What are the key issues to ensure the best conservation and community outcomes for important historic houses?



Journalist, Writer and Historian

Richard Allen, 54, has been a journalist/writer for 30 years. He wrote extensively for Business Review Weekly magazine in Melbourne and London, and worked for the Nine Television Network, in the newsroom and on the business program, Business Sunday. Richard has written freelance stories for many magazines and newspapers including The Sunday Telegraph (UK), The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Far Eastern Economic Review and The Australian Financial Review. For the past 15 years he has worked in financial communications, specializing in media relations and investor relations for listed companies.


He has written nine books:


  • Shimmering Spokes – One Australian’s 16,000-kilometre Odyssey (New Holland Publishing, 1998)

  • The Sensible Single Man’s Guide to Women (Hodder Headline, 2000, co-author)

  • Recollections of a Remarkable Age (Life Reloaded Publishing, 2006)

  • Australia’s Remarkable Trees (Melbourne University Publishing, 2009)

  • The Spirit of Golf and How it Applies to Life: Inspirational Stories from the World’s Greatest Game (Melbourne University Publishing, 2010)

  • Great Properties of Country Victoria – the Western District’s Golden Age (Melbourne University Publishing, 2015)

  • The Royal Melbourne Golf Club – 125 years (ABC Books, 2016, co-author)

  • More Great Properties of Country Victoria – the Western District’s Golden Age (Melbourne University Publishing, 2017)

  • The Spirit of Golf and How it Applies to Life: Inspirational Stories from the World’s Greatest Game (Melbourne University Publishing, 2017 – updated edition)


In May 1998 he received the ‘Young Victorian of the Year Award’ (for Community and Public Service) for the Cycle Against Cancer community bike ride around Australia.


He is married with four children.


During the past three years writer Richard Allen and photographer Kimbal Baker have produced two books about notable homesteads .....





The Abbey, Annandale, NSW

Ann is a highly successful businesswoman and one of the most recognisable women in the nation. She is currently the Executive Chair of Carnival (Australia) part of the largest tourism shipping group in the world and has transformed the industry in Australia since taking the helm. She has a wider portfolio including board roles, advisory roles and mentoring. She is also a proud gardener.

Michael Hogan has had a diverse career culminating in 20 years as a public affairs consultant.  He has worked in government, politics, sport and telecommunications. Semi-retired,  he is committed to social philanthropy and sits on the boards of three not-for-profit bodies. In his early career he was involved in flora and fauna conservation and remains a committed conservationist. He and Ann are parents to Nick - a co-partner in the transformation of the Abbey.


She and Michael Hogan have been married "since dinosaurs roamed the planet".


he Abbey was a smelly, overgrown, dark, dank and damp, tumbling down mansion cum boarding house in Johnston Street was ....




Tax Lawyer, Balazs Lazanas & Welch LLP, Sydney, NSW

John is a founding partner of Balazs Lazanas and Welch LLP, a law firm specialising in taxation.


He was a tax partner at Baker & McKenzie, Sydney for 10 years from 1998, and the senior tax partner for most of that time. John has established himself as a leading practitioner in income tax, with a particular emphasis on international tax.

A graduate of the University of Sydney, John has a Master of Laws (First Class Honours).

Prior to joining Baker & McKenzie, John was a partner of Ernst & Whinney and then Ernst & Young before joining Price Waterhouse Europe as a partner. Whilst with Price Waterhouse, John led the tax practice in Hungary in the period immediately following the end of communism.

John returned to Australia when his first wife, Kathy, was diagnosed with cancer. After a brief interlude following Kathy’s death in 1994, John resumed practice in Australia and joined Baker & McKenzie as a partner in 1998.

John is married to Gabi Hollows, the widow of the Late Professor Fred Hollows.


Governments, state and federal, do little to encourage investment in privately held heritage properties (“heritage”).  This paper considers what possibilities exist for owners of heritage to utilize the tax rules to obtain .....




Chair, Historic Houses Association of Australia

Tim Duddy is a farmer from the Liverpool Plains, he led the community campaign against mining in some of Australia’s most significant agricultural land and after 12 years has managed to get major concessions regarding protection of these lands.

Tim has also work in Federal Politics and has had  significant roles in the drafting of major environmental protection law. He has been Chair of the HHA since its inception in 2014.

Conservation and Arts Consultant;
Emeritus Director, Historic Houses Trust of NSW

Peter Watts AM trained as an architect and landscape architect but for most of his career has been involved with organisations involved with building, landscape and garden conservation. He was the Founding Director of the Historic Houses Trust of NSW (now Sydney Living Museums) from 1981 until his retirement in 2008. Peter has a particular interest in ensuring historic buildings are conserved and used in ways that make them relevant to the contemporary world.

Peter has broad interests in cultural infrastructure (galleries, museums, historic sites and performing arts venues) and has, and continues to serve on the boards and committees of numerous arts organisations. In addition he consults on historic place conservation, interpretation and management, governance, museum management and policy development as well as mentoring future arts leaders.