Australia ICOMOS E-Mail News No. 448

  1. World Heritage Listing for Australia’s Convict Sites
  2. Cockatoo Island World Heritage Listed – Sydney Harbour Federation Trust media release
  3. Burra Charter workshop, Brisbane – REMINDER
  4. New Members Welcome at 2006/2007 membership rates!
  5. Public lecture at Art Gallery of WA
  6. Australia ICOMOS members – are you planning to go to Dublin for the Advisory Committee/Scientific Council meetings?
  7. Archaeology lecture, Queensland College of Wine Tourism, September 2010
  8. GCI Bulletin – available online
  9. News from ICCROM
  10. PAHSMA’s Ticket of Leave E-news
  11. Nominations invited for engineering heritage award
  12. SITUATIONS VACANT Various vacancies, George Town World Heritage Office Incorporated


1. World Heritage Listing for Australia’s Convict Sites

In a major development for the international recognition of Australia’s cultural heritage, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee at its meeting in Brasilia last weekend resolved to inscribe the 11 sites included in the Australian Convict Sites serial nomination on to the World Heritage List. After the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne and the Sydney Opera House, the inscription means that Australia now has three cultural heritage places on the list. The sites that together make up the listing are:

  • Old Government House and Domain, Hyde Park Barracks, Cockatoo Island Convict Site and Old Great North Road in New South Wales
  • Fremantle Prison in Western Australia
  • Brickendon and Woolmers Estates, Darlington Probation Station, Port Arthur Historic Site, Coal Mines Historic Site and the Cascades Female Factory in Tasmania
  • Kingston and Arthur’s Vale Historic Area in Norfolk Island

“I am delighted by the World Heritage Committee’s decision. Australia’s convict story is a fascinating and very human tale,” said Federal Environment Protection and Heritage Minister, Peter Garrett.

“World Heritage listing is incredibly important because it is global recognition of places that have universal significance and very high cultural or natural value. So this is a huge day for Australia.

“Together these sites tell a story that is central to modern Australia. It is the story of how people were transported in exile from one side of the world to the other and how a new nation was formed from hardship, inequality and adversity.

“This is a universal story and one deeply deserving of World Heritage recognition. As a nation, we can feel extremely proud of this decision and I encourage everyone to visit these extraordinary places and experience them first hand.

“Visiting historic sites such as these is a way for us to connect with those who played a critical role in the development of Australia as a modern nation.

“The Australian Convict Sites World Heritage nomination has been a priority of the Gillard Labor Government.

“I congratulate everyone who has been involved in this complex and important nomination, including the Western Australia, New South Wales, Norfolk Island and Tasmanian Governments, property managers and of course the communities that have protected and cared for these special places,” Peter Garrett said.

Australia ICOMOS has had a long involvement in the development of the nomination, and ultimately the inscription, of the Convict Sites. In the early 1990’s the idea of recognising the outstanding universal value of the forced migration of criminals and undesirables to further the expansionist ambitions of the colonial powers was first raised, and in May 1996 Australia ICOMOS ran an expert workshop to discuss the possibility of a serial nomination of Australian convict sites to the World Heritage List. With the cooperation of the various States and Territories, and with expert input from Australia ICOMOS, a draft nomination was prepared by the Commonwealth in 1999 but unfortunately did not proceed.

Eventually however the concept of the nomination was revived, and with input and support from a broad range of stakeholders including the governments of Tasmania, New South Wales, Western Australia and Norfolk Island, a revised and much more comprehensive nomination dossier was prepared. The dossier was referred to a number of organisation and individuals, including Australia ICOMOS, for comment. The final nomination dossier was dispatched to the World Heritage Centre in Paris December 2007. As is usually the case for cultural heritage nominations to the World Heritage List, UNESCO referred the nomination to ICOMOS in Paris for expert advice, and this was subsequently provided with input from Australia ICOMOS.

Australia ICOMOS congratulates the Australian Government and the many other stakeholders who have contributed to the ultimate success of the nomination. It also gratefully acknowledges the untiring efforts of those members of the organisation who have worked over such a long period to achieve this international recognition of Australia’s cultural heritage.


2. Cockatoo Island World Heritage Listed – Sydney Harbour Federation Trust media release

Mr Geoff Bailey, Executive Director, of the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust, is honoured that Cockatoo Island has been declared a site worthy of World Heritage status.

