Engineering Heritage Australia (EHA) is Engineers Australia's peak heritage body. Its Board is comprised of representatives from each of the Division heritage groups. The Board develops policy and represents Engineers Australia nationally on engineering and industrial heritage matters. The Board also manages a number of Australia-wide programs and provides guidance and a degree of co-ordination to the engineering heritage groups located in each Division.
Engineering Heritage Australia has carriage of Engineers Australia's concerns for engineering, industrial and technological heritage and provides leadership in its protection, conservation and recording.
|Mr John Heathers - Chair||Mr Brian McGrath - Qld Representative|
|Mr Owen Peake - Immediate Past Chair||Mr Miles Pierce - VIC Representative|
|Mr Keith Baker - Deputy Chair||Mr Lyndon Tilbrook - ACT Representative|
|Prof Mark Bush - WA Representative||Mr Richard Venus - SA Representative|
|Mr Brian McGrath - Qld Representative||Mr Doug Ayre - Oral History|
|Mr Rodney Caldwell - Newcastle Representative||Mr Benjamin Johnston - YEA Representative|
|Mr Bruce Cole - TAS Representative||Mr Bill Jordan - Heritage Recognition|
|Mr Neil Hogg - Sydney Representative||Ms Margret Doring - Member|
|Mr Trevor Horman - NT Representative|
The Board's functions include:
- representing Engineers Australia on engineering heritage matters
- developing and promulgating policies and guidelines about engineering heritage and its conservation
- managing the Australian Historic Engineering Plaquing Program
- managing the National Engineering Oral History Program
- creating and maintaining awareness of engineering heritage within the community and the profession
- being the 'champion' of engineering heritage and participating in public debate
conducting an awards program comprising :
- the John Monash Medal for individuals
- the Colin Crisp Award for heritage projects
- the Award of Merit to members of engineering heritage groups
- managing the Engineering Heritage Conference Program
- publishing the EHA Newsletter "Engineering Heritage Australia"
What is Engineering Heritage?
Items of engineering heritage are those that have been designed, constructed and operated by engineers, tradesman and other technicians that may be significant for historic, aesthetic, scientific or social reasons.
In addition, heritage items may attain levels of significance because of their association with a particular person or their rarity. It should be noted that engineering heritage items may have considerable social significance, and not just scientific.
Why is Engineering Heritage important for future generations?
Engineering heritage provides an insight into past societies and cultures. It can represent:
- innovation in equipment, structures and processes;
- the historical nature of services and industry;
- the historical nature of work and working conditions; and
- the means of supporting individual and community lives.
Where do I find Engineering Heritage?
The answer is everywhere! Just look around you and you will see that engineered structures, processes and products provide much of the infrastructure that supports society.
Our water supply and sewerage systems are designed, constructed and operated by engineers. The electrical energy that powers our appliances is generated and distributed by infrastructure built by engineers. Engineers design transport vehicles, corridors and interchanges as well as the transport networks.
What are some examples of Engineering Heritage?
Engineering Heritage items may be fixed or moveable.
Examples of fixed engineering include:
- Water Supply - dams, weirs, reservoirs, pipelines, pumps, water towers;
- Sewerage - pipes, screens, ponds;
- Transport - roads, rails, runways, bridges, airports, stations, signaling, vehicles, ships;
- Gas Services - retorts, gas holders, meters, piping;
- Electricity - boilers, generators, switch-yards, cables, towers, transformers;
- Drainage Systems - pipes, canals, traps;
- Communications & electronics - telephones, cables, poles, exchanges, broadcast stations, satellite stations, transmitting and receiving stations, radar stations, navigational aids & TV equipment;
- Agricultural/Pastoral - elevators, silos, sieves, shearing sheds, dips, scours;
- Mining - shafts, addits, poppet heads, crushers, puddling mills;
- Smelters - furnaces, boilers;
- Foundries - cupola, shot blasters, grinders;
- Manufacturing - presses, forges, rolls, welders; and
- Food Processing - pressure cookers, can lines.
Moveable engineering heritage may include tools and equipment that can be reasonably readily transported from site to site. Examples include:
- Blacksmiths shop - forge, bellows, anvil and all the tools (hammers, tongs, etc);
- Shearing shed - hand shears and machine combs (probably not the shearing machine and its engine); and
- Farm - tractors, ploughs, rakes, harvesters, elevators.
Engineering Heritage Issues
Sometimes engineering heritage can be:
- difficult to assess
Compared to heritage buildings it may be difficult to assess the significance of engineering items
- difficult to conserve
Issues include heavily polluted sites and items which may not lend themselves to adaptive re-use, for example a mining poppet head
- costly to conserve
For example the renovation work on extremely high brick chimneys such as at the Walk Water Works near Maitland
- costly to maintain
Division Engineering Heritage Groups
Division engineering heritage groups are intimately involved at the State and local level in promoting the conservation of engineering heritage and in representing Engineers Australia on heritage matters. They:
- identify items of engineering heritage, bring them to public notice and promote their recording on State and National registers
- assist in archiving engineering documents
- provide continuing education of the profession in engineering heritage e.g., conduct of engineering heritage conferences, seminars and workshops
- are involved in educating the profession and community in the importance of engineering heritage and in recording its history e.g., awarding historic engineering plaques
- conduct oral history programs
- participate in community events
- conduct heritage walks, talks, lectures and site visits
- produce and publish heritage publications
- provide input into the heritage policies and procedures of State Governments and its authorities
- are involved in State heritage issues
- provide advice and specialist knowledge on engineering heritage matters
- interface with the community and heritage organisations to ensure the role of the engineering profession is adequately represented
- represent Engineers Australia on government and other heritage committees.
The care and protection of our engineering heritage is an enormous task. Engineering heritage has been much neglected in the past, and the tasks of researching, listing, and conserving are beyond the means of the hundred or so volunteers currently involved. If you are interested in technical history and could spare some time, then please contact one of the Divisional representatives, or our Administrator. Non-members of Engineers Australia are very welcome.
Engineering Heritage Email Forum
Join discussions and make enquiries on the Engineering Heritage Australia e-mail group.
This Yahoo E-mail Group passes on all manner and nature of news and enquires relating to Engineering Heritage, as well as other diverse heritage subjects. The e-mail group is accessed from all over Australia and many heritage consultants and advisers use it as a resource to find that difficult information. Its a good point of contact if you're in the business of heritage.
For further details about Engineering Heritage Australia, please contact the executive officer:
Dr David McCarthy
P: (02) 6270 6530
F (02) 6273 2358
11 National Circuit
Barton ACT 2600
|Engineering Heritage Australia's Board and The Newcomen Society's Council have agreed to recognise their association and close kindred interests by mutual affiliation. It is envisaged that this will further facilitate the awareness of the activities of each group and of a sharing of knowledge and expertise between the two organisations.|