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55 Million Years Ago, Murgon Cultural Centre

The Challenges

When 55-million-year-old fossils were discovered in Murgon in the 1930s they remained largely unknown beyond scientific circles.  

Murgon Creative Country Association (MCCA) looked to change that by establishing a fossil museum and cultural centre to showcase the town’s ‘best kept secret’ and create a unique tourist attraction for the town and Queensland’s South Burnett region.  

The project was first conceived in 2018 with a concept emerging in 2020, and MCCA received federal government funding for a purpose-built cultural centre with an art gallery, fossil museum, art workshop, gift shop, and central prehistoric garden.   

MCCA engaged Latemore Design to bring to life their ‘rectangular donut’ design around the central courtyard, which would provide a natural light source as no windows could be placed on the outer walls for security reasons.  

MCCA had already specified Bondor’s InsulWall® and InsulRoof® all in one insulated panels for the project, and Latemore Design was tasked with incorporating the panels into MCCA’s desired floorplan.  




Photos by Denise Keelan Photography, Kingaroy.

The Solution

“Bondor’s InsulWall® and InsulRoof® panels were a central part of the success story,” said Peter Latemore, Principal + Chief Designer for Latemore Design.  

“The panels offer an all in one solution, combining exterior wall or roof, insulation and internal wall or ceiling in one cost-effective and easy-to-use product. 

“The panels offer a finished exterior envelope, as well as a self-supporting structure, all in one hit, as the panels can be erected or lifted into place and locked together.  

“Bondor’s wall systems are lightweight requiring minimal structural support from the building’s slab. We used only one supporting beam in the art gallery portion of the building as it had such a very large span. We only cut just two roof panels to fit the design.   

“The building remains quite energy efficient, with reduced air leakage and improved energy efficiency which is another win for this project.  

“It is extremely impressive that for an investment of $3 million, MCCA has ended up with a 1000m2 facility, fully fitted out including the courtyard—that’s a lot of value for the price. The Bondor roof and exterior walls saved costs considerably, not just on the panels but also on reduced time on site and labour costs, as well as reduced need for additional trades,” Peter said. 

55 Million Years Ago officially opened in October 2023, featuring a purpose-built cultural centre with an art gallery, fossil museum, art workshop, gift shop, and central prehistoric garden that features a life-size model of a Pleistocene-era Diprotodon. 

The project has proved a welcome boost to the Murgon community following the COVID-19 pandemic and is now a major tourist attraction for the town.