Bob Clark (email him here), Senior Heritage Planner with the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust writes in the June 2006 issue of Una Voce: Things are beginning to happen down at Middle Head that will lead to a new lease of life for the former ASOPA and its later manifestations. The site is part of former defence land at Georges Heights/Middle Head handed to the newly established Interim Sydney Harbour Federation Trust in 1999. In 2001 the Interim Trust became the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust under its own Act of Federal Parliament charging it with opening various (now eight) sites to the public and conserving, protecting and interpreting their environmental and cultural heritage.
The Trust has just commissioned a Conservation Management Plan covering ASOPA and its neighbouring 10 Terminal Regiment. This is the beginning of a process that will gather relevant information for the production of a Plan of Management. The plan will outline the proposed future for the site and a draft will be provided for public comment and displayed on the Trust’s website.
The Conservation Management Plan will include an historical overview of the area, a survey the current condition of the buildings, an assessment of their heritage significance and recommend appropriate uses for the buildings and policies for their conservation and interpretation.
The Trust and the historian undertaking the overview are interested in receiving photographs of the buildings (internal and external) and their inhabitants and information on teaching staff. ASOPA was highly regarded as a special educational institution. Are you aware of any other institutions in other countries that mirrored ASOPA’s role and success?
An Open Day on site is held in conjunction with the exhibition of the Plan of Management. Given the importance of ASOPA, it is planned to hold a separate Open Day purely for ex students, teachers and staff of the School to gather names, learn more about the institution and to discuss an oral history program.
Photos: Dennis Burrell and Bill Bohlen, from the Class of 1962-63 Reunion, October 2005.