CAPTION: Heritage being restored… Nuriootpa Futures Association chairman Chris Linden and Coulthard House (Photo courtesy ‘The Leader’ Barossa Valley)A five-day heritage restoration training course in the Barossa Valley next month will develop traditional building skills for people working in today’s construction industry.

Nuriootpa’s heritage listed Coulthard House is being returned to its former glory through an innovative tripartite deal with Nuriootpa Futures Association, the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and heritage restoration stonemason Keith McAllister. 

All training and practical sessions will be held at the Coulthard Homestead, where the house and associated buildings are being restored to become a self-funding facility for a range of community events, tourism and training.

The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) is subsidising this much-needed training as part of its Heritage Trades Program, delivered by Edwarstown based stonemason Keith McAllister and professionals of Applied Building Conservation Training (ABCT) Pty Ltd.

The training will provide participants with theoretical and hands-on experience in:

  • Traditional Stonemasonry techniques
  • Timber Construction
  • Use of Traditional Lime mortars
  • Lime rendering
  • Lath & Plaster ceiling stabilisation

The course is open to any tradespeople currently working in the construction industry and also apprentices presently undertaking the Cert III in Brick/Blocklaying or Carpentry trades, or people with an interest in heritage buildings.

NFA Chairman Chris Linden said the CITB’s Heritage Trades Program was the perfect solution to the conservation and restoration needs of Coulthard House and would provide significant cost savings for the community organisation. “We have permission from SA’s Heritage agencies that allow us to comply with stringent heritage listing rules while doing what is needed to maintain and enable the survival of this important local building.

“The Coulthard House restoration will be compliant for heritage and council expectations and all building codes and we will retain a historic asset for the town and this state.

“We urgently need people to learn these old skills that have been lost so quickly in just a few generations,” Mr Linden said.

Acting CEO of the CITB, Adam Warchol, said the heritage training is a further benefit for the Barossa community following a recent ‘Doorways 2 Construction’ project by Kapunda High School students to prepare the homestead dairy for restoration by chipping away earlier, unsuitable concrete restorations.

“Our Kapunda D2C students have started the process by allowing the original stonework to breathe, before proper repair by this new group using special lime mortars. In the past some well-meaning repair jobs using concrete have actually eaten away at the original stonework, so this is important work.”

He said the training was delivered ‘real time’ under the close supervision by qualified heritage trades people who were passionate about their trade. The heritage skills training at the historic property will have participants restoring the stone and woodwork on the building as part of their training.

The course is open to current apprentices and builders and those in connected trades from anywhere in the state involving trades and community participants with an interest in heritage buildings. Community action means local result.

The Nuriootpa Futures Association has evolved over recent years as a dynamic regional community association committed to enhancing communications between council, community and regional business.

Chris Linden said the Barossa was full of classic buildings requiring urgent repair. “These are sensitive buildings the participants will receive the skills needed to maintain the authenticity of these buildings while creating a new career for themselves.

“Through the NFA we can apply success principles to this project and with the beneficial combination of CITB and ABCT we are protecting something of our past while we are helping to train people for our future.

“After successfully participating in this course they will have skills to tender on future conservation projects knowing how sensitive these old buildings are, and what is needed to protect such valuable community assets.

“I am involved because I appreciate old buildings and things of beauty, but for our society and our region, it comes down to protecting community assets for our children’s’ children,” Mr Linden said.

At Heritage Stone Restorations Pty Ltd, management is collaborating with the CITB through its training company ABCT (Applied Building Conservation Training) to provide a ‘hands on’ approach to promoting the profession.

The company employs fully qualified stonemasons & conservators from Australia and the UK who work on current projects while they actively train newcomers to the trade. The course will be held from Monday 19th May to Friday 23rd May Workers must provide their own transport to Nuriootpa and be available for the full five days of training.

Accommodation can be provided at a subsidised price in Nuriootpa at the Vine Inn Barossa. Fees: ?Eligible CITB Training Card holders $395.00; Normal price $915.00 To register your interest go to www.citb.org.au and click on the Heritage Trades button.

For further information call Mark Gosden at CITB from 8:30am to 5:00pm on 8172 9500.

Background:

The CITB is an independent industry authority that supports the training and employment of more than 4500 apprentices and 30,000 ‘current workers’ across all three sectors of the building and construction industry (Housing, Commercial & Civil). Funds for this training are collected in the form of a 0.25% levy on the value of building and construction work and this is invested back into the industry as training support. CITB-sponsored training is designed by the industry - for the industry.

Training takes place in metropolitan and regional areas, is tailored to the needs of specific sectors and delivered by accredited training providers. Interviews: CITB’s CEO Adam Warchol, 8172 9500; Chris Linden, NFA, on 8562 2133 or 0417 877 737; Media Assistance, Mike O’Reilly, 0414 882 505

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