Minister's Stonework Program

The NSW Government owns a significant portfolio of buildings and structures, dating from the early 1800s onwards, which are wholly or partly built of sandstone.

The Minister’s Stonework Program (MSP), launched in 1991, provides a state-wide strategic approach to the ‘catch-up’ maintenance of these heritage buildings through conservation planning and condition analysis as well as prioritisation and budget development. Managed by Public Works Advisory Heritage Asset Advisory (HAA) group, on behalf of the Minister for Finance, Services and Innovation, the Program’s objective is to bring the fabric of these structures to a condition where planned cyclic maintenance programs can take over. A key partner in this process is the department’s Heritage Stonework team of masons and associated traditional trade skills in collaboration with private sector contractors.

Significant research in Australia and overseas has shown that the conservation of heritage places makes an important contribution to environmental, social and economic sustainability in the community as well as significant cultural tourism settings. In managing the program through the centralised HAA team, it has been successful in bringing an independent perspective to establishing priorities for such works across all agencies and in all areas of the State. The MSP has a responsibility to achieve the ‘best conservation outcome’ for the government’s assets from a whole-of-government expenditure viewpoint.

The MSP has received multiple heritage awards for its individual conservation projects, for the concept and delivery of the whole program as an exemplary conservation initiative and for the development of traditional masonry and other trade skills for the heritage industry throughout NSW and beyond.

Further Information

For general enquiries, please call Bruce Pettman, Director Heritage Asset Advisory, Public Works Advisory at on 0407 948 514 or email


George Proudman Fellowship

Fostering the passion and skills of heritage stonemasonry in Australia.

The George Proudman Fellowship provides opportunities for talented stonemasons to travel overseas to gain experience that may not be readily available in Australia. The Fellowship aims to provide individual skills enhancement for the benefit of heritage stonemasonry in Australia.

The George Proudman Fellowship was established to honour the legacy of the late George Proudman, who up until his death in 2000 was a passionate educator and advocate for the stonework conservation of culturally significant public buildings. As Master Mason of Department of Public Works in the 1970’s and 1980’s, George was instrumental in revitalising the craft of stonemasonry in NSW.

Applicants are invited to undertake an applied research and provide a proposal that will enhance, promote and improve traditional stonemasonry skills in Australia.

This includes the investigation of problems to develop practical solutions. Candidates are encouraged to identify where there may be a skills gap in Australia and propose activities to address those identified. Examples of applied research include approaches to stone cleaning, mortar repair options or other aspects related to heritage stonemasonry.

This program is open to trade qualified stonemasons working in NSW, who are citizens or permanent residents of Australia with two or more years of experience in traditional masonry works or repairs during apprenticeship or post apprenticeship employment.

Applications are open from 7 December 2018 and close on 29th January 2019.

Please read the 2019 George Proudman Fellowship Guidelines before you apply. Click here to download the Application Form

For more information, please contact