Saturday, August 25, 2018

HP5 How The Cemetery Act of 2002 allowed a Family Crypt to become Rubble

Oatlands, Tasmania

Failure to Act under the Cemetery Act of 2002
Allowed a Crypt to become Rubble

Restoration of the Thomas Jillett Family Crypt

It Took a Mound of Rubble to Connect A Family

A Family Whose Role is to Ensure the Protection of those Graves

Writing this historical account of the Restoration of the Thomas Jillett Family Crypt is for several purposes.
Firstly,  to allow the Jillett Family Members to understand the reasons behind the Historical Research, website, blogs, and other social media resources associated with the bringing together all different members and branches of the Jillett/Bradshaw Family, and to connect cousins who otherwise would have no idea just how they slotted into the extensive family.  It is the reason that the Jillett/Bradshaw Reunion is occurring.
Secondly, to demonstrate to the Premier of Tasmania, and those associated with reviewing the laws associated with Cemeteries, in particular the Cemetery Manager's role in managing and maintaining those memorials and monuments under their care, of the dangers of the role of the Manager.
Thirdly to reveal to the Premier of Tasmania, that the Anglican Church failed totally in their responsibilities under the Cemeteries Act 2002, whereby they failed to ever make contact with any of the family of Thomas or John Jillett, to notify them of the dangerous position that the Family Crypt was during the period that the Act has been in force.
The photos and the evidence show how easy a Monument can be desecrated and turn into rubble.  The photos of 2000, do not appear to show significant damage.  The photos of 2010, clearly show the destruction over a ten year period.


Is this an indication of how cemeteries under the control of a Cemetery Manager will be allowed to deteriorate?  It will take much more thought into the equation to ensure that Tasmania's History is not lost forever.  Shades of St David's in 1926. 

Fourthly to provide a Historical Record of a more contemporary aspect of the lives of Thomas and John Jillett in Oatlands, and in conjunction with the presentation of new name plaques to be erected on the John Jillett Family Crypt, and to be presented to Mayor Tony Bisdee at 4.00 on 5th October 2018, where a small ceremony will take place at the crypt in St Peter's Church Williams Street Oatlands.
Lastly to ensure that St Peter's Cemetery in Oatlands, NEVER is allowed to have a For Sale Sign over the graves of Australia's pioneers.

Kristine Herron

Growing up in Queensland, as kids in the 1950's we learnt very little history about Tasmania, other than some stories about convicts, Queenstown and Zeehan, and the importance of mining and fruit growing that happened in that far off place.

And little else!  My father-in-law Dale Herron, was quite proud of his convict heritage, and while he really could never fit all the family jigsaw pieces together, he had a fair idea of his mother and her sister, and not one inkling or clue about her older or younger brothers.

Unfortunately, even though he and Ethel travelled all over the place, they never went to Tasmania.
Mum was the photographer of the two, she took great photos of half a person!!!  Often as kids we then are influenced by their deeds and actions.

Maree and Randy DeGraw (sister in law and brother in law) visited in early 2003.  Randy' is a fantastic artisan who does wonders with wood, so his interest in the timber and the natural aspects of Tasmania was heightened by his passion about working with wood.

In 2010, we decided to come to Tasmania to have a look, and along the way, we decided to call into Oatlands and see if we could find the family grave.

We found them on 29th April, 2010.  You could say that day changed forever my focus on historical research.

After traipsing around the cemetery, and it has numerous headstones, there was none that indicated Thomas Jillett.  Just before we left, I decided to have a look at one which was surrounded by tape.  There it was, Thomas and Mary Ann Jillett crypt, and it was nothing more than rubble.

A concrete box, balanced precariously on broken concrete base, and with two coffins visible underneath.

After the initial shock came the realisation that it had to be repaired, it was a danger to the public, the coffins were lead lined, what more could go wrong.  So a bit of door knocking, and a visit to a house or two, and we came across Val Hill, and her husband.  Now this was promising, he had a digger.  I remember asking "can you dump some gravel over the hole?'   Quickly I estimated about $2K, that should see a new concrete base and the concrete box looking reasonable, but at least safe.

Then someone mentioned "I think it is Heritage Listed".  All the plans went out the window.  I got phone numbers and contacts, and we had to then leave to go to Evandale to our accommodation.  The only thing that was certain was that the family had to pay to restore this mess.

That night on the ABC there was a story about the restoration of the Callington Mill.  It was another shock, we had seen the dilapidated buildings at the Mill site, and looked at the information at the Historical Centre, but had no idea that there were plans for a multi-million dollar restoration.

Back home, and I began a witch hunt, or should I say a "cash" hunt.  I sent emails to everyone and every Department I could think of, and resourced any place that was offering grants.  During that month, the estimates of the cost of the work rose expediently.  From $2K to $25K.  Then we had to make a decision, do it and wear the cost, or would I be able to find the family to share the cost?  I truly believed the latter.
So we went ahead.

Along the way, I "connected" with many of the people who lived in Oatlands.  On Friday 28th May, 2010 I received a letter from the Department of Environment, in Canberra who suggested that the restoration might be considered under the Historic Sites Programme of Grants.

Overjoyed, but then the fine print.  The application forms were online, but I had to have the whole submission in Canberra by 3.00pm on 31st May, 2010, 3 days time.

That of course was physically impossible, Australia Post are not that reliable.  I rang, and while the prospect of putting together the submission, in the guidelines they suggested, which in many cases were way over anything I had ever dealt with, and explained the situation.  So they allowed me to email the submission by 2.00pm on Monday 31st and to have the package date stamped at the post office before 2.00pm.

