COMMUNITY RECOGNITION STATEMENT - Friends of Grossmann House

I speak today to celebrate Friends of Grossmann House, a dedicated community group in Maitland who are currently undertaking a fundraising drive to aid the maintenance of one of my town's most important historical assets. Grossmann House was built between 1870 and 1871 by Isaac Beckett as a mirror image to the adjoining property, Brough House, which was built by Beckett's business partner, Samuel Owens. The two English-born merchants came to our shores in 1838, quickly establishing themselves with a variety of businesses on Maitland's High Street in the following years. At that time Maitland was a commercial hub in the Hunter Valley and Australia's largest inland town. The site housed the Maitland Girls' High School, one of the State's oldest public schools, between 1892 and1962. The site has since passed into the hands of theNational Trust, which has restored the property andopened it to the public.Grossmann House's extensive collection of nineteenthcentury costumes and textiles helps tell the story of locallife and industry in Victorian-era Maitland. Iwholeheartedly support and celebrate the group'spassion for the history of Maitland and I thank them for their tireless volunteering to showcase our history.