Heritage work a challenge

City of Subiaco heritage officer Sofia Boranga. Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au d412815
City of Subiaco heritage officer Sofia Boranga. Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au d412815

Ms Boranga said she studied archaeology at the University of WA and spent many years ‘travelling to Italy back and forth’ working on classical archaeological digs with the University of Perusia.

‘Later I went on to study cultural heritage as a postgraduate degree, so my fascination with history certainly came from my love of archaeology,’ she said.

Subiaco council recently approved buildings including Totterdell Hall, terrace homes on Catherine Street, Duffell House and St Andrews Anglican Church for listing on the City’s cultural significance register.

Ms Boranga said she spent her days assessing heritage applications, conducting surveys and promoting built heritage.

‘One of the greatest parts of my job is investigating the history and uncovering things you would never expect about these beautiful buildings,’ she said.

Although heritage is largely about preservation, Ms Boranga said her job was to allow new development to occur while conserving the ‘federation style, inter-war rhythm’ of Subiaco’s iconic streetscapes.

‘Heritage doesn’t mean you can’t do anything ” you can develop your property and add to the history of it,’ she said.

‘What is important is adding a new chapter that conserves the original significant fabric.

‘My family own a property in Umbria which is more than 500 years old, so I have always had a great appreciation of the work and responsibility it takes to look after a heritage building.’

The City will host its inaugural Heritage Conservation and Urban Design Awards event on May 5 at the Subiaco Library.

Ms Boranga said the event was one of many incentives the City had developed to encourage and recognise individuals and organisations for their valuable work in conserving and enhancing Subiaco’s rich cultural heritage.