Despite all the odds, that submission was sent to them at 2.00pm, and mailed.  How that was achieved is only due to the amazing support I had from people I had never met, who lived in Oatlands, and who were so willing to see another historical project come to fruition, and to preserve another item of history.

The next obstacle to overcome was finding the family.

To this day, I really do not remember how it all fell into place.  How did I find all these people?

Then from one or another, I began to be given all the previous research from different people.  John Jillett in New Zealand, and the family tree, Tony Jillett who could never fit his family into the overall scheme of the family, the John Jillett family, and the research from Joan Jillett. in Oatlands.

The next logical step was a website.  That was one of the most challenging things I have ever undertaken, and totally out of my comfort zone.  All these names of people, and this one married that one, and it just seemed to be forever, and never make much sense, and I would never have questioned the information I was given.

Among the many people I met was Graeme and Jill Salmon.  Along with Steph Burbury, they held so much history about Oatlands, and they cared about the place.  The Mill restoration was now underway, and we planned another visit, particularly for the Mill Opening in October.  Things are as they are, and the opening was delayed for 6 weeks.  So we were the first guests to the Mill, and had a special viewing.

I had no idea how to repay them for their help and assistance, so I did a Jillett Family History Scrapbook, and which is now at the Oatlands Historical Society.

Thomas Jillett Family Crypt

It is unknown when exactly the gravesite of Thomas and Mary Ann Jillett and their three children fell into disrepair.  Possibly far too many years to ago to remember, and the local parishioners attempted to minimise the destruction by placing dirt into the ever-growing hole, and finally by installing a safety barrier.

It was said that bones were discovered, possibly placed there by some daring youngsters but the coffins buried beneath could be seen.

Maintenance of graves located in parish church grounds is the responsibility of the decendants of the deceased, and there are thousands of graves across the land that requires attention.

In the past locating the descendents was very difficult.  With modern technology that task has become a lot easier, however with many old cemeteries being Heritage Listed, the costs involved with the repair can become very expensive.

Each State or council have strict guidelines as to how to undertake restoration of Heritage Listed property.

Unfortunately restoration of many components required to achieve those results, can become quite expensive.

St Peter’s Anglican Church, Oatlands, Tasmania

 Thomas was an important citizen of Oatlands.  He owned many houses and properties in the main street, probably adjacent to the Callington Mill.  It is no wonder then, that he chose a rather impressive grave site for his children, and indeed to erect a monument chest on top of the sandstone plinth.

Local sandstone was sourced at the time from around Lake Dulverton.  Iron fencing was often made from the ballast from ships, or imported from either Melbourne or England.

The crypt under the sandstone would have been accessed by a set of stairs. 

In April 2010, we were holidaying in Tasmania, and stopped at Oatlands just to see where the family has lived and died.

On a cold and windy afternoon they searched nearly every grave in the St Peter’s Anglican Cemetery. 

No grave could be found.  There was however a site surrounded by orange protective tape, and as a last resort, we looked at the names.  It was the one we had been searching for.


What a mess!    The worst site in a well kept cemetery!

I knew that the family would be responsible for repairing the mess.  Lots of questions were asked around the town, and people were so helpful.  We should just put some dirt underneath it and cement the base, we don’t need all that sandstone”, I decided. 

But along the way someone suggested that the site may be Heritage Listed.

Next stop the Council chambers, trying to find who to contact.  Everyone was so helpful, and eventually we knocked on the door of one of the parishioners whose husband had placed the tape.

We then met the grave-digger and discussed with him the possibility of “just removing all the sandstone”, and filling in the hole.  We thought a nominal figure would be required to make such repairs.

Unfortunately 24 hours in Oatlands was just not enough time to carry out any works. 
The holiday ended, and the quest to repair the crypt began.

We left Oatlands, and the following night prior to leaving Tasmania, they by chance, saw a documentary about the restoration and the significance to Tasmanian tourism of the Callington Mill.

I was determined that the crypt would be repaired.  I had no idea how, but when it was discovered that it had been Heritage Listed, I realised that it would then be no easy project,.

Sourcing Funding

For the next three weeks after returning home, I sent copious letters to government departments, organisations and Members of Parliament, trying to secure some sort of funding to help with the cost of restoration. 

On Friday 28th May 2010, a letter was received from Hon. Peter Garrett’s office, the then Minister for the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, advising that there was funding for such a project, available through the Historic Sites Program.  The only problem was that the submission had to be received in Canberra by Monday 31st May, 2010, a very short timeframe!

Thankfully the Department then allowed for the submission to be emailed to them by 3.00pm on Monday, 31st May. Remarkably, and with so much positive support and assistance from members of the local Oatlands community, including, Brad Williams, Heritage Officer of the Southern Midlands Council and Ian Boersma from Heritage Tasmania, the submission was emailed and posted to meet the critical timeframes.

Over a three day period in May 2010, a lot of work was undertaken in order to prepare a submission for the restoration.  Not one thing could have been done without the support and  assistance of Tony Bisdee, Mayor of Oatlands, and Brad Williams, Historical Officer.

Of all aspects of real estate, I had never tackled Heritage Listed Properties, it was a learning experience.

Politics in that time in Australia was quite rocky, and there was no word forthcoming about the submission for many months.  Hopes were dashed!

A Crumbling Memorial to the Children

Thomas and John Jillett buried their children, in the cemetery of  St Peter’s Anglican Church. and they decided to erect a memorial to the children.

However, Thomas apparently chose to build his monument differently and more ornate than the one his brother erected. But with the ravages of time, surviving the harsh elements of the extreme cold weather, and land subsidence, Thomas’s monument deteriorated very badly. 

