Coalition announces $35,000 to preserve Hinkler’s history

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Attorney-General and Minister for the Arts, Senator the Honourable George Brandis QC has announced the Federal Government will contribute $35,000 towards the restoration of aviator Bert Hinkler’s Armstrong-Siddeley 40760.

Senator Brandis said the funds would be provided to the Hinkler House Memorial Museum and Research Association (HHMM&RA) to help cover some of the costs associated with restoring the vehicle to its former glory.

“Herbert John Louis Hinkler was one of the great pioneers of Australian aviation whose courage and determination inspired many Australians. It is fitting that a vehicle closely associated with his legendary flight from England to Australia is to be preserved and placed on display,” Senator Brandis said.

“Today, I’ve had the absolute pleasure of meeting some of the very passionate people who have made this project possible, including Tom Smethurst who generously donated the car.

“Once restored, Bert’s Armstrong-Siddeley will be a very significant addition to the Trust’s collection; one that locals and visitors alike will be able to admire for many years to come.”

Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt, who owns an Armstrong-Siddeley, said he and Senator Brandis had been given a special sneak peak of the restoration work being done by the Bundaberg Vintage Vehicle Club (BVVC).

“I can’t wait to see the car finished, taking pride of place in the Hinkler Hall of Aviation. I am confident BVVC members will do a fantastic job,” Mr Pitt said.

“I’m pleased the Federal Government has been able to join with other donors to preserve this valuable heritage object.”

HHMM&RA President Lex Rowland thanked the Federal Government and all of the local organisations, businesses and people who were donating their time and money to the project.

“Bert’s welcome home to the State of Queensland on March 6, 1928 was a highlight of his aviation career. Restoring the car he rode in during his home-coming procession is a fitting

celebration of his safe return – one that will help strengthen the community’s understanding of Bert’s role in Australian history,” Mr Rowland said.

Mayor Mal Forman said Bundaberg Regional Council had also committed $20,000 to refit Bundaberg’s iconic Hinkler Hall of Aviation, where the restored 1920s Armstrong Siddeley would be proudly showcased.

“The Bundaberg Regional Council is excited to be able to assist with this project as part of our ongoing support for initiatives to promote the life of Bert Hinkler, Bundaberg’s favourite son,” Cr Forman said.

BVVC President Ian Pearson said Armstrong Siddeleys were historically significant vehicles themselves.

“The connection this particular vehicle has with one of Australia’s most remarkable pioneers makes it even more significant and we’re thrilled to be working on it,” Mr Pearson said.

To find out about Australian Government grants visit www.arts.gov.au. For more information about the Hinkler House Memorial Museum and Research Association visit www.hinklerresearch.org.au

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