IAN TREVOR SINNAMON
Architect, academic, heritage and social activist
Born: 6 January 1935, Toowoomba
Died: 17 December 2017, Brisbane
Ian Sinnamon will be remembered for his outstanding contributions to architectural education and heritage conservation in Queensland. An empathetic man with wide-ranging interests and accomplishments, he had a crucial influence on the careers of many of his former students. Increasingly committed in recent years to conservation of the built environment, he was an active member of the Queensland Heritage Council at the time of his death.
Ian was the second of four children of Cecil Norman (Cec) Sinnamon, a member of a pioneering family of Oxley, Brisbane, and his wife Eleanor (Nell), née Grant. Ian spent his early years in Toowoomba, where his father was a pharmacist, until he and his family moved to Brisbane in the late 1930s, his father retraining in medicine and becoming a well-known family doctor at St Lucia. Ian attended Ironsides State School before completing his education at the Brisbane Grammar School (1948–51). At this early stage he set his future course, joining the Australian Labor Party, of which he remained a life-long member, and deciding to study architecture. To matriculate in architecture he had to take art as an extra subject at the Central Technical College, as Brisbane Grammar—like most boys’ schools at that time—did not teach art.
In 1952 Ian enrolled in a six-year Architecture degree course at the University of Queensland, working part-time in his final years for architects including Prangley & Crofts. Upon graduating in late 1958, Ian won the Architecture Department’s thesis prize for his dissertation ‘Colour in architecture’ and also an Italian Government scholarship for postgraduate study at the University of Rome. After working briefly in Rome and London, he returned to Brisbane in 1960 and later entered partnership with the English-trained architect John Hitch. His best known work of this time was the refined Victorian Government Tourist Bureau in Queen St (1962), but the Hitch & Sinnamon practice was short-lived with Hitch soon moving to Melbourne. At this time Ian and his growing family settled in a worker’s cottage (built in 1891) situated above a well-forested gully at Red Hill; his admiration for both vernacular buildings and native vegetation never waned.
Following Hitch’s example, Ian began part-time teaching in the University of Queensland’s Architecture Department before becoming a full-time lecturer in 1963. Now committed to academia, he completed a B. Arch. Honours thesis on ‘The social context of architecture’ in 1966, and in 1970 a BA degree, studies that would lead to the incorporation of social sciences into the Department’s curriculum. Ian was also its social conscience. Discretely supportive of student protest at a time of political unrest in Queensland, he encouraged and protected those with more varied interests than just architecture. While producing better-informed architects, he nurtured the careers of some who became successful practitioners in the fields of theatre, photography, graphics, film, art, even politics. He strongly supported the Department’s involvement in Indigenous studies, being closely associated with Paul Memmott of the Aboriginal Data Archive.
As well, he was instrumental in changing teaching from set lectures and critiques to active student participation via oral and written presentations. He served as the Department’s Head from 1981 to 1985. Beyond the University he was closely associated with the Brisbane Independent School from its inception.
By then, Ian was already committed to heritage conservation. He served on the National Trust of Queensland’s Listings Committee in 1972–84 and in 1979 established the Trust’s Conservation and Restoration Committee. Also that year he stood in front of bulldozers at the demolition of Brisbane’s Bellevue Hotel. Joining ICOMOS in 1978, he attended its conference in Moscow while on study leave, and undertook a short, post-graduate course in the conservation of historic buildings at the University of York. Back home, he became an inaugural member of the Brisbane City Council’s heritage advisory committee established in 1981, and of a similar group formed in Ipswich eight years later. From 1988 he served on the Heritage Advisory Committee of the Ahern and later Goss Governments; he was also a member of the Green Paper Committee for Heritage Legislation which led to the establishment of the Queensland Heritage Council in 1992. Ian served for many years on the Council’s Heritage Register Assessment Committee before becoming, in 2017, a valued member of the Council itself. His final heritage projects included the conservation of St Mary’s Catholic Church, South Brisbane and being instrumental in the Heritage Council’s response to development proposals such as Queens Wharf Brisbane and the Herston Quarter development.
