100th Port Arthur Talk

May 30, 2016

June 16th, 2016

A great crowd turned out to the Port Arthur Asylum for the 100th in the series of Port Arthur Talks this week.  Presented by Prof Sharon Sullivan AO and Dr Barry Jones AC, the talk had quite a gathering of eager listeners despite the chilly winter night.

May 30th, 2016

June 2016 marks the 100th event  in the series of informative Port Arthur Talks, with the presentation of The life and times of Port Arthur: from convict station to tourism icon and World Heritage, by Professor Sharon Sullivan and Dr Barry Jones.

The talks first began in 2002 as part of a twofold effort to engage with the local community, and were designed to allow eminent speakers to discuss aspects of their work with a wide audience.

The first talk, in October 2002, examined the history of Point Puer Boys’ Prison in comparison with contemporary attitudes to juvenile justice, and was presented by Dr June Slee.  Subsequent talks have examined a variety of subjects including archaeology, convict studies, interpretation, tourism, and conservation and management of historic sites, as well as local history and natural values of the region.  Staff, artists in residence and local residents have also presented on a wide variety of topics – everything from reality television to Antarctic expeditions.

It is fitting that the 100th talk be presented by Prof Sharon Sullivan and Dr Barry Jones, as they were among the first to present shortly after the talk program began.  Their initial presentation addressed World Heritage listing and the implications for Port Arthur, in February 2003.  Thirteen years later they will address the history of Port Arthur and its successful inclusion on the World Heritage register.

Past speakers have included:

  • Dr John Hunter on the Isle of the Dead tidemark and sea level rise (2003 and 2012)
  • Dr John Carter from Canada on the Upper Canada rebellion and exiles sent to VDL (2004 and 2007)
  • Dr Stefan Petrow for talks on the legal history of Van Diemens Land (2005 (twice) and 2013)
  • Prof Lucy Frost on the life of convicts in Van Diemens Land – in particular women and children (2008, 2010 and 2012)
  • Prof Henry Reynolds on the social legacy of the convict period in Van Diemens Land (2003)
  • 26th Governor of Tasmania William Cox on Private John Cox, a soldier-settler from Norfolk Island.
  • Prof Hamish Maxwell-Stewart with the results of his statistical analysis of Tasmanian convict records (2004, 2009 and 2014)
  • Dr David Leaman on the geology of the Tasman and Forestier Peninsulas (2010)
  • Mark Risby on Edward Murphy’s signals of Hobart Town (2014)
  • Brian Rieusset on the Penitentiary Chapel and Criminal Courts, and Maria Island convicts (2004, 2008 and 2009)
  • Peter Roche on 20 years of the Roche brothers (now Navigators) at Port Arthur (2006)
  • Carol Altmann on 10 years on from April 28 1996 (2006)

Port Arthur Talks are free of charge and held on a designated weekday afternoon.  Details of current and up-and-coming talks can be found here.

The 100th Port Arthur Talk will take place on Wed 15 June, 2016 at 5 p.m, in the Asylum, Port Arthur Historic Site

Please RSVP if you wish to attend by calling 6251 2324