Dried fruit history set to be preserved

Dried fruit history project to preserve historic materials

Horticulture
BACK THEN: Photograph from DFA's collection showing the original method of drying grapes on wooden pallets and hessian (circa 1890s).

BACK THEN: Photograph from DFA's collection showing the original method of drying grapes on wooden pallets and hessian (circa 1890s).

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Dried Fruits Australia has been given money to protect its heritage.

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THE Australian dried fruit industry is looking to preserve more than just fruit with its latest project.

Dried Fruits Australia (DFA) has been awarded a $15,000 local history grant for the second stage of a dried grape industry conservation project.

The three-year project will organise and preserve historic materials that detail the industry's significant contribution to life in northwest Victoria over the past 120 years.

DFA began the project last year after receiving $7,860 funding as part of the 2017-2018 Local History Grants Program.

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Chief executive officer, Anne Mansell said the continued state government funding would ensure future generations could appreciate and understand the dried fruit industry's impressive history.

"The materials have been assessed by Melbourne University's Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation, and we can now engage an archivist to survey the collection and rehouse it appropriately," Ms Mansell said.

"Many of the books, articles and photos in the collection date back to the early days of the dried fruits industry in Sunraysia, and it is important that the community is able to reflect on its contribution to the region and the Australian economy."

Special Minister of State, Gavin Jennings, said the Local History Grants Program provided small grants to community organisations to support projects that preserve, record or publish Victorian local history.

"The Local History Grants Program is all about helping dedicated community organisations do the important job of collecting and preserving Victoria's fascinating history for future generations," he said.

"The broad range of activities being undertaken by these groups shows that our stories can be shared in innovative and accessible ways, for the ultimate benefit of all Victorians."

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