HomeCouncilSignificance of Hinkler collection recognised

Significance of Hinkler collection recognised

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The Hinkler Hall of Aviation.

Bundaberg’s Hinkler Hall of Aviation was recently recognised for holding and caring for a collection of national and international significance.

The recognition came after the organisation was successful in obtaining a Community Heritage Grant from the National Library of Australia to undertake a Significance Assessment of the collection.

The assessment was aimed at uncovering and identifying the significance of the Hinkler Hall of Aviation Memorabilia Trust collection, held at the Hinkler Hall of Aviation and Hinkler House in the Bundaberg Botanic Gardens.

Hinkler Hall of Aviation staff were joined by Queensland Museum Network’s Senior Museum Development Officer Elspeth Hocking who provided specialist skills and analysis to complete the assessment report.

During a site visit to the Hinkler Hall of Aviation earlier this year, Elspeth viewed a range of objects from the 5,000 strong collection that staff felt were most significant, as well as a summary of the collection to identify other items of potential importance.

Hinkler Hall staff
Hinkler Hall of Aviation staff working in the Collection Store.

Elspeth found that the Hinkler Hall of Aviation collection, with its strong focus on the life and achievements of Bert Hinkler, had multiple layers of significance.

“The Hinkler Hall of Aviation Memorabilia Trust Collection at Hinkler Hall of Aviation is a highly focused and extremely well managed collection,” she said.

“The collection has local, regional, and state significance due to the historical significance of the collection, the rarity of certain collection areas, the connection with local community and events, and its high interpretative potential.

“Elements of the collection have national and international significance given their connections to wider Australian stories, and the impact Bert had on international aviation history during his career in the United Kingdom.

“The collection brings together local stories and connections to Bundaberg, while also drawing in national and international stories given the breadth of Bert’s career.”

A key recommendation from the assessment was that the Hinkler Hall of Aviation seek a conservation assessment for fragile and significant items that are at risk from environmental factors.

Having successfully completed the Significance Assessment, the Hinkler Hall of Aviation is now able to apply for a Preservation Needs Assessment, which will provide specialist conservation advice.

Bundaberg Regional Council’s Arts, Culture and Events portfolio spokesperson Cr John Learmonth said having the know-how to carefully preserve and care for the collection is vital.

“The overall aim is to share this history with present and future generations, ensuring the story of Bert Hinkler does not go untold.

“If key items from the collection deteriorate over time it is impossible to share this important history.” Items identified as those most in need of immediate preservation include textiles, a selection of ladies dresses from circa 1928, strip maps, photographic glass negatives and an original film reel.”

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