Ian also taught architectural history and sponsored pioneering local research while undertaking many heritage studies himself and providing advice on heritage matters. His four-volume Ipswich Heritage Study (with Satterthwaite et al, 1992) is a model for such work in Queensland and continues to guide the city’s planning. Besides teaching history, Ian became the Architecture Department’s in-house historian, compiling its history and discussing the challenges of architectural education for its fiftieth anniversary in 1987. He also wrote entries for the Australian Dictionary of Biography on distinguished former staff: the inaugural professor, Robert Percy Cummings, and the Austrian émigré Karl Langer, a long-time lecturer in town planning, for whom Ian had special regard.
On hearing of Ian Sinnamon’s sudden death at the age of 83, many former students and colleagues spoke of the inspiration he had provided: he was a father-figure, even a hero. While some could not recall specific instances of his influence, others pointed to particular lectures or wry comments, and most regretted that he had not left behind more publications because he wrote beautifully. He was tolerant and modest, yet no less influential than some of his better-known successors. In his retirement from the University, Ian professed a growing deafness and memory loss, but he seemed to hear and accurately recall whatever he needed while excluding the rest.
Although he was humble and modest Ian Sinnamon had an influence on heritage conservation policy and practice that is immeasurable. Peter Marquis-Kyle, one of the authors of the Illustrated Burra Charter, remembers first hearing the aphorism “do as much as necessary but as little as possible” in a lecture Ian Sinnamon gave in the 1980s. Marquis-Kyle used this phrase in 1992 in the first edition of the Illustrated Burra Charter and it was later brought into the text of the charter itself—in the current (2013) version it is in article 3.1. This phrase is part of the heritage conservation lexicon and a mantra by which Ian Sinnamon lived.
Don Watson and Judith McKay
Australia ICOMOS offers its deepest condolences to Ian’s family, friends and colleagues.
2. [NEW ITEM] “Liberalism and the Built Environment – Then and Now” conference, Brisbane, 17-18 May 2018: call for papers
Liberalism and the Built Environment – Then and Now
University of Queensland, Brisbane
17-18 May 2018
Conference convenors: Janina Gosseye, Helena Mattsson, John Macarthur, Deborah van der Plaat
This conference seeks to explore how concepts of freedom and liberal political and economic theories have intersected with architecture and the built environment from the 19th century to the present day. The popular reaction against ‘neoliberalism’ understood as an economic structure has reignited academic debate as to whether architecture, bound up as it is in real estate speculation and the financing of building, has a capacity for critique. The present socio-political circumstances of architecture, however, ought to be understood in the longer and more varied history of liberalism and architecture’s imbrication with political and economic thought on freedom and the subjects of freedom. We seek contributions that might address, but need not be limited to:
- 19th century constructions of citizenship in civic institutions
- colonialism, anti-colonialism and cosmopolitanism in the 19th and 20th century
- social liberalism of the early 20th century and critiques of utopianism
- the positive freedoms sought by substantive liberals in the welfare state
- the return of classical economic liberalism and its relation with postmodernism
- the role of cultural policy, cultural industries and governmentality in the liberal state
- the relation of theories of the aesthetic autonomy of art to personal freedom
- the biopolitics of urban and architectural conditions and projects
This conference is hosted by the Architecture Criticism Theory and History (ATCH) Centre at the University of Queensland, and seeks contributions from both inside and outside the discipline of architecture. We seek papers of 20 minutes length, proposals for panel discussions, and scholars interested in active involvement as respondents and chairs.
Abstract of no more than 300 words should be submitted by email, with subject line: ‘liberalism_abstract_surname’
Submission deadline: 5 February 2018
Notification of acceptance: 5 March 2018
For more information, visit the Architecture Criticism Theory and History Centre website.
Event registrations are still open for inclusion in the 2018 Australian Heritage Festival. The Australian Heritage Festival is Australia’s biggest annual community-driven heritage festival. It is comprised of events from across Australia organised by local community and heritage groups, local councils, individuals and other organisations as well as National Trust properties and Branches. The National Trust in each state coordinates the registration of Festival events, promoting the program to a wide audience with interest in cultural heritage. The Festival begins annually on 18 April, the International Day for Monuments and Sites, and in 2018 will draw to a close on 20 May.
