01 May 2013

Brookman Building at City East campus.The University of South Australia is this month taking part in About Time, a month-long history festival.

The University is involved in a number of events, including opening up the doors of some of its oldest buildings and showcasing art from a former prisoner of war who went on to lead one of UniSA’s antecedent institutions.

The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre is hosting several of these events, and Executive Director of the Centre, Elizabeth Ho, says the About Time events recognise the importance of the connection to history that many South Australians feel.

“Many South Australians have an important connection to place and value the stories of family and local communities that are collected and passed on,” she said.

“The protection of our built heritage relates to this sense of continuity and meaning that people enjoy in their environment and their feeling of wellbeing. It supports the transmission of solid cultural values and pride, and connects generations.”

The ‘From Changi to SA – the cartoon legacy of POW Bettany’ exhibition will be held at the Kerry Packer Civic Gallery (City West campus, Hawke Building Level 3, 50-55 North Tce) from May 8 to May 29.

The exhibition displays the work of British artist Des Bettany who spent three-and-a-half years as a prisoner of war (1942-45) and created many sketches during that time, most with a light-hearted feeling which helped keep a sense of optimism in the face of such a brutal captor. Bettany moved to Australia after the war and went on to become the Acting Principal of the SA School of Art, one of the contributory institutions to UniSA and now within the University’s School of Art, Architecture and Design.

Another history month event taking place at UniSA is a free forum that explores the topic ‘has South Australia given up on heritage?’. The May 8th forum at the City West campus will see a panel discuss heritage being less appreciated than several decades ago, with proposed heritage listings more likely to be rejected in favour of development interests.

The panel includes a heritage architect, member of the Adelaide City Council, representatives  of the National Trust, and political spokespersons - the Hon Ian Hunter MLC, Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation; and Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Vickie Chapman.

For more details, see the forum page on the Hawke Centre website.

Later in the month, a lecture presented by Dr Wendy Sarkissian on urban density and community engagement on May 29 –‘Not in my Backyard’ – will complement the Hawke Centre focus on the state of heritage.

Meanwhile coming up this weekend is Open House Adelaide which will see some of UniSA’s oldest buildings opened up to the public.

The heritage listed Brookman Building on  the corner of Frome Road and North Terrace features impressive stained glass windows; while the Law Building at 228 North Terrace which was built as the headquarters of the South Australian Brewing Company in1941, features the originally preserved board room.

Media contact: Katrina Phelps phone 8302 0096 email katrina.phelps@unisa.edu.au

For interviews: Elizabeth Ho phone 8302 0651email elizabeth.ho@unisa.edu

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