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Bimbimbie House Policy
This Policy defines the cultural significance [1], role and management of Bimbimbie House at the University of Canberra’s Bruce campus
[1] The Burra Charter: The Australia ICOMOS Charter for Places of Cultural Significance 2013 defines cultural significance as encompassing ‘aesthetic, historic, scientific, social or spiritual value for past, present or future generations …places may have a range of values for different individuals or groups’. The Charter is a best practice standard for the appreciation and management of places of cultural significance. Whilst Bimbimbie is not a heritage listed place, the Charter provides a good basis to understand its value and to guide decisions related to its management.
This policy applies to Bimbimbie House as a University owned asset and includes the building and its gardens.

Bimbimbie House plays a significant role within the University having, historic, aesthetic and social values.[1]  The house is the private residence for the Vice-Chancellor and is also used for official functions and events. The word 'Bimbimbie' is an indigenous word, not of local origin, meaning a place of many birds.

Historic and social value:
Bimbimbie was commissioned in 1994 by the Vice-Chancellor Professor Don Aitkin AO through a design competition between three architects. The winning proposal by Mitchell/Giurgola and Thorp (MGT) was led by Romaldo (Aldo) Giurgola AO (1920 – 2016) as the design architect.[2] In 1980 MGT was declared as the winner of an international design competition for the new Australian Parliament House. Aldo Giurgola is recognised as the lead architect for that project.  He moved to Canberra to direct the design and construction of the building which has become an Australian landmark. Aldo Giurgola is the recipient of many international and national awards and honours including the Gold Medal of the Australian Institute of Architects and appointment to the Order of Australia. A portrait of Aldo Giurgola was commissioned by the Australian Institute of Architects and hangs in the National Portrait Gallery. Of note, Giurgola and his firm have established a continuing relationship with the University of Canberra through academic contributions and awards.   
The site selected for the building on the edge of the Bruce campus afforded ample grounds for a quality Australian landscape setting in keeping with the character of Canberra as a city in the landscape. 
Bimbimbie and its grounds has served as a comfortable private residence for successive Vice-Chancellors and their families and is used frequently for special University social events and functions. 
Over the years Bimbimbie has become part of the identity of the University and a destination of importance within the Bruce campus.

Aesthetic value:
The house retains a modest residential scale and architectural expression. The linear plan is arranged to separate the public and private spaces and for the public areas to be readily accessible from the vehicular access road. The house and gardens open to the north addressing the campus. A large pavilion styled space with a small mezzanine landing is at the centre of the composition. In its earliest use, Professor Aitkin would address functions from this landing. It has been suggested that this space ‘closely resembles the simpler getaway house Giurgola was later to design for himself’.[3]

Moral right obligation:
The Copyright Amendment (Moral Rights) Act 2000 relates to an author’s ‘right of integrity of authorship in respect of a building’.[4] The Act requires consultation in good faith by the owner with the author (or a person representing the author) in relation to a change in, or the relocation, demolition or destruction of a building. The Act sets out the requirements for such consultation.
[1] These values are defined in the Burra Charter Practice Note Version 1: November 2013.
[2] The other two competing architects were Jackson Swayn and Roger Pegrum. Both have national profiles in architecture and long-standing significant relationships with the University or Canberra.
[3] Stephen Schrapel and Peter Scriver University of Adelaide, Abstract, SAHANZ 2017 Annual Conference proceedings
[4] Moral right is defined in the Act (Schedule 1- Moral Rights of Authors) as a right of attribution of authorship; a right not to have authorship falsely attributed; or a right of integrity of authorship.
Any decision made in relation to modifications to Bimbimbie House must have regard to its cultural significance and continuing use as a private residence for the Vice-Chancellor.

Cultural significance

The University must act carefully in its approach to its management of culturally significant buildings.
Consideration for any proposed design or modifications of Bimbimbie House should be made with the original Architect under the Moral Rights Act to maintain integrity of the original design. Pamille Berg AO and Harold (Hal) Guida ‘have responsibility to receive Moral Rights notifications for the estate of Romaldo Giurgola’ as set out in his will.[1] The University is required to consult with them accordingly in relation to Bimbimbie House.

Private residential use

The University may make available Bimbimbie House on the Bruce campus for the purpose of providing a Private Residence for the Vice-Chancellor and President and/or events space for University Sanctioned Events hosted by the Vice-Chancellor and President. The University will make effort to ensure Bimbimbie House is fit for habitation, in a reasonable state of repair and reasonably secured.
[1] Hal Guida was a partner of Mitchell/Giurgola and relocated to Canberra as the Design Co-ordinator for the Parliament House project.  He is the recipient of multiple awards in Australia and overseas and has been a strong supporter of the University design programs for many years.
Pamille Berg was the MGT partner responsible for the coordination of the art and craft program for design and construction of Parliament House. She is recognised for her service to public art in Australia particularly with emerging artists and indigenous artists in remote communities.
Who Responsibilities
Council The Council is the source of authority for the Policy given that the Vice-Chancellor receives a direct benefit from the implementation of the Policy.
Chief Financial Officer The Chief Financial Officer has responsibility for the financial consideration of operational and capital expenses in relation to Bimbimbie House and relevant reporting to Council.
Head of People and Diversity The Head of People and Diversity has responsibility for ensuring the employment contract of the Vice-Chancellor and President, captures the appropriate references to this policy and recognises the appropriate contribution to the operational costs of Bimbimbie house for its private use.
Planning and Development Committee The Planning and Development Committee has a delegated authority to monitor, review and make recommendations regarding developments with a significant strategic relevance to the university.
Campus Estate Campus Estate is responsibility for ensuring the effective operation and maintenance of Bimbimbie House, including undertaking any approved capital works.
  • Copyright Amendment (Moral Rights) Act 2000
Terms Definitions
Primary Occupant Vice-Chancellor and President
Private Residence Service of Bimbimbie House for the private and quiet enjoyment of the Vice-Chancellor and President and their family.
University Sanctioned Event Events and activities where the Vice-Chancellor and President is formally appointed by the University to represent the University.
  • Use of Bimbimbie House Procedures
  • Delegations of Authority Policy