The Maitland Bay Centre
is open on weekends and public holidays (11am to 3pm) providing
information about the region. It is staffed by a strong group of
volunteers from the local community. If you would like to assist in this valuable
task, please contact the coordinator, Grahame Morgan, (PO Box 4009
Wagstaffe NSW 2257) or drop into the Centre on any weekend. When you
are there, make sure you check out the window display. Hildegard
Anstice uses her considerable and varied talents to delight us with
regular window exhibition.
Mark Attwooll presented the following thoughts during the dedication of the new internal displays in 2012.
Acknowledge the traditional owners of this land and pay respect to their elders past and present.
This building is a meeting place.
From here roads lead to all parts of Bouddi National Park: to
Putty and Boxhead, to Dingle Di nad Little Beach, to the Strom Lookout
and the Daleys Point Aboriginal engraving site and down to Maitland
Bay. And these same roads bring people together from all the little
villages that make up the Bouddi Peninsula.
The visionaries who lobbied hard to conserve this building, understood
the value of its strategic location as much as its heritage values.
These people (who I won’t name because they are so many and I would be
biased towards those that I met later on) created a welcoming place
full of information on the local environment. Much of this material was
researched and produced here by the volunteers themselves. These are
quality publications that reflect the intelligence and diverse talents
of the contributors, they are comprehensive, accurate and most of all
accessible to anyone who walks in. For me as a newly arrived Biology
teacher at the local High school the Bouddi Penninsula study, and
the Cockle Bay Study were and still are essential reading.
Welcoming visitors and providing information is the faithful duty of
the Maitland Bay Centre volunteers who are rostered on every
weekend. Since 1990 they have been sharing their knowledge
and provide guidance to an increasing number of Park visitors.
Depending on the weather and time of year numbers vary
between about 5 to 50 visitors a day. The comings and goings of each
visitor are recorded in meticulous detail that would put any other
marketing survey to shame. The diaries record the details
of their sex, age estimate, their origin, purpose of visit and what
they bought. They are good sales people because many items were
purchased. The purpose of recording this information is to provide the
very best service possible – and to assist in planning for changing
needs and to find out if there are any gaps in the available education
The Centre isn’t always open to the public during the week but the
front window is never empty. Certain talented volunteers maintain
interest through their informative and attractive displays. Some
volunteers had a permit to display wildflowers to help people identify
them. A local artist creates interesting dioramas to amuse and educate
people about the antics of the local wildlife
In 1998 the centenary of the sinking of SSMaitland was remembered here.
This place was packed to capacity for a community inquiry into the
tragic event. Through stories, poetry, drama and dance we got a feeling
for what previously had just been facts.
Over the years the KWT has mounted exhibitions that
attracted hundreds of people over the holiday periods –Geology,
Wattles and Weeds, Sand to Sea, Wetlands, photography.
The professional displays we have come here to view today are a continuation of that legacy of conservation through education.