Parishioners tried their best to secure the crumbling site.  They erected safety fencing around the perimeter, to prevent accidents, and they watched as the sandstone slowly cracked and crumbled.  Panels of ornate fencing disappeared and the “chest” became coated in mould.  The monument had “died”.

Broken sandstone, broken plinths, broken fencing the list just went on and on. 

Discussions were made with a contractor, and it soon became very apparent that the nominal estimated cost had thought had suddenly ballooned!  The cost could be $25,000 or more.

The only way to achieve the restoration was going to be if some co-funding was found.

A second visit to Oatlands in October 2010, to coincide with the opening of the Callington Mill, revealed that the ground had opened more, and that the crypt was in fact on the point of imploding into the open ground beneath.


A desperate call was made to Brad , who came within minutes.  Further discussions with Greg  and it was decided to monitor the imploding.  Rob  agreed to remove the “chest” and it was dismantled and placed in storage until the works could be done.

Meanwhile I continued researching the family, and uncovered some amazing stories.  Relatives that were unknown to each other, and shared stories with each and every one of them.  For some reasons unclear, the family seemed to hold many family secrets and grudges, through modern technology those barriers came down, and I put all the research together in a website to tell the amazing story of the Jilletts and their contribution to Australia. 

Way out of comfort zones, I tackled a website and created the story, of all the characters in the family in a way that told of their life.

The Restoration Begins

January 2011, I received an email, advising we had been successful with the grant!
One day in February 2011, an email arrived from the Historic Sites Funding programme advising that the Jillett Family Crypt Restoration Project had in fact been approved for a grant of $12,500, which was the 50% funding that had been sought.

What an achievement, more so, that the Federal Government had recognised the importance of Thomas Jillett and his family, as an early and important part of Australia’s history.  The project had to be completed by 31st October 2011.

Adverse weather conditions and a lack of competent tradespersons resulted in lengthy delays in trying to commence the project.  Brad’s unfailing dedication and assistance throughout this time was unquestionable. He became frustrated with his inability to get quotes, and finally in desperation, he submitted the Jillett Restoration Project into a tender for other works which was being called by The Southern Midlands Council.

Finally with trepidation, I requested a further six months extension of time from the Historic Sites Program, to do the project, and it was granted.

After receiving notification that the Australian Government had recognised the significant contribution that Thomas Jillett and his family had made to the fabric of early Australian history, I was very fortunate indeed to have the full support from the Mayor Tony Bisdee and the Heritage Officer Southern Midlands Council, Brad Williams.  While not able to contribute in monetary terms the Southern Midlands Council certainly did so in kind.

The help and support from Brad, as the on-site Project Manager was invaluable.  He is very dedicated to his role and very keen to ensure that Heritage projects are carefully restored to preserve their life.   Along the way, we certainly hit some rough patches.  Firstly the project had to be completed within 12 months.  However, we had to request an extension of a further 6 months, as the weather had turned rather nasty, and stonemasons were extremely busy on other works including sandstone that had been flooded, at Port Arthur.  Even getting a firm quote for the work was rather difficult.

After running around Australia via the internet, looking for suppliers of the fencing, I made a decision not to even attempt the one section of fencing that had been stolen.  As usual, to comply with the Heritage Requirements the fencing had to be identical.  It appeared that Thomas had the fence pieces brought from England, and the cost to replace the 11 posts would be around $16K. 

Then Brad arranged it all.  We had a quote, and the works of dismantling the "box" began.  After approval from  Tasmanian Heritage we were permitted to create a solid base for the return of the "box".  Contrary to belief, the box does not contain anything but was more of the custom of the day.  Subsequent photos of the St David's Cemetery in Hobart, revealed many, many such "boxes", prior to their destruction in 1926.

Through this process, Brad was able to secure a quote for the works, and the project got underway.  During this time another of Thomas’s granddaughters, Fiona , who lived in Longford, became involved in the hunt for the restoration of the fencing. Works commenced, and updates were provided once again by Brad who made the day to day decisions.

The replacement fencing became quite an issue, but not unexpected.  After a great deal of research and assistance from ironmongers throughout Australia, a decision was made to not replace the missing 3 metres of fencing, including 11 ornate spearheads.  It seemed that Thomas may have brought the different styles of spear heads out from England.

The cost to replicate the missing spearheads was prohibitive.  Almost $5K just for the moulds, and then around $895 per spearhead, as each one had to be handmade, making it a rather expensive exercise to replace some missing fence panels, and $16,000 that we just did not have.

The project was completed on 10th February, 2012.  The memorial stands proudly on its stone plinths, and the openness allows access for descendants and tourists alike to view the inscriptions and the reasons for the restoration.

The project was the first joint venture restoration done  together with a private family partnership and the Centre for Heritage Projects, a division of the Southern Midlands Council, and should provide other families hope and inspiration that it is possible to undertake such works, even when not residing in Tasmania.

The works were completed in February 2012.  One hundred and fifty years after the deaths of Thomas and Mary Ann's children.

The Restoration of the Thomas Jillett Family Crypt has been the ONLY restoration to have been done in a Heritage Listed Cemetery in Tasmania, something only recently learnt.

The Importance of the Restoration?

The Family Crypt Restoration was vitally important to preserve the crypt, which stands alongside its brother, as a proud monument not only to the seven young children whose remains lie inside, but as a standing memorial to all the young children who died at an early age, and for their families who suffered accordingly.

The crypt was built in 1859, from local sandstone sourced around the area, and from Lake Dulverton.  The sandstone had crumbled, and the ground beneath Thomas's family crypt has sunk due to the extensive drought in the area, the prevailing weather conditions and the ravishes of time.  The lead coffins were visible underneath. 

