THE overwhelming interest in the first opening of the historic Kurrumbede homestead to members of the community in over 100 years has reaffirmed the need for the hidden treasure to remain open to the public.
Whitehaven Coal, who owns the Gunnedah property, best known for its links to great Australian poet Dorothea Mackellar, said it is working on opening the grounds up again to continue its ongoing commitment to honouring the site's heritage and sharing that with the community.
General Manager Community Engagement Andrew Garratt said he hopes Kurrumbede will continue to play an important part in their wider community engagement efforts.
"It was a pretty easy decision to co-host an event like this, and we are thrilled to have been able to welcome more than 1000 people to Kurrumbede for the first time in more than a century," he said.
"Given the success of the day, we'll continue to consider what else might be possible with such a special property in the future."
Also ongoing is a $500,000 upgrade of its gardens, currently running behind schedule due to drought, then heavy rain.
A Conservation Management Plan to guide Whitehaven's ongoing investment in the property in consultation with other stakeholders, including the NSW Office of Heritage, is also in the works.
Regular Kurrumbede open days have been a long-term goal of the Dorothea Mackellar Memorial Society, who partnered with Whitehaven to present the day.
The 6880-acre property was built by the family of Dorothea, whose poem My Country is one of Australia's best known literary works.
Dorothea was a frequent visitor to the property, which was run by her brothers Malcolm and Eric for more than 30 years.
The hut in which champion Olympic swimmer Andrew "Boy" Charlton lived was also open on the day. Charlton worked on the property as a station hand for seven years and trained often in the nearby Namoi River.
The property has been nominated for the State Heritage Register by the Dorothea Mackellar Memorial Society, who is waiting to hear on the outcome.
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