Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Yarra Plenty Heritage Forum – Carome Homestead

The Grand finale of the 2010 Yarra Plenty Heritage Forum program was held recently at Carome Homestead, Plenty Gorge Park, Mernda hosted by Parks Victoria.

Four meetings are held each year facilitated by the Local History Librarian and generally hosted by local history groups and related organisations with the three municipalities our region covers.

21 people attended representing local history groups and local government in the Region. Two guests were totally new to the Forum meetings as were the guest speakers.

Jan Penney is the executive Chair of Mint Inc and has been instrumental in resurrecting the Carome Homestead property at Mernda. She spoke to the group describing the ethos of the organisation – making historical disused buildings useful again. The organization finds buildings on crown land which are underutilized and develops that building to highest possible standards at the same time finding a tenant to occupy. They currently manage 15 properties with an eye out for more.

Carome’s redevelopment has included the bluestone house itself, commercial kitchen facilities and outbuildings. A community garden has also been established.

Darren Jackson is the Manager Strategic Planning at the City of Whittlesea and spoke about their attention to and requirements of local developers to the local heritage.

He also reported on the “state of play” regarding Toorourong Reservoir and Melbourne Water’s efforts to dismantle the bluestone spillway.

A Devonshire morning tea followed our guest speakers with an opportunity to catch up with each other.

The meeting soon resumed with brief reports from attendees on what groups were doing locally including hosting events as part of Seniors Week and Local History Week.

14 people stayed for further networking over lunch and then a small band received an informal tour from Parks Victoria Ross Mugavin around the property.

I received a comment via email the following day which certainly summed up the day: “I thought it was a worthwhile get together with interesting and relevant speakers. In speaking with others they expressed the value of meeting members of other local historical groups to share ideas and gain support for what they are doing.”

To learn more about Carome Homestead read the Wikinorthia article

To view photos from the Forum day visit Yarra Plenty local History on Flickr

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