The Walter Burley Griffin Society website has won the 2007 Energy Australia National Trust Heritage Award for Interpretation and Presentation, Community Groups. The National Trust awards have been described as the ‘Oscars’ of the heritage world.
Meredith Burgmann, President of the Legislative Council, and ABC broadcaster David Marr presented the awards at the Westin Hotel in Sydney on 12 March 2007.
The website, which went live in mid 2006, promotes a greater understanding and appreciation of the work of Marion Mahony Griffin and Walter Burley Griffin and encourages the conservation of their extensive work. It contains thirty-five sections covering the lives and works of Walter and Marion Griffin, the influences that shaped their work and an impressive photo gallery. These were written and designed by members of the society with expertise in various fields. The site also contains downloadable student activity sheets for primary and secondary school teachers.
In selecting the Griffin website for the award, the judges said: ‘It is an impressive achievement from a community-based organisation, about important 20th century architects. It deals with their work both in Australia and overseas.’
The informative heritage site also received praise from members of the community. Scott Robertson, an architect and member of the National Trust’s Urban Conservation Committee said: ‘it is still one of the best, most useful websites I have seen and used. A model of what information websites should be’.
The use of the internet and the electronic media is becoming an important tool in conservation. Tina Jackson, Executive Director of the National Trust of Australia said: ‘Just as heritage may be intangible — much more than just bricks and mortar — we must use electronic communication to get the heritage conservation message across to new and wider audiences.’
Adrienne Kabos, the committee member of the WB Griffin Society who oversaw the development of the website, said: ‘the website is the work of a team of 30 people and this award is a very nice acknowledgment of their expertise and commitment’.
Congratulations go out to all those in the community involved in the project.