This five day training course is aimed at developing
the knowledge of heritage trades amongst people who are working in the construction industry to extend their understanding of materials, building conservation techniques and heritage issues.

The program is part of the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) Heritage Trades Program, and offers participants subsidised fees if current CITB number is held.

Led by Keith McAllister of Applied Building Conservation Training (ABCT), the training will provide participants with the following theoretical and hands-on experience:
Lath & Plaster Ceiling Stabilisation
Stone Conservation
* Lime Mortar Technology
* Repointing Techniques
* Traditional lime wash application
Heritage Painting
* Removal of paints
* Lead Paint Management
* Paint application

All training and practical sessions are to be held at Martindale Hall, Mintaro in the Clare Valley.
You will need to provide your own transport to Mintaro and be available for the full five days of training.

The cost of training will be:
CITB Members—$300
Non-CITB Members—$1,500

Overnight accommodation will be provided by the Department of Environment & Water (DEW).
All catering will be delivered by Chef Gary Farmer who started his career in Europe, where he worked alongside top chefs and mastered culinary skills of the highest level. He is currently Senior chef at the Intercontinental Hotel, Adelaide
This is a great opportunity for construction workers (up-skill), apprentices and heritage professionals.
Upon completion of the course, you will receive a certificate of completion in Heritage Trades.
For expressions of interest and further information, please contact Applied
Building Conservation Training (ABCT) during business hours on 0403 705 602.
Places for this course are limited.

Restoration and conservation works began on the Wesley Church project in Melbourne in February 2018. Over the next two years the Church, the Manse, the Schoolhouse and the Caretaker’s Cottage were fully restored.

The works completed included specialist cleaning, repointing, slate and lead roofing, heritage carpentry and painting, and stained glass window repairs. One of the major components of the works to the church were stone replacement, including replacement of pinnacles, stringcourses and cornices. The stone used is Udelfanger Sandstone from Germany, as specified by the consulting architect, Lovell Chen.

The restoration project is part of the $200 million redevelopment of the Wesley Precinct. The redevelopment includes ground and lower level retail spacesa new ground level park and two public walkways through the site.

The 34 level commercial office tower will sit on the eastern portion of the Wesley Church site with frontages to Lonsdale Street, Little Lonsdale Street and Jones Lane.

History of the Wesley Church

Located in the central business district of Melbourne, Wesley Church opened in August 1858.

The elegant gothic church was designed by architect Joseph Reed, who also designed many notable buildings in Melbourne, including the Town Hall, the Public Library and the Exhibition Buildings, as well as Collins St Baptist Church, Scots Church and the Independent Church (now St Michael’s).

Originally a Wesleyan Church, it became a Methodist Church in the union of 1902, and then part of the Uniting Church in Australia.

In 1893, the church started what is now known as the Wesley Mission Victoria, a community service organisation that helps vulnerable people in the community.

The team at HSR Group would like to say a HUGE congratulations to our wonderful employee Minh Huynh who received Heritage Tradesperson winner at this years Australia ICOMOS Presidents Awards 2020!

The President’s Award program recognises the important contribution made by the active engagement of younger and/or early career professionals in the cultural heritage field.

Check out Minh’s personal story below and some of the amazing work he did on Wesley Church, Melbourne, which was sent in as part of his submission for the awards!

“When people ask “was you born in a tent?” not often people reply yes without being smart. I can actually say yes because I was born in a tent.  A refugee tent somewhere in the jungle of Cambodia on 21st May 1983.

Eight months pregnant, with nothing but the clothes on their back, risking their lives, leaving all their family behind my parents trekked through the jungles of Cambodia to Khao-I-Dang Holding Centre, a refugee camp on the border of Thailand and Cambodia in the province Sa Keao. This began my journey to Australia. They stayed in the camp for about a year, then boarded a dingy boat, where they sailed the South China Sea to Bidong Island in Malaysia, encountering pirates and the treacherous seas, once again risking our lives.