Rather than complete a temporary repair under the Heritage Tasmania guidelines, we could have done of two things.  Just sit back and do nothing, and let the crypt crumble into the ground beneath, or we could be pro-active and try for a full restoration which would be beneficial not for the remaining family members of Thomas and Mary Jillett, who nearly all live on Mainland Australia, but for the tourists and visitors to both Oatlands and Tasmania, and the descendents of the young children whose gravesites cannot be traced.  We chose to follow the second option.

Hopefully a visit to Oatlands will become a must for tourists, and while they can experience the historical significance of the Mill, it's owners, and their lives, that experience can be completed by viewing the final resting place of one of the town's successful business men, his forefathers and his family.

The completed project now stands as a permanent memorial to the lives of all the young children whose remains are buried in cemeteries throughout Tasmania, and whose headstones and markers, have also decayed over time. 
6937 children under 10 years of age died in Tasmania between 1850 and 1860, an incredible number of deaths. 

No-where was there a memorial to them.  This project changed that.
The Thomas Jillett Family Crypt recognises all those children who died.

The Dedication was carried out in April, 2012.  On rather a cold, damp day but a very rewarding one for all of Thomas and Mary Ann's descendants who braved the conditions to pay their respects to some very brave ancestors.  Many of those family members had never met and it has only been the research for this website that has resulted in cousins meeting others for the very first time.
Family secrets were very guarded in those times. 

On the crypt it indicates that Robert and Elizabeth are buried there.  That is not so.  We have researched and came to the conclusion that they were buried in New Norfolk.

To the family members who gave willingly to help with the costs, to those who came to the dedication, to
Dick Adams who opened the restoration, and sponsored the lunch, to the Southern Midlands Council, to those clever stonemasons who completed the work, and to Brad Williams, a huge thank you.

The project would not have been able to be carried out without the assistance of the grant from the Federal Government, Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, under the Historic Sites Programme.

The descendants of Thomas and Mary Ann Jillett are responsible for the co-payment of $12,500; they would like to express their sincere thanks that the Jillett Restoration Project was selected as a recipient of funding under the Historic Sites Programme.

 Thomas Jillett and his family have been firmly weaved into the fabric of Australia’s history, and the monument also recognises the lives of so many children who are buried in often unmarked graves across Tasmania.  Those children, who suffered horrible illnesses during the mid 1800’s, never, had a chance at life.

The family hope that the restoration adds another dimension to the History Trails of Oatlands. Visitors to the Callington Mill can trace the footsteps of one of the owners, from the Mill precinct with its old houses down to his restored crypt in the St Peters Anglican Cemetery.

Sincere thanks go to Brad Williams, Heritage Officer at Southern Midlands Council, and to the Federal Government, Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, who recognised the importance of Thomas Jillett and his family, through the Historic Sites Programme, and to all those who have assisted with and supported the project,  and who worked on the restoration, and to Hon Dick Adams for his contribution to this dedication ceremony.

 To the people of Oatlands, the Federal and State governments, Dick Adams MHR and Mayor Tony Bisdee your enthusiasm and commitment to recognising the achievements of the Jillett Family to your town, with the restoration of the Callington Mill is very much appreciated.                                         

On a historical note the crypt indicates that Robert Jillett and Elizabeth Jillett are buried within.  That is not the case, as both are buried in the old cemetery in New Norfolk, Robert having died many years before the church and the cemetery in Oatlands were established.


Sent: Monday, 31 May 2010 12:31 PM
To: herronjk
Subject: Jillett family crypt/monument - St Peters Anglican Church and Cemetery, Oatlands [our ref: 06-96-78THC, ID5548, Job # 1446]

To: Ms. Kris Herron
Cc: Mr. historical archaeologist.

Dear Ms. Herron,

I wish to offer my support for your bid to secure funding for the conservation of the Jillett family crypt and monument in the St Peter’s Anglican Church cemetery at Oatlands, Tasmania.

The crypt is surmounted by a monument commonly known as a “chest tomb”, and the substructure of this tomb has in part collapsed into the void of the crypt.  Remedial works are urgently required to prevent irreparable damage to the significant elements of the monument.  I note that the crypt has been cordoned off because of the public safety risk that it poses.

We would anticipate that the conservation works that this project would entail be exempt from the requirement for formal approval from the Tasmanian Heritage Council (THC).  An exemption certificate can be provided upon confirmation of the schedule of conservation works.

I recommend that your funding bid include an allowance for the preparation of a Conservation Management Plan for this monument (consistent with the ICOMOS Burra Charter).  As I see it, such a plan need not be a lengthy or complex document, but rather would be a brief document containing the following:

-        Historical evidence relating to the place (St Peter’s churchyard and the Jillett family crypt).  Much of the information for this can be derived from the THC datasheet for the place.  It is possible that some of the recent research undertaken by Greg may also inform this section.

-        Description of the existing fabric of the crypt and monument.  This section should contain a measured drawing of the monument, with all components numbered; a photographic record, and notes on the existing condition of the crypt and monument.  The description would note the deterioration characteristics and any factors that are apparently causing the decay. 

-        Statement of significance.  A brief statement that explains what is important about this crypt/monument.
-        Constraints and opportunities.  A short list of those factors that pose constraints to the conservation of the place.  Eg: funding, ownership of the cemetery, family interests (ie: stakeholders), those approvals that may be required for different types of work (THC and SMC), funding, and factors contributing to the deterioration of the elements.
-        Policy.  This would set out, in a series of short policy statements, what should be done (or not done) to the place in the short, medium and long term; with the object of conserving the historic cultural heritage values of the place.

