Redland City Council has been commended by the Queensland Heritage Council for its sensitive conservation work on Dunwich Hall on North Stradbroke Island.
The high commendation in the 2013 Queensland Heritage Awards is very timely for the popular community hall in its hundredth year.
Division 2 Councillor for Cleveland and Stradbroke Island Cr Craig Ogilvie is delighted the work has been recognised.
“European and aboriginal heritage is a Redlands treasure and the hall is one of the places that tells a great story of how the two came together,” he said.
“The roof, wall and veranda restoration and painting work has been cited by the Heritage Council both to recognise the building and acknowledge the careful and timely conservation work we have undertaken to make sure Dunwich Public Hall will continue to serve the local community into the future and retain its heritage significance.”
Council engaged specialist architects Converge Heritage and Community to plan the project and tradespeople experienced in traditional construction techniques worked on the building, which is listed on the National Trust of Queensland Heritage Register and Redlands’ Local Heritage Register.
Cr Ogilvie said the hall had seen a lot of history, having started life as the Men’s Mess Hall at the former Dunwich Benevolent Asylum, the institution offering care for Queensland’s aged, infirm and destitute from 1865 until the 1940s.
“Most of the asylum buildings were relocated or demolished after it was moved to Sandgate in 1946 but the mess hall survived and has been well used as a public hall ever since,” he said.
“It’s a lovely old brick and timber building, big enough for 150 people, so it’s regularly used for local functions and church services and has been a significant gathering place for social and cultural events and meetings.”