Public Invitation to Heritage Museum Sod Turning

Published on 09 February 2024

Construction has already commenced on the site of the much-anticipated Mansfield Heritage Museum and members of the Mansfield Shire community are invited to attend the official ‘Turning of the Sod’ which will be performed by Dr Helen Haines MP, Independent Member for Indi.

Mayor Cr. Steve Rabie and Mansfield Historical Society President, Graeme Stoney AM, (as major project partners) will assist Dr Haines with the sod turning which will occur at 11.00 am on Wednesday 21 February at the old railway station platform, 175 High Street, Mansfield.

The first stage of construction will complete Heritage Visitor Facility building to lock up enabling historical items currently stored in the Goods Shed to be transferred into the new building.  The fit out of the building will occur at a future date upon completion of the Historical Society’s fundraising efforts. 

Once completed, the Museum will be a major component of the Mansfield Station Precinct Masterplan, designed to activate the entrance to the Mansfield township.

The project has the support of enthusiastic project and co-contribution partners and will deliver a key component of the Station Precinct Masterplan. Together with the First Nations Gadhaba Gathering Place and the Visitor Information Centre, the Mansfield Heritage Museum will provide a vital destination for both visitors and community members and their families to learn about Mansfield Shire’s rich cultural heritage.

Mayor Cr Steve Rabie said this very exciting project has come about thanks to the drive of the Mansfield Historical Society and the contribution of Council, and other major community donors.

“I’d like to personally extend an invitation to our community to come along and be a part of this significant event. This project is testament to what can be achieved when we work together towards a common goal and should be celebrated.

“On completion, the Museum will provide a community cultural hub that will offer visitors and community members with an exciting opportunity to explore and learn about our local history,” he said. 

President of the Mansfield Historical Society Graeme Stoney AM said the Mansfield community had been calling for a museum ever since the railway to Mansfield closed in 1978, and the station building  became vacant.  

“It is very exciting that they are about to have their wish granted,” he said.

“I would like to commend the Mansfield Shire Council on allocating a federal government grant towards building the Mansfield Heritage Museum.

“Mansfield residents and businesses - including the Mansfield and District Community Bank - donated over 100k in a very quick appeal, which further convinced the Shire to make that decision which the Historical Society applauds.

“When completed, the state-of-the-art museum will be a wonderful attraction, encouraging visitors to stay longer and therefore increasing business opportunities.

“It will add an important cultural and educational resource showcasing indigenous and early settlement and the contribution of gold, timber, grazing and tourism to the prosperity of our district,” said Mr Stoney.

Independent Federal Member for Indi, Helen Haines MP said the Mansfield Heritage Museum will preserve the rich history of Mansfield and share the stories of the community with locals and visitors alike.

“I am proud to have advocated for the Federal Government funding contributing to the development of the Museum, which will be an important economic contributor to tourism for the region, she said.

“Congratulations to members of the Mansfield Historical Society and everyone who has worked for a long time to make this project happen.”

In order for this project to be become more than a dream, $1.18m funding was provided through the Australian Governments’ Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program with significant community contributions from the Mansfield Historical Society, The Community Bank Mansfield & District and MCHAC of approximately $115,000 and a Council contribution of $362.500.