Shear Outback was officially opened on Australia Day, Saturday 26th January, 2002.

The official opening was carried out by Kay Hull, the Federal Member for Riverina.

There were an estimated 3,000 people in attendance for the opening ceremony.

An easy-to-read transcript of this article appears below the picture.


The above page has been reproduced with permission from The Riverine Grazier, Hay, N.S.W.

Design has strong affinity

with rural Australia


Paul Berkemeier demonstrated strong affinity with language and materials of traditional Australian Woolsheds in his design of the ASHF complex.

The new building utilises a striking mix of corrugated iron, timber and steel to create a visual icon on the Sturt Highway and his positioning of the Murray Downs shed in relation to the purpose-built complex recreates the standard distance between homesteads and woolsheds.  It also provides excellent usage spaces for yard areas and outdoor events.

The new building houses the Shearers' Hall of Fame, museum collection, retail outlet and cafe.

The centrepiece of the design is the Hall of Fame which takes the form of a five metre wall featuring plaques in the shape of shears and shearing combs, bearing the names of shearers and era.  There is a ground-level area exhibit relating to individual shearers.

The archival centre, adjacent the Hall of Fame is a secure area and not automatically accessible to the public.  It has a temperature and humidity controlled atmosphere to ensure proper protection of contents.

Displays from the archives will be securely presented in the Hall of Fame and will be changed periodically.

The permanent exhibition area contains the overall history of the industry and some 'hands-on' experiences for visitors.  There is also space for temporary exhibitions on loan from our large museums.

A dividing panel between the temporary and the permanent exhibition areas is movable to allow for the different sizes of temporary displays.  A similar panel between the retail and cafe allows for larger organised gatherings in the cafe area, and the verandah adjacent the cafe will be used by cafe patrons, weather permitting.

A significant orientation area presents visitors with an overall introduction to the exhibition and the history of the industry.  There is also provision for secure bag storage for larger visiting groups such as school classes.

Overall dimensions of the building are 65 metres in length and 20 metres in width,  The complex was designed to make future additions relatively simple.

Berkmeier's commitment to the rejuvenation of native vegetation at the site and the use of passive systems was particularly appealing to the board when it chose his design from a field of three experienced and well known architectural firms.  Berkmeier is a Sydney-based rural and museum architect and a trustee of the NSW Historic Houses Trust.



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Extracts reproduced with permission from The Riverine Grazier