Back row: Dr.Bill Sykes – Member for Benalla, Gavin Cator – CEO Shepparton Council , Cr. Dennis Patterson, Tim Linton, Anna Janson, Warwick Finlay, Des Whitfield, Front row: Kay Ball, Helen Newton, Gloria Polkinghorne, Mayor Jenny Houlihan, and Michelle Patterson outside the Heritage Centre.
Formed 28 years ago, Murchison & District Historical Society had no home of its own until 1996 when the Society leased the former Maternal & Child Health Centre from Greater Shepparton City Council. Located on the river bank in Stevenson Street Murchison, this is now our Heritage Centre.
Funded entirely from our own finances accumulated by fundraising efforts, the Society added a purpose built Gallery to the rear of the building in 1997 costing $ 85,000 which now houses our Collection and provided us with an area to display the rich and diverse history of the local area.
Since then, the Society has gone from strength to strength and has successfully staged special exhibitions and events as well as being open regularly for the public to enjoy the local history displays. Visitors to the Heritage Centre say they are impressed with the quality, scope and presentation of the Collection. The Heritage Centre has become an integral part of the Murchison Community.
Looking to the future, plans have been drawn up to remodel the front of the building to better facilitate the operation, namely provision of a meeting/reception room, a kitchen of required standard for catering, improved entrance and foyer area, increased storage and provide wheel chair access as well as a toilet for the disabled. The meeting room and adjoining kitchen can be self-contained from the Gallery area and available for use by other organisations. Displays of Tourist Information will be in this area as well.
On Sunday 14th of April, Member for Benalla, Dr. Bill Sykes, visited the Heritage Centre and announced the successful allocation of funding for the redevelopment.
Dr. Sykes said the Coalition Government will provide $80,000 from the Putting Locals First Program – one component of the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund – in partnership with Greater Shepparton City Council towards the project, which includes the renovation and extension of the existing building to better meet the needs of the local community and visitors to the historic rural town.
Chief Executive Officer of Greater Shepparton City Council, Mr.Gavin Cator was also present and confirmed Local Council’s contribution of $75,000 towards the project.
Councillor Jenny Houlihan, Mayor of Greater Shepparton City Council also addressed the gathering and spoke of the admirable work our Volunteers do to maintain the Heritage Centre and the extension to the building will mean the growing number of visitors can be better accommodated and have an even more worthwhile visit.
The Murchison and District Historical Society will also contribute funds both towards building the extension and fitting out. The revamped facility will be a great asset to the township of Murchison.