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Australia’s first inland European Settlement, Bathurst celebrates 200 years

May 6, 2015 Destination Global No Comments Email Email

On May 7, 2015 Bathurst, Australia’s first inland European settlement will celebrate its bicentenary.

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Governor Lachlan Macquarie first raised the Union Jack on the banks of the Macquarie River on 7 May 1815 proclaiming the settlement of Bathurst.  Macquarie’s modern day counterpart, His Excellency General, The Honourable David Hurley, Governor of New South Wales The AC DSC (Ret’d) will be in Bathurst to celebrate with the city.

200 years ago, explorers crossed the rugged sandstone curtain of the Blue Mountains and saw what was to become the gateway to inland Australia.

Bathurst is now a vibrant, sophisticated regional city with plenty to celebrate in 2015.

A focus of the bicentenary celebrations is Bathurst’s annual Heritage Week which commences this Sunday May 3 with a huge program of events, tours, exhibitions highlighting Bathurst’s unique heritage and for the first time ever an outdoor illumination and street festival.

The reinstating of the Flag Staff, a colonial fair and the inaugural Bathurst Macquarie Heritage Medal Dinner will mark the official anniversary on Thursday 7 May.

Mayor of Bathurst, Cr. Gary Rush said celebrating 200 years is an opportunity to bring people together and reflect on the city’s achievements.

“As we re-tell our shared history, honour our unique heritage and showcase our story to the nation, we can celebrate, be proud of our achievements and create an exciting future together”.

The official reinstatement of the Macquarie Flag Staff a memorial and tourism precinct being jointly funded by Bathurst Regional Council, the Australian Government and the NSW Government will be unveiled on Thursday May 7 followed by a colonial fair on the banks for the Macquarie River.

“The Flag Staff has been designed to tell the story of our shared history, of the original custodians of the land, the Wiradyuri, the proclamation of the settlement of Bathurst by Governor Lachlan Macquarie on 7 May 1815, and the evolution of Bathurst into the city we have today,” Cr Rush added.

His Excellency General, The Honourable David Hurley, Governor of New South Wales The AC DSC (Ret’d) and Mrs Hurley, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, the Honourable Warren Truss MP are official guests joined by local Wiradyuri elders and various community leaders at this historic event.

Bathurst is staking its claim on history and heritage in awarding the inaugural Bathurst Macquarie Heritage Medal, funded by Bathurst Regional Council. The annual $25,000 award will recognise the significant contribution of an individual to enhancing the value of Australia’s heritage.

The nominees were put forward from some of Australia’s leading heritage and cultural management organisations represented on the judging panel by; Frank Howarth, Australian Museum; Ian Carroll National Trust of Australia (NSW); Richard Dinham, Australian Institute of Architects, Professor Andrew Vann, Universities Australia;  Iain McPherson, National Trust Bathurst; and the Mayor of Bathurst Cr Gary Rush.

The Bathurst Macquarie Heritage Medal will be presented in Bathurst on Thursday May 7 at a dinner at The Carrington, Keppel Street, at 7pm.

The city will celebrate its birthday with a vivid style illumination festival on the Saturday evening.

See Bathurst in a whole new light on Saturday 9 May with a vibrant and modern night festival ‘Illuminate Bathurst’.

Experience a unique re-telling of its history through a series of digital projections, lights and music on central buildings in the Town Square, along with food, wine and entertainment into the evening.

With over 150 events and activities on the Bathurst200 calendar, there is something for everyone to enjoy. A full program of events is at

Bathurst is home to over 40,000 people, and while many people know it for its university and car-racing on Mount Panorama, there is so much more to see and do. Bathurst has world-renowned museums like the Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum, Bathurst Regional Art Gallery, National Motor Racing Museum and heritage homes like Chifley Home (home of Prime Minister Ben Chifley) and Abercrombie House (home of Bathurst’s 2015 Citizen of the Year, Christopher Morgan and his family).

Interview opportunities – Mayor of Bathurst Councillor Gary Rush, Illuminate Bathurst Festival developers, Sarah Barns, ESEM projects, Wiradyuri Elder, Dinawan Dyirribang, Bathurst Citizen of the Year and owner of historic castle, Abercrombie House, Christopher Morgan

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