Whereas a conservation management plan for a churchyard as a whole might be a document of some 50 to 100 pages in length and cost in the order of $15K to $25K, what I am envisaging is a report of some 5 to 10 pages length which may cost in the order of $1000 to prepare. 
If the funding bid is unsuccessful, Heritage Tasmania would cede the preparation of this report and do the best we can with the provision of advice from our officers and what input Mr. Jackman is prepared to provide in a voluntary capacity. 

At this point in time, although without the benefit of the conservation management plan, I would anticipate that the construction of a concrete ring footing below ground level would be an acceptable solution for ensuring the long term stability of the monument. 

If funding is secured, the schedule of works is thus likely to involve:
-        Prepare conservation management plan.
-        Record existing condition (as per conservation plan point 2).
-        Carefully dismantle components, down to the level where the structure is stable  [involve archaeologist at this stage].
-        Replacement stone (for missing or irrepairably damaged elements) to be carved.
-        Rebuild damaged portions of crypt walls.
-        Construct concrete ring footing to carry superstructure.
-        Re-assemble monument, using lime mortar / putty for jointing (no cement).
-        Repaint: limewash on tomb, inscriptions in oil paint [if this is found to be consistent with the CMP policy].

I wish you success in your bid to secure the necessary funding.

Yours sincerely,

I HERITAGE TASMANIA I 'Protecting Tasmania's Historic Environment'
Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE)

Kris Herron,
127 Long Street,
Point Vernon,
Queensland. 4655.

Dear Kris,
Thank you for your email regarding the life of Thomas Jillett.  His association with the Callington Mill at Oatlands is certainly important, as he introduced the steam plant which breathed new life into the Mill but failed to avoid its closure.
The Mill is presently being re-constructed and I am the community representative on the board of three as well as being a member of “The Friends of the Mill”.  I was appointed by the local Council and the other two board members are firstly the Mayor and secondly a representative of the State Government which provided funding of $1.2 million and that was matched by the Federal Government.  The local Council is also providing in kind, funding of several hundred thousand dollars.  This is a huge project and will lift the tourist numbers to our town to over 100,000, so it will be a noted attraction for many visiting our island.
I support your application for funding to repair the grave of your forbears family vault at St Peters Church of England at Oatlands.  The funding we have received has been carefully budgeted and unfortunately we are unable to provide funds and fear the same result from the church and local council bodies.  Considering Thomas Jillett’s association with the Mill, no doubt many tourists will seek to know more of the Mill story and wander around our beautiful Georgian village and be disappointed when confronted with the fallen stones of the Jillett vault.  I do hope some agency will come to the party with a grant to restore this important site.
Your family will be amongst the guests of honour at the opening of the Callington Mill in October, so will stay in touch by email.
Graeme Salmon.

The Submission for the Grant


Project title: (Please include heritage place name and its location in the title, limiting to 12 words)

            Thomas Jillett Family Vault in St Peters Anglican Church Cemetery Oatlands Tasmania                                                                                                                     


(see page 2 of the Guidelines, “Who can apply”)
The applicant is the individual or organisation that is applying for a National Historic Sites grant.

Legal name of organisation/applicant



3.1 Official contact

The official contact would be the person to sign the Funding Agreement with the Australian Government and be held legally responsible and accountable for it.

NOTE: The official contact must sign this application form in Section 16.CERTIFICATION found at the end of the application form. If there is no signature the application will be considered ineligible.

First Name
Last name
Position within organisation

Work Phone

Mobile Phone

Postal address for official contact/correspondence

Street number and name/PO Box

 Hervey Bay


3.2 Project officer

The project officer will manage the project and be our contact for information about detail or day-to-day aspects of the project. The project officer may be the same person as the official contact.


First name

Last name

Position within organisation

Work Phone


Mobile Phone


Email address

Postal address for project officer

Street number & name/PO Box

   Hervey Bay




4.1 Type of organisation
(Please tick the appropriate circle)
¡ Organisation that is legally incorporated in Australia
¡ State or territory government
¡ Local government
x¡ Private owner/ Crown lease holder
You must attach copies of the organisation’s Constitution, Certificate of Incorporation or an extract from an appropriate legal document. Only organisations incorporated in Australia are eligible to apply.  Individuals must be Australian citizens.

4.2 Organisation Identification
Australian Business Number (ABN) or Australian Company Number (ACN):

4.2a Is the organisation GST registered?



Please provide the incorporation number and year of incorporation.

Incorporation number

Date of incorporation

4.3 Ownership of place
As the applicant, are you also the owner of the place:  YES / NO   No

If you answered “no”, please provide the name of the owner/ owning organisation:

The Anglican Church

Please attach a letter of endorsement for the project from the owner.


5.1. Where is the heritage place located?
Street number & name
 Williams Street





What activities do you propose to undertake with the grant funding?
Restoration of the family vault which has been damaged due to ground subsidence.  Required works include infilling of rock to base under the crypt, relaying existing sandstone to the plynth, any further necessary restoration to make the vault stable, cleaning/restoration of sandstone inscriptions and replacement/restoration  of damaged fencing.


Please provide a list of the people and/or organisations that are expected to undertake the project activity. This list should include their qualifications, relevant experience and contact details. This provides the Department with information about the experience of your project team.

