Since its creation in 1987, the Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority (PAHSMA) has been responsible for preserving and maintaining one of Australia’s most important heritage sites and major tourism destinations, the Port Arthur Historic Site on the Tasman Peninsula, approximately 100km south east of Hobart, Tasmania.

In 2004 the Authority was also given responsibility for the Coal Mines Historic Site, located near Saltwater River, about a half hour drive from Port Arthur on the Tasman Peninsula. During 2011, the Authority was also given management responsibility for Cascades Female Factory Historic Site, in South Hobart.

All three sites under PAHSMA’s management are included on the World Heritage List as three of the eleven sites that constitute the Australian Convict Sites World Heritage Property, inscribed in 2010.

Due to its responsibility for multiple sites, reference is often made to the Port Arthur Historic Sites.

Legislative Framework

PAHSMA is a Government Business Enterprise and operates under the provisions of the following principle acts of Tasmania’s State Parliament:

  • Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority Act 1987
  • Government Business Enterprises Act 1995
  • Historic Cultural Heritage Act 1995
  • National Parks and Reserve Management Act 2002
  • State Service Act 2000.

Our Vision

‘To conserve, manage and promote the Port Arthur Historic Sites as cultural tourism places of international significance’

Our Statement of Purpose

To manage the Port Arthur Historic Sites by:

  • Conserving the heritage values of the sites
  • Creating a unique and interactive visitor experience
  • Ensuring its financial viability
  • Valuing its staff
  • Considering the community
  • Organisational Structure

Our Board

Members of the Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority’s Board are appointed by the Tasmanian Government.

Members bring a wide variety of skills and knowledge from across a range of disciplines and arenas of business, heritage management and public life to the organisation.

Professor Sharon Sullivan AO, Chair

BA (Hons) MA (Hons) Dip Ed, University of New England, Honorary Doctorate, James Cook University.  Professor Sharon Sullivan has been a member of the PAHSMA Board since December 1999 and appointed Chair in December 2012.

Sharon was formerly the Australian Government representative on the World Heritage Committee. She is the former Executive Director of the Australian Heritage Commission, and an immediate past Member of the Australian Heritage Council as well as the current Deputy Chair of the NSW State Heritage Council.

Sharon has worked and published extensively on cultural heritage management in Australia, Cambodia, China, the Pacific, Africa and the USA. She has worked as a cultural heritage consultant for the Australian Government, the World Bank, the World Monuments Fund, the Getty Conservation Institute and the Government of the People’s Republic of China.

She is an Adjunct Professor at three Australian universities, a Fellow of the Academy of the Humanities and has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate, from James Cook University, a lifetime achievement award by the National Trust and the Rhys Jones Medal for her outstanding contribution to Australian Archaeology. In 2005 she was appointed an Officer in the Order of Australia for her service to cultural heritage conservation.

Hon Michael Field AC, Deputy Chair

BA, LLD(HON)

Michael Field was appointed to the PAHSMA Board in December 2005. A former Premier of Tasmania, in January 2013 Michael assumed the position of Chancellor of the University of Tasmania.

Michael is the Chair of the PAHSMA Audit and Governance Committee.

Stephen Large

F Fin GAICD

Stephen Large has been the Chief Executive Officer of the Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority since 1 July 2000. Prior to this, for a period of 11 years, Stephen was employed by the Tasmanian State Government as the North West Regional Manager of the Department of State Development.

He is a Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australasia and a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Following the January 2013 bushfire disaster Stephen represented PAHSMA on the Tasman Emergency Recovery Management Committee and is the Secretary of the Rotary Club of Tasman Peninsula.

Suzanne Clark

Suzanne (Sue) Clark was appointed to the PAHSMA Board in December 2005.

A former school teacher and long term Tasman Peninsula resident, Sue with husband Don, established a successful heritage tourism business on the Tasman Peninsula on their property, The Cascades Probation Station.

