The National Trust of South Australia works to conserve and promote our state's heritage and culture, particularly its historic built and natural heritage. Established sixty years ago as a community based, not-for-profit, and non-government organisation, the Trust is a leader in heritage in South Australia.
With more than 6,000 members and volunteers around the state, the National Trust manages 130 built and natural heritage places in SA. It regularly holds events at many of these places including Ayers House, Z Ward at Glenside, and Beaumont House. There are numerous museums operated by branches of the National Trust (NTSA), such as Winns Bakehouse Museum run by the Coromandel Valley & Districts branch and the Beachport Old Wool and Grain Store Museum.
Recently the NTSA ran a highly successful campaign to support Local Heritage in SA, after the government floated watering down protection and the community voice. The National Trust stopped the proposed changes and now Local Heritage has its own dedicated Love Your Local Heritage Facebook page.
The coming South Australia state election on March 17 has seen the NTSA raising the profile of heritage in South Australia again. New National Trust heritage policies will encourage political parties to strengthen protection and grow investment in our heritage assets. All parties are also encouraged to improve community participation in heritage decisions.
With the State Election looming, the National Trust of South Australia has convened a panel of political party representatives to debate the risks and opportunities ahead for South Australia's heritage. It's called the Valuing Our Heritage Forum, and will allow the community to pose questions to election candidates on topical heritage issues. The forum is being held on Thursday February 15 at 6pm in Adelaide.
Representatives from all major parties have been invited to the free forum, and some parties have released new heritage policies for the occasion. These policies will be published in the NTSA's Heritage Living magazine, and on the National Trust's Heritage Watch website before the forum.
At publication date, the following panel members have been confirmed for the Valuing Our Heritage forum:
The Hon Mark Parnell MLC, Parliamentary Leader of the Greens SA
Mr David Speirs MP, Shadow Minister for Environment, Member for Bright
The Hon Ian Hunter, MLC, Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation
Ms Karen Hockley, SA Best Candidate for Davenport
The Right Hon The Lord Mayor of Adelaide, Martin Haese
The Hon Robert Brokenshire, MLC, Australian Conservatives
Martindale Hall, a Jewel in the Crown of Heritage South Australia
The free forum in Adelaide will involve audience participation similar to the ABC's popular Q&A show, and the audience are invited to submit questions in advance to firstname.lastname@example.org - no later than Friday February 9. Expect a wide range of popular issues to be discussed, testing the strengths of moderator, former judge Christine Trenorden.
Heritage lovers have fought long and hard to retain and preserve heritage places in South Australia like Martindale Hall, Edmund Wright House in Adelaide, Glenthorne Farm and Fort Largs. At the same time governments have struggled to make funding models such as heritage tourism pay in the long term. The Valuing Our Heritage forum will be a wonderful opportunity to explore some of the issues surrounding preservation of our heritage assets, and hear election candidate views first hand.
The Natural Beauty of Glenthorne Farm at O'Halloran Hill
This forum is being held by The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre and the National Trust South Australia at the Allan Scott Auditorium on the North Terrace campus of the University of South Australia in Adelaide. Find more information and register free online at this link. There will be a lot of interest in this free event, so you should book early to ensure a place.