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Held on Sunday 4 August 2019

The Living Heritage Festival was a day-long celebration of forgotten crafts of the past and the heritage skills of tomorrow. On show were diverse craft specialists and producers; pop-up history talks; hands-on craft workshops, and fascinating demonstrations.

Traditional Skills


Experts and traditional craftspeople exhibited and gave demonstrations of their skills. 


With thanks to the Heritage Stoneworks Team, Thorne Decorative Plasterwork, Helen Davies: Paintwrights, the Quilters Guild of NSW, the Embroiderers’ Guild of NSW, Olga Sedneva: Quilling, the Lace Guild of NSW, and Simon Begg: Wood Turning. 

Pop-Up Talks

Across Discovery Point Park and Mt Olympus there were pop-up talks where local historians recounted the stories of the people, the house and life around Tempe House from the 1830s to today’s restoration. Experts were on hand to discuss antique valuation, heritage sustainability, community gardening and how life was lived on the banks of the Cooks River.


With thanks to Hamish Clark: Leonard Joel Auction House, Stuart Read, Ross Berry, Louise Thom: Bayside Council Heritage Advisor, Ian and Trish Smith, St George Historical Society, St Peters Cooks River History Group, Discovery Point Community Garden Group, and the Cooks River Alliance. 

Exhibitions, Performances & Parades

Viola music from four centuries was performed at various intervals throughout the day. Inside Tempe House a stunning video projection paired natural soundscapes and images of the Cooks River with the oral histories of Aboriginal people with a lived experience and connection to the river today. Rare gowns from the 1830s were displayed and costume experts provided stories and social context. Finally, the 'Ruff Parade' of children and dogs showed all the fun of historical fashion.

With thanks to Robert Harris, Hilary Davidson, Amanda Brunskill, Asher Milgate and the Cooks River Alliance, the Cavalcade of Fashion, and all our parade entrants. 



Historians, writers and community activists were brought together to discuss and delve into the layered histories of Tempe House site, landscape and the river environment. Each session of three speakers focused on a specific theme, ranging from histories of place, architecture and social life to popular expressions of history and questions of identity.

With thanks to Stephen Gapps, Ian Tyrrell, Colleen Morris, Ross Berry, Sarah Goldman, Hilary Davidson, Paul Irish and Ian Smith.

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Attendees were able to get hands-on and use recycled material to create a no-waste basket to take home. They found out how to research the history of their house from a local studies historian, learnt practical skills in artefact conservation and explored sustainability and energy efficiency options for heritage homes.

With thanks to Sally Blackwell, Robert Griffin, Jane Britten and James Robertson.


Stalls & Food 

We had a wonderful selection of food vendors offering everything from pies to tacos, and stalls selling beautiful flowers, candles, vintage clothing, jewellery and teas.