Contact details
Kristine Herron
20 Years in the real estate and building industry

Provide details of any Australian Government, State or Territory grants to your place awarded in the last 5 years and advise if the project has been successfully completed and acquitted.
Previous grants
Completion status


Provide details to illustrate that the proposed project is unique and does not duplicate or overlap with any other Australian Government or State or Territory funded projects.
The Jillett Family Vault is of primary importance to the early history of Oatlands.
Thomas Jillett was the son of a convict Robert Jillett, transported on the Hillsborough to Sydney in 1789 and then subsequently sentenced to death but reprieved and sent to Norfolk Island.   At the time he was indentured to Elizabeth Bradshaw, a free settler who also arrived on the Hillsborough.  She sold her business holdings in Sydney and followed Robert to Norfolk Island, with their children.  On the closure of Norfolk Island 1808 they were sent to Tasmania, where she was granted land in lieu of land forfeited on Norfolk Island.  He was granted his ticket of leave and they married in Hobart in 1812, and had several more children, one of whom was Thomas.  They settled in the New Norfolk area and their sons became landholders and business operators within the Midlands district mainly York Plains and Oatlands area.
In 1852 Thomas Jillett bought Callington Mill in Oatlands Tasmania.  It is of such considerable historical significance being the only one in Tasmania, and one of only 4 in Australia, that it is currently being restored .
Thomas was also a member of the council and the family became local identies.  His brother later took over the running of the mill.
The vault  then, is linked directly to the Callington Mill, and to the town of Oatlands. Itwas erected as the family crypt at the time that Thomas and Mary Ann Jillett lost 3 young children within 3 weeks of each other, in 1859, due to scarlet fever epidemic.   Adjacent to this crypt is one that his brother John built at the same time when he lost 2 of his children.
 Thomas and his family are buried in the crypt.  Robert Jillett and Elizabeth Jillett’s names are inscribed along with other family members on the crypt.


Please include details to support your estimate of how long it will take to complete the project.
It is hoped that work will be completed prior to the opening of the Callington Mill project which is scheduled to be completed by October 2010.
Discussions have taken place with the Council Planning Department, the Anglican Church, and Heritage Tasmania. 
A stonemason has been approached to provide an estimate of the cost.


IMPORTANT NOTE: ALL applicants must complete Part A of the Funding Criteria section.

If you are applying for funds for management planning, you must complete Part A and Part B.

If you are applying for funds for implementation of works, you must complete Part A and Part C.

Please limit responses to 300 words each.

Part A: Gateway criteria – must be completed
11.1. Heritage listing
Important: To be eligible, the place for which you are seeking funding must be listed on the National Heritage List, or actively considered for National Heritage listing; or a historic heritage place of national significance (generally already included on a state heritage list or the Commonwealth Heritage List.)
Is the place listed on the National Heritage List? 

Is the place listed on the Commonwealth Heritage List? 
Yes x 
Is the place listed on a state or territory heritage list?

Please specify:   Heritage Tasmania                                            
11.2. How do the proposed activities contribute to conservation or enhancing appreciation of the National Heritage List, Commonwealth Heritage List or state or territory heritage list values for which the place is listed? 
The Southern Midlands Council recognises the unique heritage value of their town, with the Callington Mill as it’s centerpiece.  Visitors to the town/mill can extend their heritage experience by then visiting the owners burial site, and reading of his family’s ordeals.  Additionally they can then follow further on the family’s history with the links to his brother John, who owned the Jillett Railway Inn at York Plains.
Preservation of historic grave sites and headstones  provide the future generations with a factual first hand look at how difficult life was in the very early days.  With this family vault it re-inforces the hardship that families encountered in the early days.
 This family lost 3 young children within 3 week s of each other, as well as 2 nephews/nieces.  For the family to value those lives lost by erecting such a monument which suggests their strong links to the town of Oatlands.  

11.3. Does the applicant organisation have the capacity for on-going maintenance of the place? (Please provide details and evidence of capacity).

There has been a strong desire within the Jilletts to research their history commencing more than 40 years ago.  Many family members have visited Oatlands and some have seen the state of the vault, and wanted to do something about repairs. 
In the past twelve months – by use of internet genealogy services -  we have been able to create a significant amount of family history, which has generated an immense interest in the descendents of Robert and Elizabeth Jillett. An extensive database of descendents has been compiled, and is being constantly updated.
We are aware of at least one previous attempt to contribute towards repairs of the vault, however that person has since passed away.
Several family members  have indicated that they should contribute to ongoing maintenance.

11.4. Has the applicant organisation committed or arranged for co-contributions to the project of at least 50% of the overall project budget? (Please provide details of sources, amounts and evidence of commitment ie supporting letter). 

At the time of our discovery of the vault, we personally were willing to undertake some repairs in order maintain its integrity. However we were unaware that the site was listed by Heritage Tasmania and their requirements under their Act.

In discussions with several family members they have indicated their willingness to contribute to the restoration, and in this regard, we will undertake to contact more family members to ensure that the project is able to be completed.  It is a very large family, with extensive research already available to enable us to connect with more members.  Our initial plan was for 10 members to contribute, however the cost of the estimate of the work is now much higher than what the contractor had initially indicated, so we will require more members to support the project.

11.5. How does the place provide appropriate public access? 
The Anglican Cemetery has open access to the public

11.6. Does a current heritage conservation management plan exist for your place? (Please provide an electronic copy) 
Heritage Tasmania advise that there is no conservation management plan in existance for the cemetery.  The property is listed as Permanently Registered.

Part B: Additional criteria related to management planning projects

Must be completed if your proposal includes management planning.

11.7. Do personnel within the managing organisation have the capacity to develop and implement management plans? (Please provide evidence). 
Yes, have been the manager of our own in small business for 30 years

Part C: Additional criteria related to implementation of works

Must be completed if your proposal includes implementing works.

11.8. Do personnel within the managing organisation have the capacity to implement management plans? (Please provide evidence).  

Over 30 years experience in building and real estate industry, including project managing several residential building project, the last being the construction in 2007 of our home.

We envisage that maintenance would encompass regular inspections and reporting from the Anglican Church

11.9. Please provide a brief summary of how your place’s heritage values will be maintained under its management plan. (Please refer specifically to its official listed values as per NHL, CHL or state/territory listing.)