“To be recognised by UNESCO with ten other Australian convict sites highlights how Cockatoo Island plays an important part in the story of transportation and the European settlement of Australia” said Bailey.

Click here to read the entire media release.


3. Burra Charter workshop, Brisbane – REMINDER

As part of the Burra Charter development program, Australia ICOMOS is running a series of workshops in order to engage directly with members about the range of tasks related to the Charter, the current guidelines and possible future guidelines. These workshops will supplement information gathered through the electronic surveys advertised in the e-news and other research. The workshop will include a report back on findings so far, as well as explore a range of issues related to the Charter and its guidelines.

Day: Friday 13 August
Workshop Time: 4 for 4.15pm start – 6 – 7pm refreshments
Venue: Community Meeting Room – ground floor – Brisbane Square Library – Brisbane city
Cost: Free
RSVP: By COB Monday 9 August to Catherine Brouwer


4. New Members Welcome at 2006/2007 membership rates!

As previously advised in the E-news, the Executive Committee (EC) had decided not to raise membership fees for the time being. However, a rise in fees is inevitable at some point and membership fees will be reviewed shortly.

So, now’s a great time to join ICOMOS. The deadline for the submission of membership applications for the August EC meeting has been extended to 11 August 2010.

Membership forms and details are available from here and by emailing the Secretariat, or phone (03) 9251 7131. All applications should be submitted to the Secretariat (see the form for details).

If further information is required email the Membership Secretary, Natica Schmeder.

Encourage your friends and colleagues to take advantage of the still low fees to join.

Natica Schmeder
Membership Secretary


5. Public lecture at Art Gallery of WA

Prof Taher GHALIA
Director, National Museum of Bardo, Tunis, Tunisia

Prof Ghalia will be visiting Perth as part of a cultural exchange hosted by Deakin University under the auspices of the Australian Arab Relations. During his visit, Prof Ghalia will be giving a lecture on the magnificent collections of the Bardo Museum.

The Museum has a magnificent collection of North African Roman Mosaics, a collection of textiles including a 5th century Coptic textile fragments and a very fine jewellery collection. Prof Ghalia’s presentation will provide a glimpse into this visually rich and historically significant collection.

Where: Art Gallery of WA Theatrette
When: 6.30 pm, Monday, 23 August 2010 – light refreshments following the lecture
Cost: $10 (payable on the night)
RSVP: Essential – (08) 9212 1101 or email Liz Noakes by Thursday 19 August


6. Australia ICOMOS members – are you planning to go to Dublin for the Advisory Committee/Scientific Council meetings?

ICOMOS Advisory & Executive Committee meetings, and Scientific Symposium
Dublin, Ireland, 26 – 31 October 2010

As President, I will be attending the ADCOM meeting in Dublin in October representing Australia ICOMOS. I know that others amongst our membership will also be going in a variety of capacities, to attend either the Advisory Committee and/or Scientific Council meetings. Over the past few years an increasing number of Australians have attended as Australian involvement in ISC’s continues to grow.

If you are going, either representing your ISC as President or Vice President or as an observer, please advise Georgia at our secretariat office by email. I would appreciate it if you could also provide a mobile number that you will be using while in Dublin. I will try to arrange an informal gathering of AI members in Dublin during the proceedings. It is also useful to have contact numbers in case issues arise that require an AI response (ten AI heads are better than one!)

I gather that accommodation is pricey in Dublin so some of you may be interested in knowing who is also going so that you can explore sharing. Once we have a preliminary list complied I will circulate it amongst the listed group so you can explore options.

Susan McIntyre-Tamwoy
President, Australia ICOMOS


7. Archaeology lecture, Queensland College of Wine Tourism, September 2010

Associate Professor Bryce Barker will be giving an archaelogy lecture on September 4-5. For further information on the lecture click here. For registration and payment etc, click here.


8. GCI Bulletin – available online

To view the August 2010 issue of the GCI bulletin, click here.


9. News from ICCROM

To view the August 2010 news from ICCROM, click here.


10. PAHSMA’s Ticket of Leave E-news

Selected articles from Port Arthur’s e-news are included below.

