Smirk’s Heritage Site

Amongst all the excitement about going to Melbourne I was also working on the project at Smirk’s Heritage Site for their Live! Heritage event, which happened on Sunday 3rd (yes, it has taken me a week to post about this!). The event was designed to introduce people to the site (many who live just streets away had never been), reveal the changes made to the exhibitions in Smirk’s and Soldier’s Cottages including new interpretation, kick off the Live! Kwinana series of events and build momentum for the Smirk’s site (including increasing the possibilities of funding).

All in all it was a great success. I arrived at 8.30am and continued the cleaning I didn’t finish before I left for Melbourne. Thank god Mum was there to help! We scrubbed, vacuumed, washed windows, dusted and cleared away rubbish. I had written a number of item labels, which had been printed onto foam core board and which had to be put up in the correct places. My main interpretation signs were printed onto large mobile signs and set up at the entrance of each cottage. We were ready with just minutes to spare!

There were musicians, including a wonderfully atmospheric banjo player, a bush poet, horse, heritage games for kids, scones, jam and cream, BBQ, icecream van, vintage cars and of course the buildings to wander through. I ran two tours through the three buildings trying to highlight the gems of the collection and tell the fascinating stories of the people who had lived in the buildings. The second tour was larger (and better) than the first and included a couple of Councillors (excellent!).

Besides being beyond tired and having aching feet, I thoroughly enjoyed the day. It seems incredible that I’ve worked there for nearly four months on this project and that it is now finished. However, hopefully I’ll be able to continue to be involved in this very special and unique site in the future.

A special thanks to the wonderful volunteers that make up the Kwinana Heritage Group for their warm and generous welcome.

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  1. […] museums are often retained accidentally by virtue of not being demolished (I’m thinking of Smirk’s Cottage here) or saved as the best example of our past (Vacluse House for example) rather than because a […]



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