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Young historian awarded.
Owen Briffa accepting his Heritage Award from Minister for Heritage David Templeman and Heritage Council of WA chairman John Cowdell.

Owen recognised in state awards

By Rebecca Peppiatt 

AT 16 years old, a Parkerville history buff has won a coveted state award, fending off competition from peers with many more years of experience for his work celebrating the rich history of Mundaring and surrounds.

Owen Briffa might be the youngest ever winner of the Voluntary Individual Contribution award at the State Heritage Awards, which saw him meet Heritage Council of WA chairman John Cowdell and Minister for Heritage David Templeman at a glitzy ceremony at the Art Gallery of Western Australia last week.

Owen was recognised for his voluntary work as a curator for the Lost Mundaring & Surroundings Local History Museum and the production of two photographic history books featuring pictures from Glen Forrest to Wooroloo.

He was also lauded for a documentary, in which he interviewed and recorded residents about life in the Perth hills.

“I was really humbled to accept the award,” Owen, a year 10 student at Eastern Hills High School, said.

“I was surprised as it was not a category that is specific to that age group.

“I couldn’t believe it.

“I’m still in shock.”

The 2021 WA Heritage Awards, now in its 29th year, recognises outstanding contributions to heritage conservation, promotion, tourism and interpretation.

The coveted Gerry Gauntlet Award went to Farmers Home Hotel in Northam for its multi-million-dollar restoration showcasing adaptive reuse and layering old and new in the hotel’s design and interpretation to provide a unique tourism experience.

The Hotel was also a joint winner with the York Residency Museum for excellence in conservation or adaptive reuse of a heritage building.

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