Released 12/02/2019

Aboriginal history and ACT education have been recognised in the latest listings on the ACT Heritage Register—the Red Hill Campsite in Griffith and the Signadou and Blackfriars Precinct in Watson—the Chair of the Heritage Council, David Flannery, said today.

“Aboriginal people camped at the Red Hill Campsite, colloquially known as the ‘last campsite of the Ngunnawal’, in the late 1920s to 1940s,” Mr Flannery said.

“The campsite has a strong and special association with the Ngambri–Ngunnawal group of the ACT region and, in particular, the life of Elder Matilda House and previous generations of her family.

“A public park at the time, Red Hill Campsite is an important example of how Aboriginal people were able to continue to live and work in the region during a time of transient employment opportunities. It represents Aboriginal heritage and associated strong connection to Country, and survives as a rare example of what would have once been a common type of gathering place for Aboriginal people.

“The opening of the Blackfriars Priory and Signadou Teaching College in the 1960s occurred during a distinct phase of educational development in Canberra and a time of unprecedented growth of the Catholic school system in the ACT and region.

“Different orders within the Catholic Church were consolidating and uniting with increased presence.

“The Signadou teacher training college made an important contribution to the educational development of the ACT, providing the rapidly growing city and Catholic school system with teaching staff.

“Since it was nominated to the Heritage Register in 2016, works and development at the Signadou and Blackfriars Precinct have occurred, with the Heritage Council working closely with stakeholders to ensure development was accordance with heritage values,” Mr Flannery said.

- Statement ends -

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