World Heritage Listing for Australian Convict Sites

Shortly after 6am on Sunday 1 August, Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority staff received a text message from Brazil advising us that the Port Arthur and Coal Mines Historic Sites had been granted World Heritage status.

After a nomination process that involved four states and territories and lasted several years, and almost two decades after seeking World Heritage listing was first mooted for Port Arthur, this was welcome news.

The Australian Convict Sites are eleven places that combine to tell the epic story of Australia’s convict heritage. Five of the eleven sites are in Tasmania – the Port Arthur and Coal Mines Historic Sites, Cascades Female Factory in South Hobart, Darlington Probation Station on Maria Island and Woolmers and Brickendon Estates near Longford.

For technical reasons, Woolmers and Brickendon Estates are included as a single site but in reality they are two separate properties, which although adjacent, each offer their own unique visitor experience.

The other sites that make up Australia’s 18th World Heritage listing are:

  • Old Government House and Domain, Hyde Park Barracks, Cockatoo Island Convict Site and Old Great North Road in New South Wales
  • Fremantle Prison in Western Australia
  • Kingston and Arthur’s Vale Historic Area in Norfolk Island

The listing offers many opportunities to capitalise on the exposure afforded by World Heritage status to ensure the ongoing conservation of the sites and to promote tourism. The Tasmanian sites are already working closely with Tourism Tasmania on ways to cross-promote the sites and to use the status to attract increased tourist numbers to our State.

Port Arthur honoured with prestigious award

The Port Arthur Historic Site has named Australian Gourmet Traveller Magazine’s Best Heritage Experience for the third year in succession.

In its citation, the magazine noted that Port Arthur’s history was “treated with respect and gravity by guides and by fixed displays that don’t shy away from telling the chilling truths about the site’s history”.

Read more…

New Heritage Minister visits Port Arthur

Tasmanian Minister for Environment, Parks, Heritage and the Arts David O’Byrne recently visited the Port Arthur Historic Site to discuss opportunities and challenges that will follow World Heritage listing.

On his first official visit to the award-winning site, Mr O’Byrne also discussed the ongoing management of the site with Chairman Barry Jones and board members Jude Franks, Sue Clark and Stephen Large.

Read more…

PAHSMA CEO reappointed

The Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority’s highly respected Chief Executive Officer, Mr Stephen Large, will continue in the role for another five years.

The Authority’s Chairman, Dr Barry Jones, said that the Board had unanimously supported renewing Mr Large’s contract until 2015.

“Stephen has led the team at the Port Arthur Historic Site for a decade, through some of the most momentous, challenging and exciting period’s in the Site’s history as a heritage icon.”

“When he commenced, the organisation was still recovering from the terrible impacts of the Port Arthur massacre. He has helped the staff and the organisation move on from that terrible event with tact, compassion and dignity, while leading it into a period of unprecedented growth in visitation and standards of conservation.”

Read more…

Heritage skills developed at Port Arthur

The Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority (PAHSMA) and the Institute for Professional Practice in Heritage and the Arts (IPPHA), based at the Australian National University, recently joined forces to present an advanced short course titled World Heritage: Conserving Cultural Heritage Values, providing a unique development opportunity for heritage professionals.

While getting to know the outstanding heritage sites managed by PAHSMA (the Port Arthur and Coal Mines Historic Sites), participants built advanced skills with tuition from some of Australia’s leading heritage experts.

Internationally renowned heritage consultant, and PAHSMA Deputy Chair Professor Sharon Sullivan said that the course underscored the significance of the Port Arthur Historic Sites in the development of professional heritage management in Australia.

“There is a long history of leaders in the heritage profession who have spent time working or have otherwise studied at Port Arthur”, said Professor Sullivan.

“A course such as this provides a wonderful opportunity to extend that relationship, and to highlight the knowledge and skills that continue to contribute to the Sites’ ongoing conservation”.

Read more…

Visit this September for a bonus offer

To celebrate the coming of spring, and the granting of World Heritage Status, we have a special offer for visitors to the Port Arthur Historic Site this September.

All visitors paying for entry to the Site this September will be offered a free upgrade to a Ticket of Leave pass. Our regular entry ticket provides access to the Site for two consecutive days. With the Ticket of Leave, you can return as often as you like for the next two years – a great option for accompanying visiting friends, or a way to bring the family back again and again.

