Managing Heritage Tourism

20 Years On: Reflections on grief, tourism and commemoration at Port Arthur Historic Site

Premiership Room B, Melbourne Cricket Ground 06/10/2016 3:40 pm - 4:00 pm

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Dr Rosemary Hollow

When announcing the 20th anniversary services of the 1996 massacre to be held at Port Arthur Historic Site, CEO Stephen Large said: We did make the comment 10 years ago that that would be the last service … in hindsight we shouldn’t have said that.

2016 marks 20 years since a gunman killed 35 people at Port Arthur Historic Site. In this paper I’ll reflect on the complexities of managing grief and history at the historic site. A Memorial Garden was built on the massacre site, but it covers the remains of convict buildings. Challenges remain over the interpretation of the massacre. An unexpected legacy and unlikely memorial has been the gun control legislation. Tourism has long been part of the life of Port Arthur, and tourists now contribute to the history and memory of the event through sharing photos and stories on social media.