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Gawler Historical Rates Assessment Database Project

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Type of organisation: Community Service





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Background: In 2004, the Gawler Environment and Heritage Association (GEHA) began working with Gawler Council staff to develop a strategy to help protect significant historical sites in Gawler. Along with other local history enthusiasts, they decided to develop a database of relevant historical information. The Database Group now also includes other community volunteers.

Goal: To develop a readily searchable electronic database that duplicates rates assessment books for the Town of Gawler, starting in the 1800s and progressing to the early 1900s. The database will be made available as a community resource for public, civic, corporate and academic research. In the future, the database will be linked to data from other sources such as photographs, maps, cameo histories, newspaper articles and links to current street addresses and titles.

Value to the community: The database will allow people to carry out rapid searches for information for a variety of purposes:

  • Property research
  • Family history research
  • Research on an individual or company
  • Social history
  • Industrial research
  • Research into the historical significance of a site (allowing for archaeological investigations to be undertaken prior to building development).

The Database Group is a member of the Gawler History Network. The Database will link into and facilitate the historical research being done by other member organisations such as the National Trust and Gawler Public Library.

Gawler’s Rates Assessment Books These were produced annually from 1858 and consist of a hand written entry for each parcel of land, containing the following data: location (town acre number), name of occupier and owner, street, description of property (e.g. 2 room cottage, hotel, corn store, foundry), property value, rates owing and collected. The Town of Gawler rates assessment books are held at State Records of South Australia, Gepps Cross.

The Town of Gawler in the 1800s The town of Gawler was settled in 1839. The town was bounded by the North and South Para rivers. The Town of Gawler council wards were defined by these rivers and Murray Street and Jacob Street.

People and organisations involved in the Gawler Historical Rates Assessment Database Project:

  • Gawler Environment and Heritage Association (GEHA): Helen Wilmore, Andrew Paisley and others
  • Community volunteers: Terry Flower, Bev Burke
  • National Trust: Bev Burke, David Tucker and others
  • Gawler Public Library
  • Gawler Volunteer Resource Centre

Many thanks to all the people previously involved: Geoffrey New, Kathy Brown, Adrian Brown, Kristina Paisley, Phil Hooper, Jenny Slocombe, Elena Cutting and others

The Project has received funding from: The Gawler Environment and Heritage Association Inc. Town of Gawler (Council) History Trust of South Australia

Please contact Helen via this email for more information or to assist with the project HelenP.Wilmore @ bigpond. com

Please click here for photos.


Rates Book
Rates Book
Rates Book
Rates Book
Rates Book
Rates Book
Rates Book
Rates Book
Gawler Historical Rates Assessment Database Project Team - Helen Hennessy, Geoff New, Bev Burke, Anne Richards and [seated] Helen Wilmore
Gawler Historical Rates Assessment Database Project Team - Helen Hennessy, Geoff New, Bev Burke, Anne Richards and [seated] Helen Wilmore


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