Conservation News


As part of the community consultation process for developing the Coal Mines Historic Site Masterplan a community survey was distributed to residents of the Tasman and Forestier Peninsulas, and interviews were undertaken with key residents. Eight hundred surveys distributed, with 121 (15%) completed and returned.

The results of both the survey and community interviews will be compiled into a report on community values and concerns. These will be presented to the community at an information day to be held at the Coal Mines in early October.

Meanwhile, base line information on the natural, historic and Aboriginal values is continuing to be collected through numerous site meetings with Government Departments and Aboriginal groups. A very informative meeting was held at the Coal Mines in July with representatives from the Aboriginal Heritage Tasmania and the Tasmanian Aboriginal Land and Sea Council.


PAHSMA will initiate a major upgrade of the presentation, conservation and stabilisation of the Penitentiary, but before any decisions are to be made through an extensive planning process it is critical to understand the significance of the precinct.

The Penitentiary was constructed in stages between 1842 and 1845. Originally constructed as a water powered corn mill and granary, it was converted to a penitentiary between 1853 and 1857. The clock tower and other additions such as the bakery and wash-house were added c.1857. The building was burnt out by bushfires in 1897 and within the last thirty years stabilising systems have been installed within the structure.

PAHSMA has commissioned Andronas Conservation Architecture, a Victoria-based company with a history and experience of conservation projects, to develop the Penitentiary Precinct Conservation Masterplan. The plan will establish the cultural heritage significance of the precinct and provide guidance for future works such as conservation, interpretation and stabilisation of the structures. It is due for completion in December.

Port Arthur Talks

Unfortunately we’ve had to cancel a couple of talks scheduled in coming months, for reasons beyond our control. We are working to reschedule those talks, and to arrange some more fascinating speakers and topics.

Please keep an eye on our Port Arthur Talks page for updates as they happen.


11. Nominations invited for engineering heritage award

Nominations are invited for the John Monash Medal for Engineering Heritage. The medal recognises outstanding contributions made by individuals towards increasing the awareness and conservation of Australia’s engineering heritage.

The medal is awarded by Engineering Heritage Australia (a special interest group of Engineers Australia). This award is open to members and non-members of Engineers Australia.

A “How to nominate” guide is available by emailing the administrator of EHA and on the Engineers Australia website.

Nominations close 31 August.


12. SITUATIONS VACANT Various vacancies, George Town World Heritage Office Incorporated

The George Town World Heritage Office Incorporated (GTWHI) was set up under the Penang State Government to manage the World Heritage Site of George Town in Penang, Malaysia. The primary role of the GTWHI is to monitor and safeguard the heritage values of the site, conduct research, training and education programs for stakeholders and to promote the site. The GTWHI is seeking suitable candidates to be part of its dynamic office team.

Positions available

  • Heritage Architect/Planner/Conservationist
  • Heritage Education & Communications Officer
  • Project Co-coordinator
  • Heritage Researcher/ Content Writer
  • Data Management Officer

For further information about these roles, consult the George Town World Heritage Inc vacancies document.

Contact person for these positions

Ms Maimunah Mohd Sharif
General Manager
George Town World Heritage Incorporated
116&118 Lebuh Acheh
George Town, Penang
Email Ms Maimunah Mohd Sharif


If you would like to suggest an event, story, course etc for the Australia ICOMOS e-mail news or submit an article, or you wish to be removed from the distribution list, please e-mail the Australia ICOMOS Secretariat. Please note that as the office is not staffed full-time it may take a few days to deal with your request.


Disclaimer: Opinions expressed in the Australia ICOMOS Email News are not necessarily those of Australia ICOMOS Inc. or its Executive Committee. The text of Australia ICOMOS Email news is drawn from various sources including organizations other than Australia ICOMOS Inc. The Australia ICOMOS Email news serves solely as an information source and aims to present a wide range of opinions which may be of interest to readers. Articles submitted for inclusion may be edited.


Australia ICOMOS Secretariat
Georgia Meros, Secretariat Officer
Cultural Heritage Centre for Asia and the Pacific
Deakin University
221 Burwood Highway
Burwood VIC 3125
Telephone: (03) 9251 7131
Facsimile: (03) 9251 7158


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