A conservation plan for the Isle of the Dead and enhanced visitor experiences at the separate prison and dockyards are planned at Port Arthur over the next year.
The projects are among works to be funded at the historic site by the State Government’s first instalment of $10million over the next five years. A scope of works is being prepared for the dockyards and separate prison to improve interpretation and conservation.
The separate prison, where convicts were kept in isolation cells and total silence apart from Sunday church services, is a chilling place at the best of times.
Convicts experienced a total loss of identity during their four to 12 month sentences and wore hoods during their one-hour daily exercise to prevent recognition.
Improved interpretation will leave visitors in no doubt about the harshness of this system and the psychological damage caused by the solitude and silence.
One of the key projects of the year for the Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority is to organise an appropriate commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the Port Arthur shooting.
There also are plans to introduce audio tours of the site, to produce a new introductory film for visitors and further adding to the very successful annual summer archaeological program.
As well, a comprehensive review of the Port Arthur Historic Site Conservation Plan 2000 will also be undertaken.
The Minister for Parks and Heritage, Judy Jackson, visited Port Arthur this week to meet with members of the Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority Board and to inspect project work.