Gawler Thematic History - Introduction

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Fast Facts
Type of thing Government
Date made or found 2020



A broad, yet succinct, overarching thematic history of Gawler was prepared by Hignett & Co Architects and Planners as part of the Gawler Heritage Study Stage 1 process in 1981. While that history was divided into chronological phases, it was not modelled on the now commonly accepted National Australian Historic Theme Framework. Much of that historical information has been incorporated and is acknowledged in the preparation and drafting of this review.

The Framework was developed in 1998 and provides links between the different regional stories in Australia’s history and the heritage places which help to illustrate, or demonstrate, that history. The framework also recognises that State and Local historic themes have also developed in parallel. It deals only with historic values, although it recognises that natural, social, scientific and aesthetic values may also reside in a place.

In summary, the thematic framework; • provides a vital structured approach to local heritage survey work; • guides both the survey work itself, as well as inform the assessment of values of individual places as well as groups of places arising from a survey; • helps with understanding the specific history of places in a wider context, relating that specific history to broader historical themes in the local area, including whether such themes are more or less important, with many or few places related to the theme, and provide clues to the relative importance of specific places; and • provides a safety net to ensure consideration of important themes which are not always obvious amongst the readily-found and most obvious population of heritage places.

This commissioned Thematic History of the Town of Gawler takes the relevant sub-groups of The Framework and explores how they relate to the Local historical context and identifies how that has shaped the physical environment which exists today.

The following tasks have been undertaken in order to prepare the Thematic History of the Town of Gawler;

• Review the existing Thematic History as prepared for the Gawler Heritage Study Stage 1 • Source and review other published histories on the development of the Town of Gawler; • Prepare a revised brief thematic history of the Town of Gawler.

It is important to understand that this Thematic History is not a complete chronological history which records the development of Gawler since its establishment. Further, the aboriginal history of the Town of Gawler municipal area does not form part of this brief thematic history.

Study Area The study area covers the whole of the Town of Gawler municipal area, including the suburbs of Bibaringa (5118) (part; shared with City of Playford); Evanston (5116); Evanston Gardens (5116); Evanston Park (5116) (part; shared with City of Playford); Evanston South (5116) Gawler (5118) Gawler East (5118) Gawler South (5118).


This report has been prepared by the following people:

• Nancy Cromar (Flightpath Architects)

• Deborah Morgan (Flightpath Architects)

• Kate Paterson (Flightpath Architects)

• Douglas Alexander (Flightpath Architects)

The study team would like to acknowledge the assistance of the following people:

• David Petruzzella (Strategic Planner; Town of Gawler)

• Jacinta Weiss (Cultural Heritage Centre Coordinator; Town of Gawler)

• Jane Strange (Senior Development and Strategic Policy Officer; Town of Gawler)

Gawler History Team thanks Flightpath Architects, Ryan Viney and the Town of Gawler for allowing us access to this important document of Gawler History.


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