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Blue Plaques NSW

The Blue Plaques program aims to capture public interest and fascination in people, events and places that are important to the stories of NSW.

The Blue Plaques program celebrates NSW heritage by recognising noteworthy people and events from our state’s history.

It is inspired by the famous London Blue Plaques program run by English Heritage which originally started in 1866, and similar programs around the world.

About the program

“Behind every plaque, there is a story.”

The Blue Plaques tell stories that are interesting, fun, quirky along with more sombre stories that should be not be forgotten as part of our history. A unique digital story will be linked to each plaque.

17 Blue Plaques have been announced

On 18 April 2022 Heritage Minister James Griffin MP announced 17 Blue Plaques. These plaques were selected from over 750 nominations received in November 2021 from community members, organisations and local councils.

The 17 plaques will be installed across NSW in the second half of 2022 after further consultation with property owners and communities, historical research and story writing.

Subject

Recognition

Arthur Bryant Triggs

Pastoralist, philanthropist and collector

Bessie Robinson

Landowner, developer, hotelier and educator

Betro Abicare

Migrant and builder who contributed to the town’s commercial centre

Brett Whiteley

Australian artist

Camden Red Cross patriotic wartime sewing circles

Voluntary patriotic activities during WW1 and WW2

Dr Charles Perkins

Aboriginal rights activist

David Lennox

Colonial engineer and master stonemason

Duke Kahanamoku

Competition swimmer who popularised surfing in Australia

Ethel Turner

Australian novelist

Father Dunlea

Visionary and founder of Australia's original Boys' Town

John Sulman and Bishop Sydney Linton

An innovative architect and Anglican Bishop

Joseph Laurie

Timber industry pioneer

June Bronhill (June Mary Gough)

Musical theatre actress

Little Company of Mary Sisters

Established a hospital in regional NSW

Dr Mark Lidwill

Medical innovation

Nancy Bird Walton

First Australian woman to fly commercially

Thomas Leech

Civil engineer who worked on the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme

This is in addition to the first four plaques announced at the launch of the program in June 2021, which will also be installed in the second half of 2022:

Subject

Recognition

Caroline Chisholm

Advocate for women and immigrant families

May Gibbs

Author and illustrator of children’s books

Sir Edward Hallstrom

Inventor, businessman and philanthropist

Walter Liberty Vernon

NSW Government Architect

The eligibility criteria for these nominations are outlined in the guidelines .  

There will be another opportunity to nominate Blue Plaques later this year

If you have ideas for Blue Plaques, we encourage you start talking to others in your neighbourhood and community about:

  • who are the colourful, creative, innovative people who shaped your region?
  • what are the stories that the people of NSW should hear?
  • what important historical moments happened in your local area?
  • what is the interesting backstory about the person, group or event relating to the plaque?
  • where could the plaque be placed? (must be a publicly visible and safe position)
  • who else do you need to consult about telling the story?
  • whose permission would you need to install a plaque at that location?
  • is the building or structure heritage listed? (Check here. The place does not need to be heritage-listed. However, if it is, heritage approvals may be needed to install the plaque). 

Please email us to join the mailing list if you would like to receive a notification when nominations open. 

More information

The Blue Plaques program is part of a $5 million heritage engagement program funded by the NSW Government, announced in June 2021. Heritage NSW administers this program. 

If you have any enquiries or wish to join the mailing list, contact us at Heritage.BluePlaques@environment.nsw.gov.au