NSW unveils its 3rd, 4th & 5th Blue Plaques on heritage places

May Gibbs’ home and garden beside Sydney Harbour at Neutral Bay now acknowledged with a Blue Plaque. Source www.maygibbs.com.au

The Australian Garden History Society has reported that plaques celebrating famous Australians, May Gibbs, Brett Whiteley and Sir Edward Hallstrom have been recently installed and unveiled in Sydney’s Neutral Bay, Lavender Bay and Mosman. Two of the plaques are on properties with important gardens: Nutcote (home of May Gibbs) and The Secret Garden (at the home of Brett and Wendy Whiteley)..

NSW Minister for Heritage James Griffin said: “Every Australian remembers tales of gumnut babies and ‘big bad Banksia men’ from childhood, and May Gibbs shaped generations of children’s responses to nature.”

The May Gibbs plaque, installed outside her house at Nutcote in Neutral Bay, celebrates her legacy as Australia’s first full-time, professionally trained children’s book author and illustrator, whose work continues to delight readers to this day. She was also a keen gardener, with a ‘big, bad banksia tree’ down the bottom of that garden, on Sydney Harbour.

“The Sir Edward Hallstrom Blue Plaque, installed at the entrance of Taronga Zoo in Mosman, recognises a self-made entrepreneur and philanthropist who cared deeply about conservation and remains one of the Zoo’s most generous private benefactors.

“The NSW Government’s $5 million Blue Plaques program is a fantastic way of getting communities excited about and involved in their local heritage around the state,” said Minister Griffin.

MP for North Shore, Felicity Wilson said, of the blue plaque installed outside Brett Whiteley’s home: “Archibald-winning Brett Whiteley created some of his most famous works at his home and studio in Lavender Bay, inspired by views of Sydney Harbour.

“These Blue Plaques celebrate and recognise the important contributions that Sir Edward Hallstrom, May Gibbs and Brett Whiteley have made not only to our local community, but across NSW and Australia.

“We are incredibly fortunate to have such rich local heritage, and these Blue Plaques will ensure we are safeguarding our cultural heritage for future generations.”

These are the third, fourth and fifth Blue Plaques ever to be installed in New South Wales. The first was the Caroline Chisholm Plaque in East Maitland. The second was the Nancy Bird Walton in Kew, Port Macquarie.

So far, 21 Blue Plaque recipients have been named and the NSW public will be invited to nominate more noteworthy people, stories and events when a second round of nominations opens.

The remainder of the Blue Plaques will be installed in yet to be announced locations in the coming weeks. To learn more, visit Blue Plaques, NSW at https://blueplaques.nsw.gov.au/.

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