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Coming from a communications and marketing background and with research skills, Ms Hope plans to translate that into her new role as Central Otago Heritage Trust co-ordinator.
Ms Hope moved to Central Otago in March, arriving just three days before lockdown.
While it was not the ideal start, she said she had long held an affinity for the region and its history.
"As a keen genealogist, I am acutely aware of how stories bring greater meaning and understanding of our past."
In particular, the resilience and pioneering spirit of people and their families living in the region at the time of the gold rush resonated with her.
Appointed in October, she said she was relishing the role.
"It hasn’t taken me long to appreciate the commitment and passion volunteers bring to preserving and celebrating our heritage."
The rapid growth of Central Otago made protecting the region’s heritage more important than ever, and that was something she would focus on in the job.
Alongside the five heritage precincts listed in the Central Otago district plan — Clyde, St Bathans, Ophir, Old Cromwell and Naseby — there were many other sites of significant historical value.
The trust was an overarching body elected by Central Otago’s heritage organisations to represent collective interests.
Part of Ms Hope’s job was to implement the trust’s Central Otago heritage strategy and plan, which was drafted several years ago and now being put into action.
"In a nutshell it is our [the trust’s] job to protect, preserve, promote, and celebrate Central Otago heritage."
Progress was being made on the trust’s oral history project and work continued to create a comprehensive inventory of Central Otago’s listed and unlisted heritage sites, she said.