Defence sites study

Stuart Thyer

I’m not aware if any fort sites ever had light railways within them for the transport of munitions, but if readers are aware of anything published in this area, it may be of interest to the researchers listed below.

East coast nineteenth century defence sites study
The Federation of Australian Historical Societies (FAHS) has been commissioned by the Department of Environment with a Protection of National Heritage Places grant to prepare two thematic papers relating to east coast nineteenth century defence sites.
The aim of the papers is to provide advice to the Australian Heritage Council. The work of preparing the papers has fallen to Associate Professor Don Garden, President of the FAHS. Don Garden is well known as a historian based in Victoria.
One paper is to be a general outline of nineteenth century defence issues in the eastern colonies, to provide context for understanding the extant fortifications.
The second paper is to examine the possibility of sites being advanced for the National Heritage List in Sydney and Melbourne.

The challenge of the project is gathering together information and reports from around Australia and Don Garden faces not only the tyranny of distance but also the frustration of having much of the literature on the defence sites being in unpublished reports to Government agencies (the so-called grey literature).
However, the positive outcome will be for the first time a national understanding of pre-colonial defence sites, their similarities and their differences and this will help determine those sites that meet the high significance thresholds to achieve National heritage listing.

Don Garden has written to the Royal Australian Historical Society to see if any affiliated societies may have useful information and whether there are any individuals who may be able to help. Please email Don Garden if you are able to assist.

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