The Trust Talks: The Debate

Head in the Cloudlands – is there too much idealism in heritage?

The Trust Talks are a new series of events that aim to provide up to date, relevant information, discussions and debate about heritage conservation in Australia.

Following on from the success of the National Trust of Australia (Queensland)’s inaugural Trust Talk: Finding the Room to Breath: Managing the Setting of Heritage Places in our Crowded and Expanding Cities, we are pleased to announce the date for the next Trust Talk.

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THE DEBATE – Head in the Cloudlands: Is there too much idealism in heritage?”

In the days before adequate protection for heritage places was introduced, the National Trust of Australia (Queensland) was once known as the community group who stopped development – their arsenal was picket lines, protests and rallies.  Fast forward two decades and Queensland now has statutory heritage registers, a state wide Heritage Council and requirements to ensure that the demolition of heritage such as ‘Cloudlands’ could never happen again.  But does the heritage industry have its head in the Cloudlands?  Are we at risk of being left off the negotiation table if we rigidly stick to stringent guidelines?  In our quest for heritage protection, have we lost sight of the bigger picture and is this detrimental to our cause?


Meredith Walker AM, Dr Andrew Sneddon, Christina Cho and Jane Alexander.


The debate is being held in one of the two Service Reservoirs at Spring Hill, located on Upper Edward Street, Wickham Terrace, adjacent to the Spring Hill Windmill. The Reservoir, six metres below Wickham Terrace was launched as a performance space by the Underground Opera Company in August 2014, after lying idle for 50 years, and previously supplying Brisbane its water. The Reservoir is architecturally astonishing. Six metres underground, it is divided into 15 sections by head walls, with each section joined by hand-lain brick archways, which have been standing for 140 years. This unique setting contributes to superb acoustics and ambience that entices audiences to enjoy an intimate performance.


Spring Hill Reservoir is located at 230 Wickham Terrace – look for the Windmill, the entrance to the Reservoir is next to the Windmill.


For safety reasons, you must be comfortable in underground spaces, be fit and able to walk down stairs into the space (there is no disabled access).
Please wear flat shoes and bring a warm jacket as it gets cold underground!


Extent Heritage and the Underground Opera have generously sponsored this event.
The National Trust of Australia (Queensland) would like to thank these two companies for their generous and ongoing support.


The Speakers


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Tickets must be pre-purchased.

$20 plus ticketing fee for National Trust members and students
$40 plus ticketing fee for non-members
Numbers are strictly limited – bookings are essential!
Ticket cost includes 2 drinks, cheese boards, canapes, the debate, a performance from the Underground Opera Company and a National Trust gift bag.  A cash bar will also operate before, during and after the event.