Two innovative National Trust of Western Australia projects – REST at East Perth Cemeteries and Ellensbrook at Mokidup – were applauded at the prestigious Museums and Galleries National Awards in Alice Springs last night.
REST at East Perth Cemeteries won the Interpretation, Learning & Engagement Award in the Level 2 category which is for projects with a budget between $20,000 – $150,000. This is second time the National Trust of Western Australia has won this award. In 2017 it won for Sound from the Ground, a music based performance also focussed on East Perth Cemeteries.
Julian Donaldson, CEO of the National Trust of Western Australia said, “I was absolutely thrilled to have accepted the award for REST. The project exemplifies the type of innovative interpretation we believe enhances our community’s understanding of why heritage and collections are important.”
An immersive site specific promenade night theatre experience REST was the highlight of this year’s Fringe Festival with a sell-out season. REST won three awards at this year’s Fringe Awards – the first time any show had received more than two awards in a season. REST was funded by the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries and the City of Perth.
The result of a collaborative partnership between the National Trust of Western Australia and the WA Youth Theatre Company, REST combined historical evidence with the contemporary perspectives of young people to provide a layered, nuanced and innovative investigation of the Cemeteries and the stories this significant heritage place represents.
The project benefitted from the creative collaboration of a highly experienced director, academic, composer, lighting designer, senior actors and the National Trust’s professional staff working alongside a large cast of young emerging performers and in-training technicians (aged 15-25 years) to create a work to share with the community.
As one audience member so eloquently stated “REST was like the best funerals, both moving and emotionally satisfying.”
Ellensbrook at Mokidup received an honourable mention in the Interpretation, Learning & Engagement category Level 4 for projects with a budget over $500,000. Ellensbrook is a heritage place in the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park near Margaret River.
Ellensbrook at Mokidup was a major two-year project funded by Lotterywest and the National Trust to conserve and re-interpret this significant heritage place for the benefit of the community. The project took an integrated approach to interpretation, conservation, education and public engagement to deliver a new visitor experience.
Ellensbrook at Mokidup is a place where both the stories of those connected to Ellensbrook and Mokidup are told, in the process redressing an imbalance in the previously accepted understanding of the history of the place. Ellensbrook at Mokidup now reflects the interwoven nature of settler and Wadandi connections. The approach has been one of inclusion.
The National Trust of Western Australia is justifiably proud of these two very different projects and is pleased to have its work recognised and acknowledged by its peers at a national level. REST at East Perth Cemeteries and Ellensbrook at Mokidup are testament to the National Trust’s work in ensuring audiences are able to gain a deeper understanding of the significance of these heritage places and more broadly for the community to consider the value and relevance of heritage. Partnerships also extend the National Trust’s reach to broader and more diverse audiences.