The story of Heritage Alice Springs:
Heritage Alice Springs Incorporated was formed in early 2003. Born from a belief that a town’s heritage places can only be adequately protected by locally based groups with the depth of knowledge and understanding to fully appreciate the region’s unique history, and the passion and energy to actively defend and promote heritage places for future generations.
A steering committee was quickly formed, to include: Margaret Baker (former founding member of the National Trust 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 Women’s Museum of Australia, at the time, and 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 development and retention of heritage places).
Membership grew rapidly, with many taking up Life Membership and providing the initial funding for our fledgeling association’s activities.
Local historian and writer, Jose Petrick OAM accepted our invitation to become Patron of our organisation.
Not long afterwards, Heritage Alice Springs was handed management of The Residency to use for its office and as a venue for its various activities, as well as responsibility for keeping the place open to the public. This task has been achieved thanks to the volunteer efforts of our past co-ordinators, Bev Ayres and Mignon Williams, and their faithful band of assistant “sitters”.
More recently, Heritage Alice Springs has also taken on the lease to the Pitchi Richi Sanctuary, charged with restoring and maintaining the historic place and re-opening it to the public. The project is proceeding well, although not as quickly as we’d like.
Over the years, committee members have come and gone, each contributing their particular knowledge and area, including Janet and Katelyn Hemsley, who lived at the Pitchi Richi Sanctuary in the mid 1980s.
The story of Heritage Alice Springs continues and you’re welcome to join us.