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.

See below for more details on the workshops.



No experience with weaving is necessary for this fun workshop, and you will go home with an upcycled basket of your own creation. You will learn how to create a coiled basket from recycled materials including (but not limited to) - fabric, netting, plastic, computer cables, wool, chip packets, baling twine, raffia, buttons and beads. Notes will also be provided, to prompt your memory when you get home. All materials will be provided as part of the workshop fee.

On her retirement from teaching Sally felt the time was right for a sea change. Rather than travelling or physically relocating her life she took up weaving classes! Sally constantly challenges herself to come up with new ways of using waste materials, either natural or manufactured, in her weaving. She particularly likes the idea that she can take materials that others might throw away and make something functional and attractive – giving it a new life and purpose.

Sally Blackwell

Man in Thrift Shop


Curator and conservation specialist Robert Griffin outlines the processes for caring for your special collections – furniture, ceramics, silverware and other metal objects, glass, paintings, photographs, books or textiles. Whatever their material or form, these items need special care. In the workshop, Robert will provide practical advice and demonstrate methods to ensure proper care and conservation. If you have items that you would like advice on their care and conservation, please bring these along on the day (limit of one item per person).

Robert Griffin is the curator at the State Heritage-listed house, Tulkiyan in Gordon (an Arts & Crafts House, designed in 1913) . He has over 25 years experience in heritage assessment, historic place management, and the conservation and interpretation of historic sites and interiors.

Robert Griffin

Education Books Bookshelfs


Local Government records are a rich source of information for anyone interested in tracing the history of a house – complementing other government record series, and resources such as commercial directories and newspapers. An increasing amount of this detail can now be found online, as well as in public libraries. This workshop will look at what is available and how to use it, both through the prism of the collection at Woollahra Library, and also discussing the most useful online sources. Bring your specific questions to the workshops to hear how to start your own investigations.

Jane Britten has worked in Local History at Woollahra Library since the 1980s. Much of her work has involved tracing the history of properties in the local area – or assisting others to do so.

Jane Britten



Join James Robertson, owner of a heritage property and workshop facilitator to explore environmental sustainability and energy efficiency in your heritage home. 
While James will share his experiences in conducting an eco owner-builder project, this session will primarily be about discussions within the group around sustainability problems and solutions.
Join this session to explore everything from sourcing sustainable building materials to navigating the design and building process. A skilled and experience facilitator, James will ensure that discussions identify real solutions to your current challenges.
Bring your ideas and questions about renovating - for those in the early stages of the journey in renovating their home and for those with a broad interest in how to live more sustainably in the inner-city.

James lives in a classic inner West Federation house in Lewisham and brings to the project a decade of passion about sustainability issues.  James runs a blog Lewisham House and Farm and is a professional workshop facilitator and consultant.

James Robertson

Contact Us

Historic Houses Association of Australia Limited
1A Carthona Avenue, Darling Point,

NSW, 2027     02 9252 5554

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ABN: 40 282 275 317

© 2020 by Historic Houses Association of Australia Ltd


The Historic Houses Association of Australia is an independent registered charity.

We rely on income from membership fees, donations, and revenue raised from our ticket sales.