After a year at Bidong Island refugee camp, in 1985 we were sponsored by my mother’s cousin to come to Australia. On 10th October, 1987 we boarded a Qantas plane bound for Australia. My only memory of that was my first introduction of Western food, particularly Baby Bell cheese, not knowing the red shiny outer case was wax, and I took a bite and to this day could not look at a baby bell without pulling my face.

Once in Australia my family lived at Enterprise Migrant Hostel in Springvale. Starting a new life wasn’t easy, my parent worked 12 hours a day six sometimes seven days a week until they could afford to buy our first house. My dad worked  on a farm as a vegetable picker at minimum wage while my mum sew clothes at home for 40c a garment, while looking after my sister and I. I remember while I was in bed I can hear the sound of the sewing machine going as both my parents continued to work late into the night.

Growing up in the south eastern suburbs as a teen I saw friends who fell victims to the heroin epidemic of the 90s. Fast forward to out of high school, my first two jobs while studying was bar tending at crown casino and the MCG. I gave up on studying and I didn’t know what to do, so I travelled, going to the Americas, Asia and around Australia.

In 2006 I started working at the airport for Dnata as a passengers service agent working my way up to supervisor, all while having my first son in 2009. After 12 years of shift work at the airport, I felt alienated from my friends and family, I fell into depression. I decided to take some time off and decided I wanted to do something else.

I was connected with Wesley Uniting Services, who gave me an opportunity to go back to school, where I got my certificate I in Construction. After six weeks of Tafe I was introduced to Keith McAllister of HSR (Aust) Group who offered myself an apprenticeship as a Stonemason. I started with HSR in October 2018 and attended my first day of trade school at Holmesglen Tafe on the eve of my 36th birthday.

I am looking forward to the future with HSR as I am learning and experiencing new lessons every day and the art of building conservation. I’m fortunate to have this opportunity to be working on the largest restoration project in Australia.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Wesley Uniting Services, Charter Hall and HSR (Aust) Group for giving me something worth getting up for in the morning and a career I can enjoy for the rest of my life.”

By Minh Huynh.

HSR has had an incredible start to the 20/21 financial year being awarded many key projects in Adelaide and Melbourne.
After what has been quite a tough year for many businesses and industries all over the world, with industry shutdowns and site closures being particularly detrimental to the construction industry – we are extremely happy to announce all the wonderful projects we will be undertaking over the coming months!

Work has now commenced on two major conservation projects in Adelaide’s CBD, the iconic Adelaide Railway Station and Bice Building at Lot Fourteen, also known as the former Royal Adelaide Hospital Site.

Continuing work around South Australia includes the Werocata Homestead, Balaklava; Penfold Park Bridge, Magill Estate and Scotch College Early Learning Centre, Mitcham.

Restoration works have recently been completed on the Maid & Magpie Hotel, Magill; Seafield Tower, Glenelg and Mount Barker Uniting Church.

HSR Group (Melbourne) has also been awarded Nicholas Hall which involves ceiling stabilisation and repair, as well as lead paint removal; and 611 Elizabeth St which involves façade brickwork repair, re-pointing, structural crack repair, render, steel window repairs, and painting, faience and tile repairs.

We would also like to say a big thankyou to the HSR team for their incredible work on Wesley Church for the past two years, which has now reached completion and looks absolutely fantastic.


On Sunday 8th September, HSR (Aust) Group and ABC Training took 15 training course participants to the Old Boolcoomatta Shearers quarters in Bimbowrie Conservation Park. This 5-day practical training course was to introduce the participants to some of the issues encountered in the conservation and restoration of heritage listed buildings.

The station began operation over 150 years ago and was built using local paddock stone and river sand. Sir Douglas Mawson (1882-1958) made use of the buildings at Bimbowrie during his pre-Antarctic geological expeditions in the Olary Ranges in the early twentieth century.

Over the 5-day course our participants undertook hands-on training as well as listening to educational lectures from various industry experts. These lectures were based around the Principles of Conservation, Architectural Masonry, Traditional Carpentry and Timber Conservation and Traditional Roofing Techniques.