Sue has a significant interest in heritage, reflected in the number of conservation and preservation projects completed at ‘Cascades’. Managing the tourism side of the business over 20 years, has developed her business skills.

Sue is a member of the PAHSMA Audit and Governance Committee.

Jude Franks

Jude has extensive experience gained over many years in all areas of the tourism industry at both senior executive level and in the capacity of consultant or as a member of project teams.

For the past seven years she has operated her own consulting practice, with project involvement in areas of tourism management, marketing, eco and nature based tourism, heritage and cultural tourism, strategic marketing, and product and experience development. She has also been involved in several corporate strategic planning, facilitation and communication projects in Australia and South East Asia.

Jude was appointed to Board of the Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority in December 2009, was until recently a Director of Tasmania’s South Regional Tourism Association, and for several years was a Director of Ecotourism Australia, and also the Tasmanian Convention Bureau and Woolmers Estate.

Jude is passionate about the tourism industry in Australia and “making a difference”. She is a proud Tasmanian and lives in Hobart with her three children.

Kristal Buckley AM

BA (Hons), DipSocSci, MPubPol, GradCertHigherEd

Kristal Buckley is a lecturer in Cultural Heritage at Deakin University. She is an experienced cultural heritage practitioner with more than 30 years’ professional experience in cultural heritage practice and environmental policy and holds professional qualifications in the disciplines of anthropology, archaeology and public policy. Before joining Deakin University, she worked in government, consulting and the community sector. Her work includes indigenous and non-indigenous cultural heritage assessments, teaching and management projects, with an emphasis on community involvement, the cultural values of nature, and cultural landscapes. She is currently involved in the processes for cultural heritage evaluation and conservation through implementation of the World Heritage Convention and other international instruments.

Kristal is an international Vice President of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) and a past president of Australia ICOMOS. She has represented ICOMOS at the annual session of the World Heritage Committee since 2007. Kristal was appointed a member of the Order of Australia in 2013 for services to cultural heritage and education.

Hon Peter McKay

Peter McKay’s varied and challenging business and working life has provided him with a comprehensive understanding of the political process and a strong empathy with the needs of rural and regional Australia. He has successfully combined business investments with an extensive political career in the Tasmanian Legislative Council between 1976 and 1999.

Peter served as a Cabinet Minister from 1986-89 and again from 1992-98, including as Minister for Community and Health from 1996-98 and as Deputy Leader of the Legislative Council from 1986-89. His business interests have included primary production of sheep, vegetables, poppies and cereals, vegetable seed production and vineyards as well as tourism developments including jet boating on the Derwent River and as a member of the Navigators management team, ferry operators in Southern Tasmania.

Peter’s background has provided him with an extensive network across all political spectrums, in business and industry. He has wide experience in community consultative processes and in the particular challenges and processes associated with the implementation of Government policies. His strong business background has proven an invaluable adjunct in determining a balance between commercial realities and Government policy directions.

Our Values

Our Values give us our sense of identity as an organisation, describing the core qualities that underpin how we work together to support the goals and future success of PAHSMA;

  • Unity – We work as one to achieve PAHSMA’s Purpose and vision
  • Accountability – We hold ourselves, and each other, accountable for our actions and behaviours
  • People Matter – We acknowledge and show respect to our people – past, present and future
  • Passion and Pride – We are committed to being world class

Publications and resources

Statutory Management Plan

Management of the Authority and of the Historic Sites is guided by the Port Arthur Historic Sites Statutory Management Plan.

This plan provides a framework for the effective use, development and management of the Port Arthur Historic Sites, particularly in relation to their heritage values.

This management plan acts as an overarching policy document under which operate a number of secondary and tertiary plans, and various management documents and policy guidelines.

It sets out a summary of the Historic Sites’ heritage values, examines current management issues and provides strategies for effective conservation, tourism operations and visitor management.

Annual Report

PAHSMA publishes an annual report detailing its key achievements, activities and performance for the year.