The John Hawes Foundation, which aims to rejuvenate regional areas and enhance community wellbeing, was launched recently at St Francis Xavier Cathedral in Geraldton, Western Australia. Source: The eRecord.
The foundation has been established in honour of the priest architect Msgr John Hawes. Its launch on September 1 brought together government officials, businesses, politicians, community leaders, and the Geraldton community to celebrate the start of a heritage conservation and repurposing journey, poised to make a profound impact on regional revitalisation and community wellbeing.
The evening commenced with a traditional Welcome to Country by Yamatji man Derek Councillor, with the formal proceedings conducted by Tom Stephens.
The foundation launch keynote address was delivered by UNDA Chancellor Christopher Ellison who spoke about the importance of built heritage, arts and crafts and history in defining communities and strengthening its wellbeing.
“By upholding our heritage, we ensure that the generations yet to come can stand on the shoulders of our history, gleaning wisdom and inspiration that will propel them toward building even stronger and more vibrant communities,” he said.
The crux of the evening came with the formal launch of the John Hawes Foundation by chair of the Monsignor Hawes Heritage Inc (MHHI), Fr Robert Cross.
In a symbolic gesture, Fr Cross and the attending MHHI board members presented the Foundation’s Strategic Plan to Geraldton Bishop Michael Morrissey, a document that outlines the blueprint for the foundation’s work in revitalising regional areas, strengthening community bonds, and preserving the legacy of the renowned priest architect John Hawes.
“Priest Architect John Hawes was responsible for an astounding body of work throughout the region,” Fr Cross said.
“There is little doubt that Hawes’ work in the region makes an ongoing contribution to the vibrancy of the local built environment and Western Australia’s significant built heritage,” he said.