Architectural Stonemasonry and Lime Mortar Technology

  • Erecting and repairing basic stone masonry structures
  • Understanding the construction of cavity and solid stone walling, returns and rakes
  • Addressing individually damaged and/or defective stones
  • Re-pointing damaged mortars using correct technique and lime materials
  • Mixing and gauging lime mortars and mixing to correct specification for conservation work
  • Understanding the relationship between different block types including quoins, cill stones and stone lintels

Timber Conservation and Traditional Carpentry Techniques

  • Identifying timber conservation issues in heritage listed buildings
  • Identifying heritage timbers used in traditional construction on regional properties
  • Repairing and patching of timber material to prevent replacement
  • Different joint types used in traditional carpentry practice and their applications
  • The importance of timber conservation in the context of the Burra Charter

Traditional Roofing Techniques

  • Maintenance and care of existing timber shingles
  • Types of corrugated sheeting used in early construction
  • Correct fixing types for application in heritage buildings
  • Early methods of flashing for colonial roofs
  • Traditional techniques for timber framing and working with natural materials

The practical training on the Old Boolcoomatta Shearers quarters involved –

  • Dismantling and site preparation – Indicators of Damage  
  • Demonstration on gauging and mixing lime mortars and their application
  • Stone construction and wall consolidation techniques
  • Lime Mortars and techniques for raking out and repointing traditional masonry structures
  • Installing Wall plates to masonry structures
  • Timber roof framing using traditional carpentry techniques
  • Keying in roofing timbers to structural masonry and structural upgrades
  • Application of Dumond chemical paint removers
  • Mixing and assessing traditional lime washes and their importance in masonry contexts.

The HSR team attended The Annual Master Builders SA Building Excellence Awards on Friday 16th of August. The night is all about showcasing and awarding excellence in South Australia’s building and construction industry, in both commercial and residential projects.
It recognises the quality craftsmanship, exceptional innovation and high standard of work, being produced by SAs leading construction companies.

This year HSR (Aust) group received three awards, including one of four major awards – Master Builder of the Year Specialist Contractor 2019.

Winner – Excellence in Structure/ Envelope – Commercial Award

Stage 3 – Elder Hall Northern Facade Conservation, Adelaide

The HSR Group completed this major conservation project in record time whilst overcoming significant onsite difficulties and still making the building operable to students. Those involved showed exceptional pride in workmanship and superior quality in a challenging working environment.


Winner – Excellence in a Heritage Construction (Commercial and Residential)

Adelaide Central Market, Adelaide

The heritage restoration that has been applied to both the Grote and Gouger Street facades reinforces the skills of those employed by HSR who scored highly on all fronts.
The meticulous work necessary to repair, stabilise, reinstate and protect was extensive, with the further added difficulties of no power tools and the exacting replacement of degraded materials.

Winner – Master Builder of the Year Specialist Contractor 2019

HSR (AUST) Groups passion and attention to detail is evident in every project they undertake, going above and beyond to deliver an excellent end result every time and on schedule. They strive for accuracy, and are constantly achieving high levels of workmanship in heritage conservation and construction.

We would like to thank our amazing team and all their hard work and commitment to producing outstanding results. We look forward to attending the Master Builders National Excellence in Building & Construction Awards in Uluru, Northern Territory later this year.

Its been a busy start to the 2018/19 financial year for HSR Aust Group. Several key South Australian projects have been completed including the Grote st elevation of the Adelaide Central Markets, and the northern elevation of the University of Adelaide’s Elder Hall.

Works continue to Unley Church, and Carmelite Monastery, with the second stage to commence shortly on façade conservation works to the Gouger st elevation of the Adelaide Central Markets.

HSR Group’s Melbourne offices will also be kept busy with successful tender for St Jude’s Church, Carlton. Works are due to begin on site in October 2018. Work continues at the Wesley Church site in Melbourne, part of a 200 million dollar precinct redevelopment.

HSR (Aust) Group has commenced with the conservation works on the Adelaide Central Markets Grote St elevation. What a privilege to work on such an iconic South Australian landmark!

The work includes facade cleaning, 100% tuckpointing, timber conservation, roofing and painting. Work on the Tower will commence after Christmas and then the Gouger St elevation to commence March 2018.