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Bradley

Bradley WILLIAMS

Year of Award: 2008 Award State: Tasmania Trades > Construction And Building Materials
To study the use of traditional lime products in architectural sandstone conservation - U.K.
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On my Fellowship I spent six weeks with various agencies across the UK, meeting with industry heads, workforces and advocates of traditional approaches to building conservation. I undertook a number of short courses in aspects of building conservation not then taught in Australia. A key aspect of my Fellowship was also to gain a greater knowledge of how heritage skills training is delivered, and the challenges of meeting market needs. This added depth to my learning experience – learning how to teach others, therefore allowing me to extend my Fellowship to a wider group of beneficiaries.

During a workshop in Fife, a gentleman with a broad Scottish accent, who heard that I was from Australia and researching traditional lime use, came up to me and asked: ‘Why canna you just find what you need by Googling it?’ Having been a couple of weeks into my Fellowship when facing that question, I was able to confidently tell him that to really learn anything about an art, it is necessary to plunge oneself in at the deep end – to work hands-on with the people who have dedicated their careers to it, and to see how they approach real-life problems.

To witness real people broach a conservation issue, work through various scenarios, and come up with the solution is something one has to experience first-hand. Therein lies the key attribute of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust – worldwide networking, allowing people to meet those who can share their passions, and to build lasting linkages where learning becomes a symbiotic relationship. I left home with 20 questions. I had 50 answered and came home with 100 more. But the people I met, and the networks I established, will certainly help me answer those questions in the future.

I am still working in the building conservation industry, but my role has evolved into training. Since completing my Fellowship, I have been involved with the establishment of the Heritage Education and Skills Centre at Oatlands. I am currently working on a three- year project which seeks to train 120 disadvantaged youth in the basics of heritage trades skills – a scheme similar to some which I participated in during my Fellowship. The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust has made a valuable contribution to my skill set, and I commend the Trust’s work. 

Excerpt from “Bringing Knowledge Home” published by the Churchill Fellows Association of Tasmania (2016) 

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