History in splendid isolation

The recent visit by students from the ‘History Beyond the Classroom’ unit of study to the former Quarantine Station on North Head, provided a great opportunity for dynamic discussion surrounding topics of representation, interpretation and the roles played by museums and heritage sites in shaping public perceptions of history.
The group’s visit was hosted by myself and Peter Hobbins from the University of Sydney’s Quarantine Project, a three year collaborative research initiative focused on the rock carvings and other markings made at the site during its period of operation between 1835 and 1984. The students were very interested in the site and had lots of great questions about its history, the historic buildings and our collection of five thousand movable heritage objects. The site’s adaptive reuse by the Mawland Group – a special interest tourism company who work within the fields of nature tourism, ecotourism, cultural tourism and heritage tourism – was also a topic of conversation along with the site’s management as a hotel, conference and events facility.
The Quarantine Station is a diverse and dynamic site which lends itself to an immense variety of projects. Peter and I encourage students to take on research projects that relate to the Quarantine Station or its surrounding heritage sites as part of either this unit’s major assessment or projects developed in the future. Peter provided some great ideas for projects in his recent blog post, though students are welcome to propose other ideas. Feel free to contact Peter or myself with any questions you may have (E: qstationheritage@mawlandgroup.com.au).
It was a pleasure to host the group and we hope to see the University’s history students on site again in the future.
Rebeca speaks to HSTY3902 students 7 September 2015 - Copy.jpg
Rebecca Anderson, the Quarantine Station’s Curator, speaks to HSTY3902 students 7 September 2015
Image courtesy Peter Hobbins