This speech was made by Ron at an Australian Mining Hall of Fame launch and recruitment function. He addressed supporters of Hundred Heroes, an initiative set up by the Australian Mining Hall of Fame.
Good afternoon friends, thank you for coming today. On behalf of myself, David Reed, and our recently appointed Hall of Fame Chairman, Dick Scallan (who sends his apologies from Kalgoorlie) and our Vice Chairman, Andrew Caulton, I would like to welcome you all. Many of you here tonight are long term supporters of the Hall of Fame. A shining example of this is the ongoing support we received from Macquarie Bank, this evening’s sponsors. We thank them and James Mactier personally for their generosity. Macquarie are one of those supporters who not only have assisted corporately, but also their senior people, such as James have become personal supporters.
Special mention to another two great supporters, Sir Charles Court and Lady Court. Sir Charles, despite having turned 90, is still leading by example having just returned from a busy round of engagements in Taiwan. Thank you Sir Charles and Lady Court for being with us tonight and for leading by example. Talking of distance travelled, we have a couple of prospective life members here tonight from London, Rod Whyte, and from Geneva, Brad Walmsley.
The invitations to today’s launch were issued to you all as well-regarded friends and leading members of the corporate community, and current Hundred Heroes supporters, so you should be the first to hear about our Hundred Heroes fellowship. It has been my privilege to see the Mining Hall of Fame become a reality, and one that is developing and becoming widely identified as a national icon.
Galleries are being developed, designed and constructed to support our commitment to attracting visitors through the gate. As many of you here tonight would know we have enjoyed considerable industry support and that makes our ongoing work possible. Tonight, the Hall of Fame wishes to put back into the community its Hundred Heroes support for education and innovation. As individuals it is rare to be able to promote education – but as a unified group of supporters we are able to promise a fellowship in perpetuity available from this year.
The Mining Hall of Fame has initiated a program that is to be supported by 100 individuals – heroes to us – people who recognise a benefit to developing intellectual property in our industry. So far we have almost 30 of these hundred heroes, and we thank them for their support, some of whom are here this evening.
Now I ask you to start thinking personally as well as corporately. This is a distinctly different project to the physical building in Kalgoorlie. It is an investment in people rather than bricks and mortar and we are asking you all to help us establish this $10,000 annual fellowship in perpetuity. David Reed, our fundraising chairman, will be speaking shortly in greater detail on this matter.
But first, let me briefly comment on the latest developments at the Hall of Fame site. As a director, and former chairman, I continue to be delighted and amazed at the quality and extent of exhibits planned and currently on offer at the Hall of Fame.
Ultimately there will be six galleries fitted out in the Hall of Fame. So far, only two galleries have been completed. They are the Peter Wright Prospecting Gallery and the Mark Creasy Minerals Gallery have been completed. By next month the Law and Money Gallery containing exhibits on Law and Government Perspectives, Investment in Mining, the ASX and Native Title will be opened. This gallery is on the mezzanine level overlooking the Business of Mining Gallery.
Work on the conceptual exhibit designs for this Business of Mining Gallery has begun and we are working closely with major donors such as BHP Billiton, WesTrac Caterpillar, Atlas Copco and Alcoa. The Simon Lee Foundation is supporting a magnificent Chinese Remembrance Garden that is scheduled for completion this year. This garden is a unique undertaking in this rural location and is going to also become a major attraction for visitors to the site.
Design for the Discovery Centre for the children is in full swing with Rio Tinto and the WA Lotteries Commission supporting the full development of this area. Rio Tinto are also supporting the associated services of an Education Officer and education materials to complimented the programmes available on the web site.
All our staff have now moved into their new offices in the Hall of Fame building. The gift shop has been fitted out and is now trading. Our CUB Discovery Café has been operating on a daily basis from the new building for a number of months now. We are also very pleased with the number of functions being held at site, another welcome income stream. And all this in only five months since opening.
We are proud of our achievements and are ensuring that time is being taken to create quality, accurate and credible exhibits that will make our industry proud for many years to come. In doing this we realised many months ago that our original budgets were not going to see the completion of the building and all the galleries. Today with the building finished and cash flows established we have a need to raise another $2 million in donations in the coming year, to secure our future. Should any of you here be interested in supporting an exhibit we would be very pleased to discuss this with you further. Remember your donation, just like the One Hundred Heroes program, is 100 per cent tax deductible..
I‘ll end, by once again thanking our supporters here tonight, you have made this project possible. Also, I am pleased to announce that the Australian Prospectors and Miners Hall of Fame was the recipient of a national award for fundraising excellence – awarded by the Fundraising Institute of Australia in Brisbane two weeks ago. Our congratulations go out to all our volunteers who made this award possible through their commitment and generosity of spirit.
Thanks also to Natalie, Brian and Carolyn. I will also advise you that our Campaign Office is relocating from Perth to Kalgoorlie, so be sure to communicate with Norma Latchford, our wonderful Executive Officer, at the Hall of Fame directly from now on. Ladies and gentlemen thank you for your time this evening. Please stay and let us enjoy your company. In fact, please enjoy each other’s company, as you are truly a remarkable bunch of individuals.