The winners of the 2021 National Trust Heritage Awards were announced recently by the National Trust (NSW) at a special ceremony held at the heritage-listed Dolton House in Pyrmont. Presented by ABC’s Simon Marnie, the annual awards program honoured winners in 10 categories in addition to three individual prizes that celebrated outstanding practice in the field of heritage.

Now in its 27th year, the annual National Trust Heritage Awards recognise projects, initiatives and individuals that demonstrate excellence in the conservation, protection and interpretation of Aboriginal, built, natural and cultural heritage. The awards are the signature event of the Australian Heritage Festival in New South Wales and proudly supported by the NSW Government through the Heritage Council of NSW.

Special guest speakers at the event included president of the National Trust of Australia (NSW), Neil Wykes OAM; the National Trust’s director of conservation, David Burdon; chair of the Heritage Council of NSW, Frank Howarth; and the chair of the National Trust Heritage Awards Judging Committee, Matt Devine.

Debbie Mills, chief executive officer of the National Trust (NSW) said: “COVID-19 brought a challenge to everyone working in heritage for 2020 and the early months of 2021, and what the National Trust Heritage Awards has revealed is that heritage has endured, emerged resilient and continues to demonstrate its importance to the people of New South Wales.”

Congratulating the entrants for their hard work in conserving and promoting the cultural heritage of New South Wales, Matt Devine, chair of the National Trust Heritage Awards Jury, commented that the judges were impressed with the number and quality of submissions, and deciding the eventual winners was difficult.

Judges on the panel also included Phil Bennett, Dr Noni Boyd, David Burdon, Miranda Firman, Dr Siobhan Lavelle OAM, Lisa Newell and Saneia Norton.

2021 National Trust Heritage Awards winners

Aboriginal Heritage

Leagues Club Park, Gosford – entered by Hunter Central Coast Development Corporation; Gosford, NSW

Adaptive Re-use

Sub Base Platypus – entered by Lahznimmo Architects; Sydney, NSW


The Conservation of the Mulgoa Valley as a cultural landscape – entered by the Friends of Fernhill and Mulgoa Valley Incorporated; Mulgoa, NSW

Conservation: Built Heritage

  • The Restoration of Cathedral of St Michael and St John, Bathurst – entered by the Cathedral of St Michael and St John, Bathurst; Bathurst, NSW
  • Shell House, Sydney – entered by Adriel Consultancy; Sydney, NSW
  • The Greenway Window Conservation and Upgrade Product at the Greenway Building in Milsons Point – entered by Land and Housing Corporation and Department of Planning, Industry and Environment; Milsons Point, NSW

Conservation: Interiors & Objects

The Restoration of the Historic 1890 William Hill & Son Organ in the Hunter Baille Memorial Presbyterian Church in Annandale – entered by Ralph Lane OAM; Annandale, NSW

Conservation: Landscape

Spains Wharf, Kurraba Point – entered by Aspire Stone Masonry; Kurraba Point, NSW

Continuing Tradition

The George Proudman Fellowship Program – entered by Ministers Stonework Program; NSW

Education & Interpretation

Fairbridge Children’s Park, Molong – entered by Clouston Associates; Molong, NSW

Heritage Events, Exhibitions & Tours

  • Fragile Beauty, Rich and Rare – entered by Pamela Pauline Photography; Sydney, NSW
  • Carrington Road Industrial Marrickville – entered by Louisa King and Ali Wright; Marrickville, NSW

Heritage Resources & Publications

Designing a Legacy – entered by Tim Ross, Modernister Films and Production Group; NSW

The Judges’ Choice Award

Leagues Club Park, Gosford – entered by Hunter Central Coast Development Corporation; Gosford, NSW

Entered by Hunter Central Coast Development Corporation (HCCDC), Leagues Club Park in Gosford, which won in the Aboriginal Heritage category, was also named the winner of the Judges’ Choice Award. The $10 million project has transformed the park into a stunning nature-inspired regional play space in the Gosford CBD, creating a landmark destination embedded with local culture and history. Nature-inspired 'wild play' areas, interactive Aboriginal design elements, accessible pathways and expansive green space are some of the highlights of the project.

HCCDC chief operating officer Valentina Misevska said that they were delighted and honoured to be recognised in the Aboriginal Heritage category this year.

“This wouldn’t have been possible without the valuable input of local stakeholders such as the Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council. This collaboration has helped deliver a unique space that will bring people into Gosford and, by sharing local history and stories, become the city’s new cultural heart,” said Misevska.