$152,000 Lotterywest Grant awarded to Darlington History Group

Published on Friday, 7 July 2023 at 11:41:26 AM

Darlington’s cultural heritage is set to come alive along the 2.5km Heritage Walk Trail thanks to a funding boost from Lotterywest.

The Darlington History Group (DHG) was presented with a $152,510 grant by Matthew Hughes MLA to contribute towards Stage 3 of the Darlington Heritage Trail Masterplan.

The funds will see 31 interpretive signs describing the historical importance and cultural significance installed at 21 sites along the Darlington Heritage Walk Trail.

It will also cover the cost of a trail head marker and 31 direction markers.

Further, a circular pathway incorporating a Six Seasons garden will be constructed, along with two plaques recognising Aboriginal and European history, as part of a Tribute to Early Years recognition area.

President of the Darlington Heritage Group Val Shiell thanked Lotterywest for the funding and said the group were excited to progress with the next stage of their Masterplan.

“The Darlington History Group has invested a lot into the Darlington Heritage Trail Masterplan project over the past five years,” she said.

“Darlington is rich in Aboriginal and European history, with many sites and features that form Darlington’s distinct character.

“The installation of interpretive signage is an exciting addition and final piece to this project. It will bring the trail to life, helping visitors and residents to build an awareness, appreciation and understanding of Darlington’s unique history.”

The DHG developed the Darlington Heritage Walk Trail to address the need to preserve, interpret and promote the area’s local history.

Over the years, the Masterplan for the trail has been developed in consultation with a heritage consultant and the Darlington Residents and Ratepayers Association.

Local Aboriginal Elders have also informed various elements of the project through consultation with local Aboriginal people.

Shire President James Martin said the Shire considered its historic places vitally important to the community’s sense of belonging and identity.

“During the development of the Shire’s Strategic Community Plan 2020-2030, the community identified that the provision and maintenance of heritage trails was a key priority,” he said.

“The Darlington History Group has been the driving force behind this project.

“I congratulate them on their dedication to the project over the years. It is exciting to see the final stages coming together with interpretative signage and a pathway denoting Darlington’s significant cultural history.”

Stage 3 of the Masterplan follows on from previous work undertaken by the Darlington History Group, including draft designs of interpretative signs.

Grant funding for the trail

The grant, which was auspiced by the Shire of Mundaring, will cover 56 per cent of the groups $273,803 Masterplan.

In 2022/23, Shire of Mundaring allocated funds of $45,000 towards the enhancement of four of the historical sites.

The Darlington Heritage Group have also received a $34,000 contribution from the Department of Local Government Sport and Cultural Industries, $20,000 from Heritage Council, along with raising $20,293.

About the walk trail

The walk trail is located adjacent to the eastern railway constructed in 1883. It was the first railway service connecting the Perth colony with the rich farm and primary producing areas in and beyond the Darling Scarp and Perth Hills.

The heritage walks consists of 21 sites including a variety of structures, residences and buildings.

Photographed left to righ: Cr James Martin, Clive Burns and Val Shiell from DHG and Mr Matthew Hughes MLA


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