Anniversary celebrations for our convict heritage icon

October 6, 2007


Around 600 people have taken advantage of Port Arthur’s celebratory Ticket of Leave pass promotion and will now have the opportunity to visit the historic site unlimited times during the next two years.

The promotion has been part of a month of celebrations marking the 20th anniversary of one of Tasmania’s most important cultural institutions. The celebrations culminated over the weekend in a symposium and anniversary dinner at Port Arthur.

Speaking at the Anniversary Dinner, Minister for Arts, Tourism and the Environment, Paula Wriedt, paid tribute to the achievements of the Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority since it was established in 1987.

“The Authority has developed and transformed the visitor experience by telling the stories of Port Arthur’s fascinating history,” Ms Wriedt said.

“It has used detailed historical and archaeological research to ensure that the stories it tells visitors are true and authentic, so it is fitting that the 30 years of archaeology at Port Arthur are also being celebrated.

“The celebrations have also provided an opportunity to recognise PAHSMA’s role as a leader in the fields of tourism and conservation and as a key driver of economic and tourism activity in its region and for the State.”

Ms Wriedt said that since 1987, more than four million people had visited the Port Arthur Historic Site.

“Port Arthur’s significance as a heritage site of international importance is evidenced by its impending nomination for World Heritage status, as part of the Australian Convict Sites serial nomination,” Ms Wriedt said.

Ms Wriedt said the celebrations would provide an opportunity to reflect upon and pay tribute to the contributions of Port Arthur management, employees and volunteers, both past and present.

“It is also a chance to look to the future, to ensure that this unique place is conserved so that future generations can experience its wild beauty and hear its extraordinary stories,” she said.

Celebrations concluded on Saturday with an archaeology forum and a field trip and picnic at the Coal Mines Historic Site, of which PAHSMA assumed management in late 2004.

Guard Tower at Port Arthur

Guard Tower at Port Arthur

Ruins of the convict settlement at Port Arthur

Ruins of the convict settlement at Port Arthur

Port Arthur, Tasmania

Port Arthur, Tasmania