{Heritage success stories} {preserve State s history}
Nick Kemp and Scott Martin worked on the restoration of a Rottnest Island battery post. Picture: Mogens Johansen

Bold heritage projects - from the rebuilding of a lighthouse keepers' quarters from ruins to the conversion of an old primary school into an important community health centre - have been recognised among 56 finalists in this year's WA Heritage Awards.

Heritage Minister Albert Jacob described the finalists as "heritage success stories" that represented of old buildings.

He said the projects also showed an understanding of how to incorporate heritage into our daily lives and make it relevant to contemporary living.

The awards, in their 22nd year, honour contributors in a number of heritage categories, including conservation, adaptive reuse, promotion, tourism and interpretation.


Mr Jacob said there had been a strong response to the category that recognised the contribution to heritage by community-based organisations.

"This suggests that the broader community is engaged and participating in heritage priorities and projects," he said.

"There has also been a marked increase in the use of technology to interpret heritage, enhance experiences, reach new audiences and make it accessible and relevant to the younger generation."

The Rottnest Island Authority has received two nominations, including one for its contribution to conservation by a public organisation.

Heritage building part of new hotel |

It was also recognised for the rejuvenation of the island's World War II infrastructure - the only intact coastal defence installation left in Australia.

This $1.5 million project covered 11 buildings, four gun emplacements, two sets of tunnel structures, searchlight emplacement, fixed military hardware, walk trails and interpretive signage. It was completed as part of the 75th anniversary of the guns at Oliver's Hill.

Freshwater Bay Boatshed is one of the few privately owned boatsheds on the Swan River.

Two sites have been nominated as finalists for the outstanding conservation of a residence - the Earlsfery Bed and Breakfast in Bassendean and the pastoral Ferndale Homestead in Balingup.

The finalists for the outstanding heritage tourism product are the Discovery Bay Historic Whaling Station in Albany, the theatrical Kulin Open Doors and Kulin by Night, the Oakabella Homestead in Northampton and the Two Feet & a Heartbeat city walking tours.

The excellence in adaptive reuse category acknowleged One40william in Perth, the Old York Primary School and the Kalgoorlie Courthouse.

Full list of finalists

The winners will be announced on April 3.

The West Australian

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