The cemetery is Permanently Registered on the register.

As this is a burial crypt it is static display, which is totally enclosed by a fence.
As such there would be no direct access to the vault.


Your detailed project budget must be submitted in the format below. You must also provide copies of all quotes/estimates received from relevant professionals. Please attach copies of quotes at the end of this form.

You should include a provision for the cost of the preparation of audit reports at the end of the project. Please note that this cannot be paid for with grant funds.
All amounts must be GST inclusive.

Expenditure Item
National Historic Sites Funding Sought
Other Contributions
Applicant Contributions
Total (inc GST)
List all expenditure items associated with the project here
List the amount of National Historic Sites funding for each expenditure item
List the cash contributions from other sources for each expenditure item.
List the in-kind contributions from other sources for each expenditure item.
List the cash contributions from your organisation for each expenditure item.
List the in-kind contributions from your organisation for each expenditure item.
The cost of each item should include GST.
Sandstone/carving replacement for missing segments

Iron Fencing repairs and replication


Crane/Jack for lifting





Total project cost: $____25000__________incl GST

Total National Historic Sites funding sought: $_____12500________incl GST

Auditing fees to form part of applicant contributions.

Please address all the key headings in this Project Plan template.

Number of Weeks and Dates

Number of weeks required to complete each project stage

Explain exactly what activities will be done in each stage

Project Resources

Indicate the resources required at each stage, including personnel, materials, equipment hire and other requirements to complete the project

Total Project Costs

Enter the cost of each item provided in the ‘Project Resources’ column

Other contributions

Provide details of any project funding your organisation is contributing or any funding you have applied for or secured (including in-kind)

National Historic Sites funds

What National Historic Sites funds are sought against each cost
Stage 1: Planning, Approval and Risk Management

1st Aug

1 week

No approvals are required, contractor able to commence works within 4 weeks of notification

Stage 2: Arranging contractors and/or materials

3 weeks
 31st Aug
 Contractor to supply labour and materials, iron fencing to be completed in Launceston by specialist fabricators




Stage 3: Undertaking the project

14th Sept

6 Weeks
List each activity to be undertaken and include what each activity will achieve when completed
Erection of fencing

Stage 4: Final report preparation and acquittal

30th Sept

Audited Report to Dept


Note that the National Historic Sites funds sought within this table must match the budget table in section 11.

Do you hold appropriate insurance to cover the proposed activities/works?
Successful applicants will be required to provide proof of appropriate insurance prior to signing the Funding Agreement.
Please provide insurance details and attach a certificate of currency at the end of this form.
Type of cover
Amount $ (AUD)
Policy number
Start date (dd/mm/yyyy)
End date (dd/mm/yyyy)


Please indicate which approvals/exemptions will be required for this project:
·        Local approval for heritage places                               ¡Yes   ¡No   ¡N/A
·        State approval for heritage places                               ¡Yes   ¡No   ¡N/A
·        National approval for heritage places                          ¡Yes   ¡No   ¡N/A
·        Development approval                                                    ¡Yes   ¡No   ¡N/A

Please detail:

Have you obtained the approvals/exemptions for the project?:
·        Local approval for heritage places                                  ¡Yes   ¡No   ¡N/A
·        State approval for heritage places                                  ¡Yes   ¡No   ¡N/A
·        National approval for heritage places                            ¡Yes   ¡No   ¡N/A
·        Development approval                                                      ¡Yes   ¡No   ¡N/A

Please attach written evidence that the appropriate approvals for the project have been acquired.

I the undersigned, certify that:
Ø I have read and understood the National Historic Sites Guidelines
Ø All the details in this application are true and correct to the best of my knowledge
Ø The application is submitted with the full knowledge and agreement of the Board/Executive of the applicant organisation
Ø I acknowledge that the application will not be accepted if it does not have all required supporting information attached
Ø I have completed all questions on the application form

Signature of person authorised to sign on behalf of organisation;
(official contact – see  Section 3 CONTACT DETAILS)

Print name: _________________________________________________________________________

Signature: __________________________________________________________________________

Official title in organisation: ____________________________________________________________

Date : ______________________________________

Not only did all the criteria need to be met, but we had to have an accountant, and insurance cover.

 Grants were sought from any where possible, ie.

Sourcing Funding from CATCH Grants

CATCH Grants 2010-08-09

Name of organisation

What does the organisation do?

What would you like the Grant for?

Oatlands is a unique Heritage Town almost half way between Hobart and Launceston.  The town was developed in the 1820’s.  It holds the largest number of Georgian style homes in any other town in Australia, and most of the properties in the main street are Heritage Listed.

It also is the home of the Callington Mill.  This mill was built in 1830’s and one of the owners, Thomas Jillett, who owned it between 1850/60, became very successful with sheep properties in Victoria, NSW and Queensland.

Thomas and his family lived in Oatlands, and in Jan/Feb 1859, he and his brother John lost 7 children between them, within 6 weeks to scarlet fever.  The brothers each built a family crypt as a memorial to these young children.

 One crypt is in good condition, but unfortunately the harsh elements and the passage of time has caused the crypt housing Thomas’s children to fall into serious disrepair.  The crypt is Heritage Listed with Heritage Tasmania, and all repairs have to be within their guidelines.  The estimates to date for the repair are $25K however that could also change when the archaeologist commences dismantling the sandstone etc. 

It is hoped that the restoration of this crypt will become a memorial not only to the 3 buried underneath it, but as an everlasting memorial to all the young children who died not only of scarlet fever, but of other horrible conditions.  These poor souls can be found in numerous graves around the country,  however, by incorporating their plight with the restoration of the crypt, there will be the opportunity for thousands of tourists to show their respect.

