History website earns heritage commendation

The City of Cockburn has received a commendation at the 2020 WA Heritage Awards for its innovative Cockburn History opens in a new window website.

Member for Jandakot Yaz Mubarakai MLA today visited the City and presented the award to Manager of Library Services, Linda Seymour, and Historical Society of Cockburn President, Helen Greer, in recognition of the history project.
The online tool features Cockburn Libraries’ local history collection including digitised videos, oral histories, photographs and local magazine publications.
Mayor Howlett said the website, launched during the City’s 40th anniversary in 2019 by Cockburn Libraries, offered a variety of resources about the history, development and environment that were unique to the culture of Cockburn.
“The City engaged the services of a historian who was able to make it all available on our website in an accessible and user-friendly format,” Mayor Howlett said.
The overall project was co-ordinated by library staff and will continue to be regularly updated by the team as information becomes available.
Manager of Library Services Linda Seymour said the aim of the project was to show Cockburn’s history pre and post European settlement.
“For example, there’s an extensive Aboriginal Oral History Project on the new website that features the stories of 11 Aboriginal people with custodial and cultural connections to the Cockburn district,” Mrs Seymour said.
“There’s a wide range of different themes on the Cockburn History website and I believe being able to access such information will enrich the wellbeing of our community”.
The Cockburn History project has been popular with residents and schools – through visits to the Azelia Ley Homestead Museum – and to the wider community.

“It not only provides lots of interesting and up-to-date information, it’s also another forum in which to engage our community which has been particularly important during COVID-19,” Mrs Seymour said.
Mrs Greer is one person with a unique view on the development of the Cockburn History website.

Until about 15 years ago, Mrs Greer was the City’s Deputy Librarian and had a hand in helping establish the original Azelia Ley Homestead Museum website, which has now been incorporated into the current Cockburn Libraries site.

“As a Librarian, I began going down to the Museum to digitise the collection, so we could create the original website as a way to encourage people to visit the Museum at Manning Park,” Mrs Greer said.

“The new website is a gateway to understanding Cockburn’s history. The Museum collection gives an overview of life in a developing market gardening and residential area between 1920-1960,” Mrs Greer said.

“Of course, there are many aspects to our local history and the website encourages the community to dig a bit deeper to learn how we got where we are today.

“The commendation is a fitting recognition of how the website enables the people of Cockburn to access the Azelia Ley collection and to introduce them to our community Museum.”            

Mrs Greer was a Cockburn Libraries employee for about 25 years and began volunteering at the historical society, which manages the Museum, more than 10 years ago.

Mayor Logan Howlett said he was pleased the City had been recognised for the history project which provided easy access to Cockburn’s fascinating history for generations to come.
The Cockburn History project is also accessible via the City’s website opens in a new window.
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