This year we are focusing on what makes a place special, encouraging us all to embrace the future by sharing the strengths of our cultural identities. The 2018 Australian Heritage Festival theme is My Culture, My Story, celebrating the diversity of cultures that have shaped our shared heritage. The Festival is an opportunity to reflect on the places where we live, work, and travel, and why they are special, celebrating our many diverse and distinctive cultures. We call on communities to treasure their local cultural heritage by telling their stories and celebrating their traditions, including storytelling, music, food, dance, traditional games, and crafts. What are the cultures of your region, and how are they celebrated? What are the stories of your community? Do you know an untold story that should be shared? What is the role of new generations in celebrating and protecting our heritage?
Event registration deadlines differ from state to state. Online registrations end at the close of March 2018 but a couple of states have a printed brochure and therefore earlier deadlines:
Tasmania: 31st January 2018
Deadlines for the Victoria and Western Australian printed programs have already passed.
For more on the festival in each state and to register your events visit the Australian Heritage Festival website.
We are pleased to announce the Call for Papers for the Eleventh International Conference on the Inclusive Museum, to be held on 6–8 September 2018 at the University of Granada in Granada, Spain.
Founded in 2008, the International Conference on the Inclusive Museum brings together a community of museum practitioners, researchers, and thinkers. The key question addressed by the conference: How can the institution of the museum become more inclusive? In this time of fundamental social change, what is the role of the museum, both as a creature of that change, and perhaps also as an agent of change?
We invite proposals for paper presentations, workshops/interactive sessions, posters/exhibits, colloquia, innovation showcases, virtual posters, or virtual lightning talks. The conference features research addressing the annual themes.
Submit your proposal by 6 February 2018
We welcome the submission of proposals to the conference at any time of the year before the final submission deadline. All proposals will be reviewed within two to four weeks of submission.
For more information, visit the conference website.
The Heritage Council of Victoria is inviting all heritage advisors and consultants, strategic and statutory planners to its Local Government Forum on 23 February. The forum’s theme is Celebrating Heritage Differently – The Heritage Journey beyond protection. Hear from experts and colleagues on heritage issues and learn about ways to help communities celebrate their heritage. The day-long forum will inform heritage professionals of new initiatives and highlight models for best practice to ensure the successful management of state and local heritage assets for the people of Victoria. The forum also provides an opportunity for sharing information, networking with colleagues and provides professional development for local government staff and heritage advisors.
DATE: Friday 23 February 2018
LOCATION: Aurecon Training Rooms, Level 5, 850 Collins Street, Docklands
BOOKINGS: Are essential. If you are a heritage advisor, local government planner or heritage officer please register via email
The full forum program will be available shortly on the Heritage Council website.
The community of Queensland is invited each year to participate in the National Trust Queensland Heritage Awards. Nominations for the 2018 National Trust Queensland Heritage Awards are now open.
Each year, the National Trust of Australia (Queensland) awards outstanding projects and people that demonstrate excellence in the protection, conservation and celebration of Queensland’s environmental, built and cultural heritage. The National Trust annual Queensland Heritage Awards are a prestigious acknowledgment of the quality of heritage work that is carried out across the State. The Awards seek to showcase the entrants and promote best practice, encourage innovation and collaboration, and celebrate the diversity of heritage places in Queensland.
Individuals, local governments, community groups and businesses are invited to nominate their project or a person for the 2018 awards. Nominations can be made across four Categories of work. In addition, there are three Achievement categories.
The Awards will be presented at a premier function to be held in late May 2018 as part of the 2018 Australian Heritage Festival.
Nominations must be lodged by Thursday 8 March 2018, at 4pm.
For more information, visit the National Trust website.
7. [NEW ITEM] 8th International Conference on Building Resilience, Lisbon, 7-9 November 2018 – call for abstracts
The call for abstracts for the 8th International Conference on Building Resilience is now open. ICOMOS-ICORP (the International Committee on Risk Preparedness) is an associate partner of the conference, along with UNISDR (United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction) and a number of universities and research centres from around the world that specialise in resilience and disaster and emergency management.
