National Trust (Vic) – Honorary Membership
Honorary Membership to John Maidment OAM
Awarded at the National Trust of Australia (Victoria) Annual General Meeting 2014
Through his work with the Organ Historical Trust of Australia and the National Trust, John Maidment has played a major and significant role in the development of pipe organ conservation in Australia.
John Maidment has made an outstanding contribution to the work of the Trust in Victoria over more than 35 years of voluntary work. John was instrumental in establishing the Trust’s Pipe Organ Committee to further the cause of preservation and celebration of significant instruments. John is currently Secretary of the Pipe Organ Committee and has previously served for many years as its Chair.
Pipe organs are working artefacts which makes them vulnerable to well-meaning but misinformed modification. Their conservation is important for a proper understanding of the development of local music and its influence on cultural development. It is also important for the place the pipe organ has had as a significant part of the furnishing of the interiors of many churches and public buildings.
John has played an outstanding role in maintaining the work of the Committee, identifying instruments worthy of conservation, ensuring that instruments are properly evaluated and recorded in documentation of very high standard. He has provided advice to the Trust, to the owners of instruments and to organ builders on the restoration and maintenance of classified instruments.
John has also been active in the relocation of classified instruments where they had ceased to be used. His painstaking work in preparing and maintaining a Gazetteer of Victorian Pipe Organs, initially in print and subsequently electronic format has been of enormous value in understanding the significance of surviving instruments.
In this work John has developed extensive overseas contacts, giving Australia recognition as a significant contributor to pipe organ conservation. The Trust in Victoria has benefited greatly from this work.
With John Henwood, John Maidment was co-founder and chairman of the Organ Historical Trust of Australia (OHTA) in 1977. John was driven to establish the organisation following a period when major significant pipe organs in Australia, such as the 1880 Grand Organ in the Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne, were being destroyed and broken up for scrap metal.
The first Organ Historical Trust meeting was held in the chapter house of St Paul’s Cathedral, Melbourne, during the 1977 Organ and Harpsichord Festival. Since OHTA’s establishment, many significant instruments have been carefully conserved to international standards.
John’s work for the National Trust has meant that the most important of Victoria’s pipe organs are protected by law, with many now on the Victorian Heritage Register. The Trust’s Pipe Organ Committee was established in October 1978, and immediately commenced with classification work. It was guided by John and the OHTA in establishing a process of classification and providing members for the specialist committee.
A classification scheme for pipe organs in Australia was developed, and consequently a number of highly significant organs in Victoria have been restored under the aegis of a National Trust sponsored restoration appeal, which provides tax-deductibility to donors. The Committee’s work has provided a vast archive of research material, and the Trust now has nearly 200 files on significant organs in Victoria.
The long list of organs that John has advised on include the restoration of organs in St Paul’s Cathedral in Melbourne, St Mary’s Star of the Sea Church in West Melbourne, St John’s church in Toorak, Scotch College and Heidelberg’s St Johns, as well as Brisbane’s City Hall and places in New Zealand.
John has been a regular contributor to Trust News, Heritage Council Hearings, tours and talks, and publications. John was on the steering committee for the National Trust of Australia’s book Victorian Churches, edited by Prof. Miles Lewis, and has a wide knowledge of church architecture, fittings and history.
John was awarded the medal of the Order of Australia in 1999 for his contribution to heritage conservation and his extensive contribution to the work of the Trust is strongly deserving of recognition by the Trust and the community at large. It serves as model to which all people engaged in conservation could well aspire.
Honorary Membership to Professor Miles Lewis OAM
Awarded at the National Trust of Australia (Victoria) Annual General Meeting 2013
Miles Lewis has had a profound influence on the development of the National Trust in Victoria. He has been involved since his early years, when his father Professor Brian Lewis was the first Chairman of the National Trust in Victoria in 1957, and President in the early 1960s. Miles has followed that example by providing five decades of his own service to the Trust in Victoria and Australia.
Professor Lewis has made an unbroken contribution to the Trust’s work since the late 1960s by volunteering his time and services to Board and committee work, and through professional architectural advice, the editing and writing of Trust publications, through report writing and expert witness appearances at Planning Panels, VCAT and the Heritage Council.
At various times Professor Lewis has been:
• a member of Trust Council, member of the Executive,
• founding Chairman of the Technical Advisory Committee,
• founding Chairman of the Maldon Committee,
• Chairman of the Churches Committee, and
• member of a number of other expert and advisory groups, most notably the Buildings Committee.
Miles is the foremost architectural historian in Australia; he is Professor in the Faculty of Architecture, Building & Planning at the University of Melbourne. His outstanding intellect provided rigour and academic discipline to the Trust’s classification work, and he has provided thousands of hours of expert advice on the acquisition and conservation of Trust properties.
Miles is editor and principal author of Architectura: Elements of Architectural Style published in London and New York in 2008; he is also author of key heritage and planning texts including
• Victorian Primitive,
• The Essential Maldon,
• Two Hundred Years of Concrete in Australia,
• Victorian Churches, (which he edited on behalf of the Trust)
• Melbourne: the City’s History, and
• Suburban Backlash.
Additionally Miles has published numerous academic articles and papers on architectural and building history, urban conservation, urban renewal and housing policy, as well as the invaluable Australian Architectural Index now available online.
Either alone or with others Miles has written for the National Trust the following:
• Exterior Paint Colours: a guide to exterior colours for buildings of the Victorian period
• The Collins Street Report (1978);
• The National Trust Research Manual (2004);
• ‘Philosophy of Restoration’, in Heritage and Conservation: the Challenges in the Pacific Basin published by the Australian Council of National Trusts in 1990.
In 1968 Miles was inaugural Chair of the Trust’s Maldon Committee. Its task was to influence the Town and Country Planning Board in preservation of the town. The Trust’s subsequent report Proposal for the Conservation of Maldon led to an Interim Development Order in 1970 to prevent adverse development and the classification of Maldon as the first Notable Town.
Miles was a founding member in 1976 of the Australian National Committee of International Council on Monuments and Sites, and subsequently its Chairman, and Miles substantially contributed to the writing of the Australian ICOMOS Burra Charter.
More broadly we can say of Miles that he was educated at Melbourne Grammar School and Melbourne University; won a University of Melbourne Special Award 1966-1969; and was appointed full-time at Melbourne University from 1970.
Miles was joint recipient of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects Robin Boyd Environment Award in 1973, won the Walter Burley Griffin Award in 1982; Royal Australian Planning Institute [Victoria] Award for Excellence in 1994; Royal Australian Planning Institute [National] Occasional Special Award in 1995; Member of the Order of Australia in 2002; was awarded a Centenary Medal in 2003 for service to Australian society and the humanities, and made Honorary Life Member of the Comité International d’Architecture Vernaculaire in 2005.
The Citation for Member of the Order of Australia reads as follows:
For service to architectural history, heritage protection and urban planning, particularly through policy development and professional organisations.
In the same spirit as that citation, it is my great pleasure to be able to present to Miles on behalf of the Board, Executive, members and volunteers of the National Trust in Victoria this highly-merited Honorary Membership in recognition of five decades of distinguished service.