KAVHA conservation and interpretation works

The Australian Government is continuing to support the delivery of conservation and interpretation projects at the Kingston and Arthur's Vale Historic Area (KAVHA), to preserve Norfolk heritage and improve community experience.

Thanks to local support, we are also incorporating Norf'k language into new site signage, maps and leaflets. Way marker posts are in production, linked to a new free visitor map and leaflet. These will improve visitor understanding of KAVHA, and include many of the site's traditional place names presented in both English and Norf'k language for the first time.

I thank the community members who have been working with the KAVHA team to develop these way markers and other interpretive products in Norf'k—this is a significant and ongoing initiative to reflect the local language, acknowledging there will be sometimes be spelling variations when capturing this unique and largely spoken language.

This initiative is aimed at celebrating the unique culture of the island while enhancing visitors' experience.

To enhance marketing and promotion of KAVHA, local photographers (Zach Sanders and Kit Wilson) have captured imagery of the site, with a focus on local people using, enjoying and experiencing the beautiful location. The images will be used across a range of media platforms to promote KAVHA.

We are committed to sharing the stories of all settlement periods at KAVHA, with a recent focus on the Polynesian settlement. Local artists are currently producing wood carvings (Dids Evans), replica bone carvings (John Christian) and replica stone tools (Peter Horrocks) to support interpretation of the Polynesian marae site.

In preparation for the return of museum visitors, the department has provided funding to support the Norfolk Island Museum to renew and update museum signage within the Commissariat Store and at the Pier Store with locally produced signs.

The KAVHA works crew have benefited from ongoing training in the use of traditional heritage skills and materials, to conserve and re-instate traditional lime-based building treatments at the Sirius Museum, Settlement Guard House and Government House. These conservation projects have enabled the employment of two apprentices as part of a commitment to the transfer of traditional skills to the next generation of island craftsmen.

Structural and safety works to the Surgeon's Quarters verandah have been completed by island-based contractors, and extensive restoration and maintenance of the convict cemetery area is also now under way. There's also been increased fire egress solutions to five buildings within the site.

Support has been provided to manufacture traditional timber shingles for upcoming roof restoration projects. New fences and cattle watering points are being provided along Arthur's Vale Creek as part of a native endemic species recovery and restoration program.

If you would like to find out more about any other KAVHA matters, please contact Martin Purslow, Heritage Manager, at martin.purslow@infrastructure.gov.au.

Mr Eric Hutchinson
Chair, KAVHA Advisory Committee
July 2020