The theme of the conference is Risk and Resilience in practice: Vulnerabilities, Displaced People, Local Communities and Heritages. This places cultural heritage within the global context of disaster risk reduction and provides an opportunity for heritage to be brought into the mainstream. It also provides an opportunity for heritage professionals to discuss many of the issues that we have identified managing risks for cultural heritage as well as the role of heritage in contributing to resilience building with a non-heritage audience.
There is a broad range of tracks proposed for the conference, which are aligned with the four priorities for action set out in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction:
Priority 1: Understanding disaster risk
Priority 2: Strengthening disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk
Priority 3: Investing in disaster risk reduction for resilience
Priority 4: Enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response, and to “Build Back Better” in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction
Several of the tracks are expressly related to heritage, although, as heritage is part of the main theme for the conference, it would also be possible to address heritage within the other tracks offered even though they are not specifically related to heritage.
ICORP members are co-chairing two tracks:
- 4C – Risk and resilience issues of the architectural heritage: documentation, conservation, restoration and recovery
- 4F – The Role of Heritage in Reducing Risks, Building Resilience, Sustaining Culture and Enabling Recovery and Healing
For more general information about the conference, visit the conference website.
Abstract submission closes 4 March 2018.
Old Cities, New Challenges – Urban Conservation in Southeast Asia
29 September – 6 October 2018
The Getty Conservation Institute is pleased to announce, Old Cities, New Challenges 2018 (OCNC18), the first in a new series of courses for urban conservation in Southeast Asia presented in collaboration with Think City.
OCNC18’s primary objective is to improve urban conservation practices in Southeast Asian cities by providing participants with a fuller understanding of conservation methodologies and effective, practical tools and techniques for the conservation of historic places in urban contexts. The curriculum for this course derives, in part, from the GCI’s previous courses in the region.
This course is only open to people in the ASEAN countries. It is not intended for postgraduate students, but will focus on people currently challenged by urban conservation in their city or town. Australia ICOMOS members may know of people/or organisations that they are linked to in the region, which might benefit from this course.
The course will be highly interactive – formal presentations will be complemented by group discussions and exercises at historic sites in Penang. A values-based approach to heritage conservation will be emphasised. Participants will share their experiences regarding heritage conservation challenges in their respective cities.
Topics to be addressed include:
- Examination of international approaches, including Historic Urban Landscape (HUL)
- Documentation of tangible and intangible heritage assets, including cultural mapping
- Defining cultural significance of historic places, resulting in a statement of significance
- Heritage economics, related to cultural capital and sustainability
- Infill development in historic areas
- Goals, strategies and components of an urban conservation plan, resulting in participants’ drafting a plan for a specific site
The fee for this course is RM 3000 (approximately US$ 700), which includes eight night’s hotel accommodations in Penang, training materials, lunches and several dinners. A limited number of scholarships will be available to participants who need financial assistance. An optional, two-day post-course field trip will also be offered for an additional fee.
More information is available on the Getty Conservation Institute website.
Note that applications close on 15 April 2018.
The School of Housing, Building and Planning (HBP) at the Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Penang is organising a summer programme called HBP Summer Programme 2018, focusing on the Conservation of Tangible and Intangible of Cultural Heritage of George Town UNESCO World Heritage Site (WHS), from 30 July till 9 August 2018 in Penang, Malaysia.
The aim of the Programme is to provide an understanding of cultural heritage conservation as expressed through an interdisciplinary built environment lens. It is open to all who have passions in heritage, including students, lecturers, architects, town planners, conservators, government officers, project managers, tour guides, building owners, heritage lovers etc.
Apart from workshops and lectures, the programme structure also includes Penang Natural Parks adventures, Turtle Conservation experience, World Heritage Site explore race and Penang City Tour excursions.
For more information, visit the Universiti Sains Malaysia website.
Registrations close 15 May 2018.
Submissions are now being accepted for the 2018 Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation.
This year’s awards cycle will mark the launch of a three-year partnership with Think City, a Malaysian urban renewal body that will support the programme and host the annual Awards Jury meeting in Penang, Malaysia.
The UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation celebrate exemplary efforts by individuals and organisations to restore or conserve structures, places and properties of heritage value in the region. Winning projects demonstrate a thorough understanding of the place, sound technical achievement and significant social and policy impact.
The deadline for receipt of materials is 15 May 2018.
For more information, visit the UNESCO Bangkok website.
Nominations are now open for places of outstanding natural, Indigenous or historic significance to the nation for possible inclusion on our National Heritage List.
Nominations are open until 26 February 2018 and will be considered by the Australian Heritage Council before a final list of places to be assessed in 2018-19 is developed. As part of that assessment process, there will be further opportunities for public comment on each proposed listing.
Nominations of natural, Indigenous and historic places with significant heritage value for possible Commonwealth heritage listing are also being sought.
12. [NEW ITEM] Urban Jewish Heritage: Presence and Absence conference, Poland, 3-7 September 2018 – call for papers
Urban Jewish Heritage: Presence and Absence
3-7 September 2018
Call for Papers – deadline: 9 April 2018
Over the centuries, cities across Europe and around the world have been impacted by their Jewish communities; as places of both presence and absence. Being held as part of the European Year of Cultural Heritage, this Conference is dedicated to addressing Urban Jewish Heritage and the multi-layered issues it faces. From tourism and sustainability to conservation and representation, the Conference will bring together academics, planners, policy makers and community leaders to examine the pasts, presents and futures for cities with Jewish Heritage.
Organised by the Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage and the Foundation for Jewish Heritage, in association with the City of Krakow and Villa Decius Association, we invite abstracts of 300 words to be submitted as soon as possible but at the latest by 9 April 2018.
Visit the conference website for more details.
13. [NEW ITEM] ISC Shared Built Heritage Study Tour and Symposium to West Bengal – a memorable journey
Our Indian colleagues took us to an amazing combination of places, tangible sites and intangible events. A brief list is outlined below – though this doesn’t do justice to the content and experiences that were shared by the participants:
- symposia in 3 locations with Indian and ICOMOS colleagues, owners, and local communities
- French, Danish and other colonial settlements along the Hoogly River
- Ilef’s too numerous anecdotes, storytelling, street breakfast and his walking tour of Old Calcutta’s towns
- South Kolkata Art Deco precinct
- the International Murshidabad Resurgence Festival, local dancing and firework-flags display on the river
- Silk Rivers Project (Hoogly and Thames) launched by the British Deputy Consult in Kolkata
- ‘New York meets Kolkata’ jazz at the US Consulate in Kolkata
- Kolkata jute factory and nearby eatable garden
- North Calcutta walk and workshop with locals in former ‘black town’ about the conservation of their homes
- the Scottish Cemetery restoration project as rare open space in a poorer area and being greeted by the local women and children
- India Botanical Garden and plans for restoring Roxburgh House c1794
- tours of the noble families’ homes Wasif Manzil, Hazarduari Palace, Katra Masjid, Kathgola Palace and Cossimbazar Rajbari
- sumptuous lunches in Murshidabad
- and so much more during a very full 7 days
For a taste of the Kalcutta sights alone, see the photo compilation by Siddhanjan Ray Chaudhuri from ICOMOS India
Members of the India National Scientific Committee for Shared Built Heritage and our tour guides were Kamalika Bose and Aiswarya Tipnis. Recognition of Aiswarya’s conservation work of the French settlement can be found at this link.
Readers may also like to read this article about Art Deco architecture in Kolkata.
Delgates came from Australia, Britain, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Malaysia, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Trinidad & Tobago. A sample of their photographs can be viewed here: West Bengal participants photo contributions.
The ICOMOS 20th Triennial General Assembly will be held in Sydney in October 2020 with the theme of ‘shared cultures – shared heritage – shared responsibility’. ISC SBH is keen to use the opportunity provided by the General Assembly to showcase Australian SBH. In the period ahead, articles about Australian SBH will be uploaded to the ISC SBH website. Australia ICOMOS has indicated that opportunities will be provided for Australia ICOMOS members to participate in a range of activities in the lead up to, and during the General Assembly.
