Brenda Shields joined the Council of the National Trust of Australia (NT) on Saturday. The Council is the governing body of the National Trust in the Northern Territory and Mrs Shields will represent the McDouall Stuart Branch, based in Alice Springs.
Mrs Shields was born in Alice Springs. Her people are Wangkangurru and Southern Arrernte as well as Pitjantjatjara, Yankunytjatjara and Ngaanyatjarra. She has strong cultural heritage from her parents and grandparents.
“I am very pleased to join the Council of the National Trust. It is so important that we preserve our past as part of our respect for past present and future generations,” Mrs Shields said.
“I joined the National Trust back in 2001 and have been an active volunteer since 2004. The National Trust relies on volunteers to keep open our heritage buildings such as the Hartley Street School. It’s great fun and very rewarding.
“In recent days, I’ve been very upset by plans to demolish the former Anzac Hill High School. That school was the focal point of my childhood, for me and for many other people in Alice Springs at the time.
Mrs Shields is on the board of the Arid Lands Environment Centre and the Institute for Aboriginal Development as well as serving on the Lake Eyre Basin Community Advisory Committee. Mrs Shields has represented her family on a Native Title Management Committee, served on the Board of Management for Witjira National Park as Chairperson and member and has been a volunteer member for Irrwanyere Aboriginal Corporation.
That National Trust is a statutory body and community organisation set up to protect, preserve and champion the Northern Territory’s built and cultural heritage. The Trust maintains nine museums or precincts around the Territory: in Alice Springs, Tennant Creek, Newcastle Waters, Borroloola, Katherine, Pine Creek and Darwin. The Trust celebrated its 60th anniversary last year in Alice Springs.
The Council met on the weekend to discuss a range of matters, including the upcoming Heritage Festival arrangements and the proposed demolition of the former Anzac Hill High School in Alice Springs.