The Callington Mill has been restored to the value of over $4 million and will be the only working flour mill in Australia, if not the world.  The mill is set to become a major tourist attraction not only for the town of Oatlands, but for all visitors to Tasmania.  The mill opens on 3rd October, 2010.

The crypt is located across the road, a short distance down from the Mill prescient in St Peter’s Anglican Cemetery.  The mill will be featuring via interpretative panels, the life of Thomas Jillett, and key people in the town understand the historical significance of restoring the crypt.

As the crypt is on private property, permission has been sought from the Church for the works to be done.
From research it seems that none of Thomas’s family live in Tasmania, and as a family we could just sit back and let the crypt crumble into more rubble, or we could be pro-active and try to help the Oatlands community by providing a project for their skilled workers, and to add to the tourism experiences.

No doubt funding from a grant is being sought, and currently there is a funding application under the Historic Sites programme.  The family itself, will of course be committing to some of the costs, however, the family will gain absolutely no benefit from the project.

Recognition of the countless young lives lost, has been overlooked.  Over 1200 children alone died in the Female Factory in Tasmania, countless others died before they ever were given the chance to be part of development of Australia.

Extensive research has been done over the past three months into the Jillett family,  building on some that was commenced over 15 years ago.  That research has resulted in a website dedicated to all the members.

I will have the website live from 1st September, 2010.   This website coupled with information about the family and the tragic and sad lives of these young children, will be available to anyone in the world.
It will also assist the Oatlands Tourism office to be able to give life to the stories of the mill and its owner.

Thomas and Mary Ann Jillett also owned several dwellings on the mill site, and his house is being converted to the local Tourist office. 

Added to that information and something that is particularly relevant to the story, is that his parents Robert and Elizabeth Jillett came from Norfolk Island and settled in the area.  Elizabeth Bradshaw as she was at the time, arrived on the Hillsborough as a “free” settler., with a 2 year old daughter. 

Her husband died either on the voyage or on arrival in Sydney.  She was assigned the convict Robert Jillett presumably to build her shelter.  She had her home in Chapel Row.  They formed a de-facto relationship and she had two children to him.  Then in 1803 he stole ½ pig from the commandants store and was sentenced to death, but was saved from the hanging at the last moment.  Presumably she paid for the stay of execution.  He was transported to Norfolk Island, and she quickly sold her property and with her now 3 young children, went with him to Norfolk Island.

On Norfolk she purchased land, and set about farming.  She had several farms on the island, and in 1804 she was the only woman out of 80 settlers, to sign a petition to the Governor.  To purchase land on Norfolk Island, she appears to be the only free woman settler.  Quite an achievement.

In 1808 the family with more children came to Tasmania on the Lady Nelson.  In 1812 they married and had a total of 9 children together.   They settled in the New Norfolk area, adjacent to Oatlands.

So this family is firmly woven into the fabric of Tasmania.  They suffered the loss of countless numbers of children, but the 7 grandchildren in Oatlands within a six week period paints a very sad picture.
It also gives the public of today, an insight into just how hard conditions were for all our pioneering ancestors.

As one who has suffered scarlet fever, I know firsthand how terrible the disease is, and as a mother grandmother, I can understand how it is to lose one child, but certainly not 7.

On behalf of all the young children who died in those unfortunate circumstances I hope that you will consider this application.

How much will it cost.
The scope of the works will determine the exact cost of the project.


National Historic Sites Program

Round One  (2010 to 2011)

Project Progress Report

Notes to the documentation:

Approvals and exemptions:

            No approvals are required.


During the period that the application was still with the Department, an onsite meeting was carried out with the preferred contractor Rob Whitney.  That meeting was in October 2010, and also present was Brad Williams, Heritage Officer with the Southern Midlands Council, who is the on-site consultant for the project.

Rob Whitney promised he would do a quote for the work, in October 2010.

When the grant was awarded, there was constant communication with Brad Williams, and again Rob Whitney promised faithfully almost every month to provide a quotation.

During the winter months no work could have been done, due to the flooding and extreme bad weather in the area.

Brad Williams has been trying to source local stonemasons, unsuccessfully since the beginning of the project.

He has met several contractors on site, without ever receiving quotations.
In desperation he included the project in a tender for works required by the Southern Midlands Council.

Other contractors were approached, including Les Kulinski of Argus Stone, PO Box 384, Rosny Park and Endri Stanton.  At this stage neither have provided a quotation.

On 21st September, 2011, an email was received from Brad Williams advising that the tender price from Rob Whitney was around $20K plus the fencing. 

During the period of time, from the submission of the project in May 2010, a website was created to generate interest and to locate additional family members. 

That has been extremely succesful, and has brought together many relatives who were previously unknown.  

The website is

Project Plan

As reported

Is the activity proceeding on time?


The delay in the project has been caused by:

Unwillingness of contractors to commit to the project.

Attempts have been made for almost 12 months to obtain pricing from the preferred contractor.
His price has now been received and is around the orignal estimate of the works, and that price was only received via a tender process conducted by the Southern Midlands Council.
Many contractors have inspected the works, without showing any willingness to complete the project

Currently there are two additional contractors who have expressed a willingness, but to date have not submitted any price.

The success of the project depends on the quotations.  If three quotations are not forthcoming the project will appoint Rob .

Adverse weather conditions

The weather in Oatlands during the winter period, resulted in adverse conditions which would have made undertaking the project impossible.  During the time Oatlands experienced flooding and snow.  It is rare for snow to fall in Oatlands.

But it was done.  And stands now as a Monument.

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