The University of Newcastle’s Coal River Working Party is a research group with an interest in cultural heritage of Coal River in Newcastle, NSW. Coal River was the first name given to the settlement that would become Newcastle. The group uses a multi-disciplinary model. Members of the Coal River Working Party come from a variety of backgrounds including history, engineering, geology, surveying, archaeology, creative arts and education and share a special interest in research and conservation of Newcastle. There are also representatives from the local Aboriginal community and various corporations and government departments.
Originally the group focused research on conservation of the Coal River Precinct but has broadened its focus to look at other places in Newcastle such as the Newcastle Government Domain. Collaborations are encourage between academic staff, students and organisations to interpret the array of historical material relating to early Newcastle and the Hunter Region. Some of the projects have involved developing new ways of presenting history using contemporary technology and media. This wide disciplinary approach lets other narratives be explored so that further research can be undertaken to generate new knowledge and ideas. The aim of the group is to achieve positive outcomes for history and heritage of the region.
The University of Newcastle formed the Coal River Working Party in February 2003 to restore Newcastle and the Region’s significant historic contribution back into the Australian story.
The Party aims to protect Newcastle’s culturally important landmarks in the Coal River Precinct that were only recently placed on the NSW Heritage Register. The overall vision is to create an Interpretive Centre and Heritage Park to express Newcastle’s unique Aboriginal, convict and industrial heritage and a management plan for the entire site.
We also seek to inspire a renaissance in new and symbiotic approaches to energy and cultural innovation for the Regional, National and Global community.
A Beginners Guide to the Work of the Coal River Working Party to 2005
– Prepared by Mr Keith Davey