Vice President, ISC SBH (International Scientific Committee on Shared Built Heritage)
To download the latest Federation of Australian Historical Societies newsletter, click here.
To read the latest Cambridge Heritage Research bulletins, click on the following links.
- Cambridge Heritage Research bulletin_1 January 2018
- Cambridge Heritage Research bulletin_15 January 2018
The Heritage Council and City of Greater Geraldton invite enquiries and registration of interest in a regional conference focusing on ‘Sacred Heritage’, to be held in Geraldton on 12-13 April 2018.
Further information and contact details are available from the WA State Heritage website.
Event registrations are open now for South Australia’s History Festival 2018. If you’re thinking about presenting an event for next year’s Festival, head to the South Australia History Festival website.
Earlybird registrations close: Friday 2 February 2018
Standard registrations close: Tuesday 13 February 2018
The History Festival is an annual celebration of history in South Australia. Each May South Australians explore history through hundreds of events which range from talks to tours; walks to workshops; exhibitions to special events.
Who can get involved?
The History Festival is a community festival, which means anyone can present an event. In 2017, there were more than 600 events presented by 350+ different event organisers all around South Australia. The essential criteria to keep in mind are: all History Festival events must take place in South Australia, they must have a connection to history and must be open to the public.
Open Doors: Built Heritage Weekend
To mark the 15th anniversary of South Australia’s History Festival, we are planning a special weekend focusing on our buildings and architectural history. This Open Doors program will launch the Festival on 28 and 29 April, when buildings all around the state will throw open their doors and invite people to discover more about what goes on behind the scenes.
Open Doors events will include all sorts of activities to helps visitors learn something about the building’s history or current use. This may include tours, talks, children’s activities, displays or handouts. Open Doors events will be listed separately in the front pages of the printed History Festival program as well as in the regional listings and on a dedicated page on the website.
Please note: built heritage and architectural history events can also be held any time in May as part of the History Festival program.
The Bathurst Macquarie Heritage Medal is a prestigious annually awarded prize acknowledging the significant contribution of an individual to the protection, promotion and enhancement of Australia’s heritage, where heritage refers to natural, built, social or cultural heritage.
The nomination and selection process and the award ceremony for the Bathurst Macquarie Heritage Medal focus national attention on the important role heritage plays in shaping our cultural identity in a national and international context.
It is through contributions such as those acknowledged by this Award that we continue to uncover the complexities of our past, share our heritage through new mediums, and revitalise our national sense‐of‐self.
Funded by Bathurst Regional Council, the award was instigated in 2015 as a legacy event of the city’s Bicentenary and includes a cash amount of $25,000, the Bathurst Macquarie Heritage Medal and certificate. The award will be presented in Bathurst at the Bathurst Macquarie Heritage Medal Dinner on Saturday May 5 with special guest, the 2017 Bathurst Macquarie Heritage Medal winner, Dr Scott Robertson.
The inaugural award in 2015 was won by Duncan Marshall and in 2016 it was won by Professor Robyn Sloggett AM.
Nominations close 5pm, Friday 23 February 2018.
To review the selection criteria and complete the nomination form go to Bathurst Macquarie Heritage Medal website.
Applications are open for the International Course on the Conservation of Earthen Architecture, organised by the Getty Conservation Institute and Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi. The month-long course is open to mid-career professionals (architects, engineers, conservator-restorers, scientists, etc) working with earthen heritage from the North African, Middle Eastern, and South Asian regions.
The course runs from 28 October – 22 November 2018 in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates and Nizwa, Oman.
Deadline for submission of applications: 1 March 2018.
Expressions of interest (EOI) are being sought from property developers for the redevelopment of a large site in central Alice Springs encompassing three places on the NT Heritage Register: the John Flynn Memorial Church, Adelaide House and the Hartley Street School.
The redevelopment, known as the ‘Meeting Place’, is a cooperative project of the Alice Springs Town Council and the Uniting Church and is being advertised on the Council’s website.
Details of the brief are being kept private and subject to confidentiality agreements.
EOIs close 5PM (ACST) 30 January 2018.
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