19 February 2022

19th century needlework among provisional heritage listings

| Ian Bushnell
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Old sampler of needlework

The Shumack Stone Hut School needlework sampler. Photo: ACT Government.

Two prominent Canberra buildings and a hand-made item from the late 19th century have been provisionally registered by the ACT Heritage Council.

The Belconnen Library and Pedestrian Plaza and the Canberra National Seventh Day Adventist Church in Turner are considered representative of Canberra’s important mid-century heritage.

The third listing is a needlework sampler from the Shumack Stone Hut School, formerly located in what is now the suburb of Ainslie.

Council Deputy Chair Dr Laura Dawes said the three provisional registrations represented the rich and diverse history of the ACT.

The sampler, currently displayed in the Hall School Museum and Heritage Centre collection, was made by Margaret Shumack as part of her official schooling in 1887 while she was a student at the Stone Hut School.

Canberra National Seventh Day Adventist Church

Canberra National Seventh Day Adventist Church has been recognised as an example of mid-century modern architecture. Photo: Wikipedia

“School samplers, which were only required to be made by girls, are representative of the socio-cultural importance of needlework in the lives of women and girls in 19th century colonial NSW,” Dr Dawes said.

Built in 1982, the Belconnen Library and pedestrian plaza were designed by Robin Gibson & Partners for the National Capital Development Commission (NCDC).

The place was a pivotal link in the NCDC’s design of the Belconnen town centre, a key part of the NCDC’s plan to expand Canberra into several satellite towns supporting a core in the city.

Belconnen Library and pedestrian plaza

The Belconnen Library and pedestrian plaza is a pivotal link in the town centre. Photo: ACT Government

The Canberra National Seventh Day Adventist Church has been registered to increase the protection and recognition of modernist architecture in the ACT.

“The building is an excellent example of modernist church design incorporating characteristics of the late 20th century ecclesiastical and late 20th century Sydney regional styles,” Dr Dawes said.

“It is also thought to be the only church of its kind in Australia that incorporates symbolic aspects of the Seventh Day Adventist liturgy.”

Public consultation comments on the provisional registrations are open until 15 March.

To learn more visit the YourSay website.

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