportunity for people to explore their local neighbourhoods, centres and towns, and to connect and participate with our State’s heritage,” Mr Harwin said.

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