The Advisory Committee for the Kingston and Arthur’s Vale Historic Area (Kingston) recently met on Norfolk Island to discuss a range of current issues relating to site management and to see first-hand some of the current and ongoing projects at the site.
With planning and a range of works and improvement projects under way, and imminent changes to site staffing arrangements, the Advisory Committee reinforced the importance of good communications with stakeholders and the community.
Representatives of the Kingston Community Advisory Group shared their ideas with the Committee on how community engagement can be improved. Plans are under way to reinvigorate the role of the Community Advisory Group and expand its membership to ensure broader community representation and input to decision-making.
The Advisory Committee is grateful to members of the community who took part in the recent community consultations relating to the update of the 2016 Heritage Management Plan and the development of a Site Master Plan for Kingston. Consultations included two rounds of face-to-face stakeholder and community meetings, as well as written feedback. The project team for the plans is currently reviewing all feedback received and will return to island in a few months’ time to present a draft plan for community feedback.
Several other heritage and conservation management plans are being prepared for significant historic sites on Norfolk Island. Draft management plans for the HMS Sirius wreck site, the arched building at Longridge, and Government House are expected to be published for community consultation in the coming months.
The COVID Relief and Recovery Fund project to enhance interpretation at Kingston is near completion. Community members and visitors are already enjoying the new barbeque shelters and viewing areas across the site, which will soon also have new signage telling many new stories from the site’s history, including stories of Pitcairn and modern community use of the site. I encourage locals to visit the site to share and experience the new interpretation with family, friends and visitors.
Supporting our goal of more unified site management and operational structure, the Advisory Committee welcomed action to bring the Kingston maintenance and museum staff into a single management structure alongside departmental staff. The Advisory Committee notes there are current challenges with resourcing and further work to be done to finalise how the staffing structure will look in the future, but remains positive that the changes will deliver benefits on the ground for the care of all museum collections and site assets.
The Advisory Committee was sad to hear Mr Martin Purslow has finished in the role of Commonwealth Heritage Manager. Committee members acknowledged Martin’s passion, enthusiasm and heritage knowledge along with the significant steps forward he drove while on island. These included the return to traditional materials and methods for the maintenance of heritage buildings, and the incorporation of Norf’k language into the new Kingston branding. The Advisory Committee wishes Martin and his family well in their future endeavours.
The Advisory Committee includes three local members (Duncan Evans, David ‘Dids’ Evans and Susan Prior), two expert members (Kevin Sumption and Jane Harrington) and is chaired by the Administrator of Norfolk Island.
For further information or discussion, please contact the Office of the Administrator (phone 22152 or email email@example.com).
Chair, Kingston and Arthur’s Vale Historic Area Advisory Committee