The restoration of the historic Gwambygine homestead has been celebrated with a gathering of those associated with the project at the property last month.

Work on the old homestead situated along Great Southern Highway south of York took almost 12 months to complete.

About 70 people attended the function on December 4 to unveil the completed project. The formalities were performed by president of the Royal WA Historical Society, Hon Robert Nicholson. He gave a resume of the history of the homestead and the Wittenoom, Hicks and Clifton families who had been owners of the property over the past 175 years.

Among the others present was Tony Clack from the River Conservation Society, which was responsible for the homestead and the Gwambygine pool being placed on the state heritage register.

It was the Society’s sponsorship of a grant application that obtained $100,000 for the project from the Federal Department of Water Environment, Heritage and the Arts. An additional grant of $30,000 was received from the WA Heritage Council for the work.

Author of a history of the Wittenoom family, Pamela Statham Drew, outlined the events that resulted in the Federal grant money being allocated to the Gwambygine Homestead Project. The Wittenooms were the settlers who established the Gwambygine property during the 1830’s.

The current owner of the Gwambygine property, Mrs Margaret Veneries, gave a short talk about her years growing up at the homestead.

Also present was heritage architect, Ron Bodycoat, who was project manager. He and historian, Robyn Taylor, were responsible for the conservation plan.

The homestead will be open to the public at regular times and for special group tours.

Lindsay McNeill

ABOVE: At Gwambygine homestead on December 4 (L-R): Pamela Statham Drew, Ron Bodycoat and Margaret Veneries at the launch.