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Records and whip - just two examples of the  artefacts and Australian convict records at Port Arthur

Records and whip

Port Arthur Talks

The Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority presents this semi-regular series of talks by authoritative speakers on a variety of topics, ranging from history and conservation to environmental issues, research results, study tours and much more.

The talks are held every couple of months at the Port Arthur Historic Site, are free of charge and open to anyone who is interested in the topic. Rich and varied subjects and speakers make for fascinating listening and discussion.

For more information about our Port Arthur Talks, please phone +61 (0)3 6251 2324.

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Tuesday 14 April, 2015

Local heroes ~ the Tasman Peninsula and the First World War  

presented by Dr Lysbeth Ford and James Parker 

The Honour Roll for the Tasman Municipality lists 30 men associated with the Peninsula who died in the First World War.  Dr. Lysbeth Ford has researched their histories and will present her findings in this talk.  James Parker has used this research to tell the story of the Australian involvement in the war.  Lysbeth and James have presented this work twice before, and hope to do so again during the centenary of WWI, because, despite their presentation title, this is a tale of loss and sacrifice which must be told – in the hope that, one day, the message might be understood.

Dr Lysbeth Ford is a researcher, trained in Linguistics at ANU, with many years experience working with fluent speakers of endangered Aboriginal languages to document and maintain these languages and their music. She has published grammars and dictionaries of these languages. Secretary of the Tasman Peninsula Historical Society since 2011, she has co-curated several successful exhibitions, including Local Heroes.  James Parker had a long history of work in theatre, films and events organisation in Australia and overseas but returned to his native Tasmania more than twenty years ago.  Since then, he has done a double sentence at Port Arthur, both as a guide and in the café.  He is a founding member of both the Convict Women’s Press and the Female Factory Research Centre, and still does research work associated with the University of Tasmania.

Tuesday 14 April, 2015 at 5.30 p.m. at the Junior Medical Officer's House conference room (rear of the house), Port Arthur Historic Site

For more information call 6251 2324

Port Arthur Talks leaflet - Dr Lysbeth Ford & James Parker


Tuesday 26 May, 2015

Natural values of the Coal Mines Historic Site: birds, butterflies and beauties  

presented by Mark Wapstra

The presentation will be an informal walk-through the history of the Coal Mines Historic Site but from a natural values point of view. The focus will be on the vegetation and an interpretation of its current state with a look back to historical use, including clearing and fire, and the importance of the reserve (and surrounding areas) to biodiversity, especially threatened species. The reserve is a critical breeding site for the endangered forty-spotted pardalote, a known foraging area for the endangered swift parrot, a key site for the endangered hairstreak butterfly, and a hotspot for orchids, including threatened species such as the tailed spider-orchid.

Mark Wapstra is a born and bred Tasmanian naturalist and environmental scientist. With a degree in Life Sciences from the University of Tasmania, followed by a stint as a volunteer lake biologist in Antarctica, he spent over a decade in the controversial forest industry as a government ecologist, before embarking on his own environmental consulting company, specialising in threatened flora and fauna, vegetation classification and conservation management planning. His “spare” time is spent as Editor of the Tasmanian Field Naturalists Club’s annual Journal The Tasmanian Naturalist, undertaking self-funded research into Tasmania’s threatened flora, especially orchids (a throwback to his youth hanging out the back of the car “orchid-hunting” with his parents and twin brother) and plant/wildlife photography.

Tuesday 26 May, 2015 at 5.30 p.m. at the Junior Medical Officer's House conference room (rear of the house), Port Arthur Historic Site

For more information call 6251 2324

Port Arthur Talks leaflet - Mark Wapstra


Wednesday 17 June, 2015 

Learning to manage the downside of World Heritage: case study of George Town, Penang 

presented by Peter Romey

In July 2008, UNESCO awarded World Heritage status to George Town and Melaka in Malaysia.  George Town is considered to be of outstanding universal significance for its original urban morphology, architectural variety and a multiethnic, multicultural community.  Raising the bar for the management of these two very important sites, the listing has had many positive effects.  However, it has enhanced George Town’s attractiveness for new development, and already resulted in a massive increase in property values, resulting in the displacement of many of the traditional activities.  Those charged with the responsibility for its conservation will need to respond to these challenges.  

The talk will consider challenges facing the George Town World Heritage area, and some of the measures that the local community has already implemented, as well as describe recent initiatives supported by AusHeritage to enhance local heritage expertise in managing future development.

Peter Romey has been working in heritage conservation for more than 25 years, both as a consultant and in government.  He is a Partner at Godden Mackay Logan, Australia’s largest independent heritage consultancy and from 1999 to 2006 was the Director of Conservation and Infrastructure at the Port Arthur Historic Site.

Wednesday 17 June, 2015 at 5.30 p.m. at the Junior Medical Officer's House conference room (rear of the house), Port Arthur Historic Site

For more information call 6251 2324

Port Arthur Talks leaflet - Peter Romey