‘Sweet’ transformation of building earns heritage accolades

Published: 08 Apr 2022

The transformation of the Sugar Research Institute into a new secondary school has earned a coveted gold award at our 2022 Heritage Awards.

Catherine McAuley College won gold in the Tom Casey New or Refurbished Heritage Place or Home category at a ceremony at Harrup Park Country Club last night (Thursday, April 7).

The refurbishment of The Karl Langer Building, one of the region’s most significant and influential State Heritage places, has created a new Catholic secondary school.

Character and Heritage Advisory Committee chair Cr Fran Mann said the judges noted this project was an outstanding example of council’s vision for the adaptative and sensitive reuse of heritage buildings.

She said special care was taken during master planning of the site to ensure the building and its vistas remained strong in the surrounding development.

“Catherine McAuley College repurposing the Sugar Research Institute has paid homage to the world-class scientific research conducted from the facility in late 20th century, revolutionising the sugar industry.”

The silver award in this category went to refurbishment of the State Heritage-listed Mackay Customs House.

Dean Williamson Dental currently resides and operates out of the building.

The award acknowledges how the design considered overcoming hurdles to repurpose the building while respecting the main heritage elements of the building.

Bronze went to BH Building Mackay, the main contractor on a project to restore the Cattle Creek administration building as part of council’s Pioneer Valley Mountain Bike Trails.

Refurbishment of 10 James Street’s “KiIllearn’’, a beautiful traditional character home more than 100 years old, picked up a highly commended in this category.

Mayor Greg Williamson said there was strong interest in the awards, with gold, silver, bronze, and highly commended awards presented in many of the categories.

“These heritage champions in our region deserve these accolades,’’ Mayor Williamson said.

“Their extraordinary work is helping preserve the history and heritage of our region and keep alive the stories of our past for future generations.”

Other awards presented last night included:

‘Berenice Wright’ Heritage Champion (Individual), Gold Award – Maryann Lister
Maryann Lister has hosted several informative historic bicycle tours to educate our community on different areas of our local history.

‘Berenice Wright’ Heritage Champion (Individual), Silver Award – Christine Vaughan
Christine Vaughan, of Yesterday’s Memories Museum, committed to creating a community display of Antique and Vintage Wedding Gowns, to celebrate the Australian Heritage Festival in 2022.

‘Berenice Wright’ Heritage Champion (Individual), Bronze Award – Shelley Engwirda
In 2021, Shelly Engwirda championed an Art Camp and History program for local children, based on the history and heritage of Greenmount Homestead. Shelley facilitated this program to make heritage accessible to children aged nine to 12 via artistic expression and practice.

‘Berenice Wright’ Heritage Champion (Individual), Bronze Award – Ian Hamilton
Ian Hamilton has had a lifelong interest in local, family and church history and heritage, with contribution to local history publications, as well as the fundraising for and maintenance of the heritage-listed property and grounds of the St Paul’s Uniting Church.

‘Berenice Wright’ Heritage Champion (Individual), Highly Commended – Leigh Mansfield
Leigh Mansfield has been recognised by her peers for her continuous demonstration of her immense passion for the history of the Mackay region. Leigh is a passionate, long-serving teacher at Fitzgerald State School, who is known for frequently hosting excursions to local heritage places and sharing stories of local history during class.

Heritage Champion (Organisation), Gold Award – St Annes Catholic Primary School
St Annes Catholic Primary School in Sarina has worked closely in 2021 with Yuwi custodians to develop a deeper respectful understanding of First Nations history within our region, and to deliver a body of work that reflects the school’s commitment to raising awareness of local indigenous history.

Heritage Champion (Organisation), Gold Award – St Pauls Uniting Church
St Pauls History Group, as a sub-committee of the Church Council of St Pauls Uniting Church, conducted research and delivered a weekend of community celebrations commemorating the 150-year anniversary of the church.

Heritage Champion (Organisation), Silver Award – Sugar City Art Deco & Modernism Society The Sugar City Art Deco and Modernism Society is a new community organisation dedicated to the preservation and celebration of the city’s rich art deco history, including its buildings, events, fashion and transport.

Heritage Media, Tours and Exhibitions, Gold Award – Mackay Family History Society
The volunteers of the Mackay Family History Society delivered two informative and immersive community exhibitions in 2021.

Heritage Media, Tours and Exhibitions, Gold Award – BMA Hay Point Coal Terminal – 50 Years of Memories and Milestones 1971-2021
In November 2021, BMA’s Hay Point Coal Terminal proudly celebrated 50 years of operation in the Mackay region. To mark this significant milestone, a volunteer committee organised a 50 Years of Memories and Milestones open day event at the Hay Point Coal Terminal.

Heritage Media, Tours and Exhibitions, Silver Award – ABC Tropical North Museums Series
Christy-Lee Macqueen championed a series of radio interviews, conducted with Museums staff and volunteers, as well as private collectors, throughout the Mackay region, to promote a deeper, more meaningful understanding of local heritage.

Heritage Media, Tours and Exhibitions, Bronze Award – St Pauls Uniting Church
St Paul’s Uniting Church celebrated the 150-year anniversary of the formation of the St Pauls Presbyterian (now Uniting) Church Congregation from the first meeting held on March 15, 1872. To commemorate this significant anniversary, the Church prepared an exhibition that was displayed in the Jubilee Community Centre for public viewing from March 11 to April 6.

Heritage Media, Tours and Exhibitions, Bronze Award – Sugar City Art Deco Society
The Sugar City Art Deco and Modernism Society is a group of locals, passionate about our city’s unique historic buildings. The group was established to promote the history behind the buildings and aim to preserve Mackay’s rich Art Deco and Modernism architecture.