Interview – Samantha Friend, President, Bathurst District Historical Society Museum

While in Bathurst to deliver the Access to Funding workshop, we dropped into the Bathurst District Historical Society Museum to chat with Samantha Friend about the history of the museum, the collection and archive as well as the challenges ahead.


The Bathurst District Historical Society Museum and Archives is located in a wing of the heritage classified courthouse, designed by Colonial Government Architect James Barnett in 1880.

Formed in May 1947 the Society’s first collections document important regional developments such as the growth of the garrison town, contact with explorers and surveyors, the first gold discovery in NSW, the formulation of Cobb and Co., and the region’s colourful bushranging history.

It is home to the Penzig Collection and comprises paintings, pictures, drawings, objects and costumes amassed by renowned bushranger enthusiast Edgar Penzig and his wife over a lifetime of collecting.

Highlights of the collection include a selection of Chifley memorabilia acquired from long term resident of Bathurst, Joseph Benedict Chifley (1885-1951), Australia’s 16th Prime Minister.

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