Did your grandparents camp at the Coal Mines, or does someone in your family remember playing tennis in front of Port Arthur’s penitentiary? Better yet, do you have photos, diaries, letters, stories or oral histories relating to our major convict heritage sites that you would like to share?

If you do, you are invited to attend events at the Tasmanian World Heritage-listed Convict Sites (Port Arthur and the  Coal Mines Historic Sites, Cascades Female Factory, Brickendon Estate, Woolmers Estate and Darlington Probation Station on Maria Island) to celebrate Australian Heritage Week.

Collecting Memories is hosted by Tasmania’s six convict sites that form part of the Australian Convict Sites World Heritage property.  Each of the sites has set aside a day and time to host community members who wish to share and reinforce their connections with any of these sites.

According to Dr Jody Steele, Heritage Projects Manager for the Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority, people will be on hand at each site to record details of your objects or memories.

“Every contribution will increase our knowledge and understanding of our history and of the important place these sites hold in our community”, said Dr Steele.

“The events will highlight the importance of primary source material (photographs, documentation, memorabilia, artefacts, oral histories etc)  and historical imagery in understanding heritage places and their evolution. It will also reinforce that heritage places are about community, and the way in which those places contribute to the life of communities.”

“Surviving records, collections and images relating to all these places are recognised as forming an incredibly important and significant component of the story-telling capabilities of each of the sites.”

Dr Steele said that a publication celebrating community connections to these very significant Tasmanian places, using stories and information gathered at these events is planned.

“The publication will introduce the links between these six sites and explore how the community connect with these places and their stories, both through the shared convict associations and the extremely deep and rich live of these communities in more recent times.” It is intended that the publication be launched during Australian Heritage Week 2012.

This joint event will be the first of which all of the Tasmanian convict sites will be concurrently involved and therefore the first opportunity to celebrate the national and international significance of these sites with the Tasmanian community.

“We hope the community will join with the Tasmanian World Heritage-listed Convict Sites in a ‘show and tell’ of their connections with these places”, said Dr Steele.

Community members may share their memories and connections with any of the sites at the following places and times during the weekend.

Port Arthur and Coal Mines Historic Sites
A single event will be held at the Port Arthur Historic Site
Arthur Highway, Port Arthur
Sunday April 17 10am–2pm
Inquiries 03 6251 2336 or jody.steele@portarthur.org.au
No RSVP required

Darlington Probation Station, Maria Island National Park
Ferry departs from Triabunna
Sunday April 17, 2011
Inquiries 03 6336 5319 or Stella.Rodriguez@parks.tas.gov.au
RSVP: Ferry subsidy available for transport; please register interest in attending by contacting Stella Rodriguez, PWS Marketing Officer on the above number.

Cascades Female Factory
Matrons Cottage (enter via Yard 3)
16 Degraves Street, South Hobart
Saturday April 16, 10am–2pm
Inquiries 03 6251 2336 or jody.steele@portarthur.org.au
No RSVP required

Woolmers Estate
Woolmers Lane, Longford
Saturday April 16 10am–2pm
Inquiries 03 6391 2230 or enquiries@woolmers.com.au
No RSVP required

Brickendon Estate
Woolmers Lane/Wellington Street, Longford
Sunday April 17 10am–2pm
Inquiries 03 6391 1251 or louise@brickendon.com.au
No RSVP required

This project is funded through the National Heritage List Sites Promotional Program of the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, and coordinated by the Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority.

For more information please visit www.portarthur.org.au/heritageweek