An exciting future

UPGRADE: NTSA Whyalla Branch Chairperson Pat Walker and Mount Laura Homestead Caretaker Joanne Waters with one of the new signs installed at the museum.
UPGRADE: NTSA Whyalla Branch Chairperson Pat Walker and Mount Laura Homestead Caretaker Joanne Waters with one of the new signs installed at the museum.

As the Mount Laura Homestead continues to be upgraded, the committee are reaching out to get more members involved in looking after ne of Whyalla’s most iconic landmarks.

The National Trust of South Australia Whyalla Branch AGM will be held at the museum on August 26 at 11am, and Caretaker Joanne Waters is encouraging locals to get involved in an ‘exciting future’.

Ms Waters said having more members would give the homestead a ‘stronger voice’ when looking for support and potentially allow the museum to stay open for 7 days a week.

New signage, verandahs, and bitumen sealing at the homestead has been completed by the Whyalla City Council, and Ms Waters is keen to work further with council to continue improving the facility.

“We want to grow the museum to include more buildings, new displays and technology,” she said.

NTSA Whyalla Branch Chairperson Pat Walker said it was key that museums changed with the times.

“You have to constantly update them, you can’t leave them as dusty old relics,” she said.

“When people come to a museum they want to have hands-on interaction, particularly young people. They’re looking for clean presentation.”

Ms Walker says it’s ‘definitely’ the direction she wants to take the museum over the coming years.

“Since the surgery was built over the road there has been a lot more traffic along here. Before you used to get a dozen people a day, now you get a dozen people almost every half an hour,” she said.

“We’re trying to encourage those people to come through our gate, so we’re working on beautifying the front of the homestead.” 

Currently the Homestead Committee are collaborating with other community groups including the Whyalla Family History Group, who have taken temporary residence in their tramway carriage.

They have also had meetings with the Whyalla Men’s Shed to discuss projects they could collaborate on.

A Friends of the Mount Laura Homestead group is also being formed.