AHS team’s passion projects conserve Australian movable heritage

Clients engaging AHS can be sure that our award-winning team of industry professionals will demonstrate the highest standards of expertise in heritage and conservation on every project.

This deep connection to cultural heritage matters doesn’t end when we leave the office or complete a site visit. In fact, the skills and experience honed at work also play a key role in our team’s personal passion projects.

These home-based interests frequently relate to movable heritage, a broad classification referring to manufactured or natural objects of heritage significance that excludes items found underground or underwater.

Movable heritage includes a variety of culturally significant portable items from ceremonial relics to furniture and industrial machinery. Objects that are capable of motion, such as cars or trains, also fall within this classification.

The Protection of Movable Cultural Heritage Act 1986 requires permits for the temporary or permanent export of nationally important movable objects, which is particularly important for regulating the conditions under which Aboriginal artefacts can leave Australia.

Crossing the Nullarbor in a vintage car

AHS Managing Director Benjamin Gall can be counted among the thousands of Australians with an interest in restoring vintage cars and boats.

Coral Sea, a 1964 timber boat built in Gladstone

While Mr Gall is one of Australia’s foremost experts on cultural heritage matters, he shares this passion for the preservation of period vehicles with backyard enthusiasts across the country.

As well as owning Coral Sea, a timber boat built in Gladstone in 1964, his car collection includes a 1925 Buick which he plans to drive to our Brisbane office to commemorate the vehicle’s centenary in 2025.

AHS Managing Director Benjamin Gall’s 1925 Buick

In 2018, Mr Gall and AHS Director Linda Gall completed an unforgettable trip with their children across the Nullarbor Plain in a 1962 EK Holden to participate in a Perth classic car rally.

He has also advised the Queensland Museum curatorial team on the conservation of Brisbane personality Rock ‘N’ Roll George’s iconic Holden 48-215, helping to ensure that original fabric elements of the vehicle were retained and conserved appropriately.

Conserving militaria

While the perception of World War II militaria is shifting from military surplus to movable heritage, AHS Senior Archaeologist Owen Budd has a longstanding personal interest in objects from this period.

AHS Senior Archaeologist Owen Budd (centre) helping to restore a 1943 White M3 Scout Car

Mr Budd recently helped restore a former-US Army 1943 White M3 Scout Car, a half-track vehicle designed to transport soldiers and supplies during World War II. This vehicle is from a privately owned US Army vehicles collection operated by the Brisbane-based living history group GI Inc.

In 2019 he participated as a uniformed living historian at the 2019 Australian International Airshow at Avalon Airport, Victoria. The 2/25th Infantry Battalion Re-enacted Group portrayed soldiers of Australia’s 7th Division, demonstrating the operation and firing of an original Ordnance QF 25-pounder.

AHS Senior Archaeologist Owen Budd demonstrating an original Ordnance QF 25-pounder

Manufactured in Great Britain in 1940 and issued to the 2/4th Field Company (AIF) this historic field gun saw active service in Syria during World War II. It is a privately owned movable heritage object that is maintained in fully functional condition by committed enthusiasts.

Mr Budd’s involvement allowed the public to experience a tangible piece of Australia’s World War II history. By sharing his extensive period knowledge, the group effectively interpreted the field gun’s history for visitors to the air show.

This contrasts with similar artillery pieces being held as static relics within ANZAC memorial spaces or permanently disarmed under legislation governing firearms within the collections of Australian museums.

Mr Budd is looking forward to being a passenger on the inaugural journey of the Beyer-Garratt 6029 steam locomotive which was restored under private ownership and recently entered into the NSW Heritage Fleet.

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To discover how we may be able to assist on your next project, contact us today here via our website or phone (07) 3221 0000. You can also connect with us on LinkedIn.