About Heritage Alice Springs Incorporated

Born from a belief that a town’s heritage places can only be adequately protected by locally based groups, Heritage Alice Springs (HAS) incorporated in 2003. The Committee holds the passion and energy to actively defend and promote heritage places in central Australia for future generations.

A Steering Committee was quickly formed to include: (the late) Margaret Baker, former Founding Member of the National Trust NT in Alice Springs; Bev Ayres, former Secretary of the National Trust’s Museum at the Old Hartley Street School; Barry Allwright, local historian and photographer; Pauline Cockrill, Curator at the National Pioneer Women’s Hall of Fame (now The Women’s Museum of Australia), and an expert on teddy bears; Domenico Pecorari, Architect, involved in conservation works on heritage buildings; and Mike Gillam, local photographer and long-time advocate for sustainable and appropriate development and retention of heritage places.
Membership grew rapidly, with many taking up Life Membership and providing the initial funding for our fledgling association’s activities.
Local historian and writer, Jose Petrick OAM became our Patron.

Not long afterwards, HAS was handed management of The Residency to become our office and use as a venue for events. In return we assumed responsibility for keeping the historic house open to the public. The task was been achieved thanks to the volunteer efforts of our past co-ordinators, Bev Ayres and Mignon Williams, and their faithful band of assistant “sitters”. Tara Leckey became a part-time Coordinator for HAS but spent many more hours managing our activities and developing new programmes.

More recently, HAS took on the lease to the Pitchi Richi Sanctuary and were charged with restoring and maintaining this Heritage Listed property and re-opening to the public. The project is proceeding well, although not as quickly as we would like.

Since 2014 The Residency was recognised as an important historic building and reinvigorated to become open to the public and become managed by The Araluen Cultural Precinct director. HAS received a one-off grant to hold exhibitions and other arts events and this subsequently led to our visitation increasing by around 500%. We have continued the “Residency Program” and have maintained the quality and enjoyment brought to all.

Over the years, Committee members have come and gone, each contributing their particular knowledge, including Janet and Katelyn Hemsley, who lived at The Pitchi Richi Sanctuary in the mid-1980s. To everyone else who has worked on our Committee over the years, thank you.

The story of Heritage Alice Springs continues, and you’re welcome to join us.