Heritage Award14 Apr 2011
Planning Minister Matthew Guy has presented Bendigo heritage champion Dennis O’Hoy with the inaugural award recognising volunteer contributions to heritage.
Mr O’Hoy was presented with the Ray Tonkin Award for individual volunteer services to heritage on the eve of Australian Heritage Week.
The new award was created by the Heritage Council of Victoria to recognise the significant role volunteers play in the maintenance and preservation of Victoria’s cultural heritage.
Mr O’Hoy was named the inaugural winner of the award in recognition of his more than 40 years of voluntary service to heritage in the Bendigo region.
Mr Guy presented the award to Mr O’Hoy at the Heritage Council’s annual Heritage Address on 13 April, this year featuring Grand Designs host and architect Peter Maddison as the keynote speaker.
Mr O’Hoy has played a pivotal role in the Bendigo Trust since its inception in 1960. The Bendigo Trust was formed to manage a historic gold mine as a tourism experience. Within a few years the Bendigo Trust was also looking after Bendigo Gas Works and Bendigo Trams. Today the Trust also manages the Joss House Temple and Victoria Hill Mining Area.
Mr O’Hoy served as the Chair of the Bendigo Trust from 1998-2002 and again in 2003-4. He played a pivotal role in the conservation of heritage places and his fondest achievements are the development of Bendigo Tramways and the Chinese Joss House Temple acquisition. He played a major role in the discovery and excavation of the Chinese brick making kiln located near the Joss House.
Mr Hoy departed the Bendigo Trust board last year after a remarkable 40-year tenure, but he can still be found volunteering at the Chinese Joss House Temple every Saturday.
The Ray Tonkin Award was named after the former Executive Director of Heritage Victoria, Ray Tonkin. It will be awarded on merit to individuals who have displayed an outstanding commitment and service to heritage in Victoria.