Warwick A Turner 

from a talk to attendees at a Williamstown Maritime Association function at 82
Nelson Place, Williamstown on 2 October 2005

1. Introduction

Having spent 40 years involved with the planning, development, operation and
direction of open air museums it gives me great pleasure to provide a point of
view that hopefully will provide some focus for the future of this site.
Clearly I am going to lay down the case for a world-class maritime heritage
precinct that has all the potential to celebrate our maritime past - a
precinct that will embrace the Williamstown community, the Melbourne community
and the visitor community. 

Williamstown and Melbourne have a rich, exciting, but sometimes painful story
to tell. For those in the audience who feel that museums are passe,
non-commercial, boring, not relevant in to day's society, I would just like to
remind you that some of the world's most important institutions are museums.
They collect, hold, preserve and interpret the world's past glory. Things that
are precious, things that mattered to society, things that tell a story about
our past, that help us to understand who we are and what we stand for, are
displayed for our consideration and interpretation.

Around 977,000 people recently visited museums and art galleries in Melbourne,
with hundreds of thousands of visitors attending provincial and rural
exhibitions. Sovereign Hill currently receives 500,000 visitors in the daytime
and 95,000 at night-time. Melbourne is considered  the  cultural  hub  of
Australia, and Williamstown district significantly contributes to this, with
the Railway Museum and Steam Rail and the Scienceworks. 

A museum's output cannot be measured in financial terms alone. The quality of
exhibitions that resonate with the viewer is the real test of success. Clearly
any museum institution requires financial responsibility and this is a
constant struggle. Techniques have been developed over the years to "balance
the books" and I will pursue this matter later in this talk. In a few words I
have tried to convince those who are not sure about museums to at least move
forward with an open mind. In the last 25  years much has been debated and
learnt about the formulae for success. Fundamental principles exist but each
structure has to be built on its strengths - with innovative solutions to

I thought it would be appropriate to start with the following quote:

When James Craig was resting in the mud of Recherche Bay, only a far-sighted
optimistic dreamer could have believed that this rusting, barnacle-covered
hulk was a precious jewel of not only national but world significance: that
one day it would be transformed into Australia's only operational historic
square rigger and that one day she would grace her last home port - only this
time in pride of place for perpetuity.

This was the Introduction to the 1986 JAMES CRAIG Project Definition Document.
I repeat it here today for two reasons:

1.  It clearly emphasises that a great deal of tenacity, hard work, passion
and absolute commitment is required to achieve a project which has real
community value.  

2. It also shows that society at all levels must be a contributor with money
and labour and expertise.

3. It also emphasises the undeniable fact that a well thought-out, agreed plan
is fundamental to success.

It should be noted that this 100-page plus document planned for each and every
requirement - from the rivets through to the sponsorship program. Its
production was 14 years after James Craig's purchase and it brought the
project back into line and to sail again, an objective which tragically had
been lost. The plan, if produced in the beginning, would have saved over one
million dollars in work on the ship which had to done again. 

So planning and commitment from a large range of people from all over
Melbourne are keys to this site's future.

2. What are the objectives?

I am unaware of any site constraints, so will proceed on the basis that:

A. The site has intrinsic historic value which needs recognition and

B. That Parks Victoria's published objectives for the site are still valid.
They are:

1. Protection of maritime heritage values, including not exceeding the scale
of the site.

2. Appropriate reuse of historical buildings on the site.

3. Development of the site to create a visitor destination from water and

4. Provision of casual berths and ferry terminal to link with other activities
around Port Phillip.

5. Increase and improve the provision of public access to open space and water
facilities, including disabled access.

6. Provision of a view through to water from Nelson Place.

7. No residential development.

8. Address traffic requirements and provide appropriate car parking.

9. Creation of a vibrant maritime precinct incorporating activities such as
maritime industries, mixed uses and commercial activities.

C. That Williamstown Maritime Association (the chosen community group to guide
the development) retain their objectives which are:

1. The preservation of historic vessels and sites.

2. To promote maritime events, with an educational theme on both land and

3. To develop an appreciation of all things of a maritime nature in the

4. To provide public awareness of the Williamstown Maritime Precinct,
Australia wide.

5. To provide access for disabled and elderly people to enjoy marine related

6. To Involve the community in passing on maritime skills to the next

D. That Hobson Bay City Council is locked into supporting the project

E . That the community and the politicians are being maintained in a state of

These values espoused by both parties are laudable. There requires, however, a
reconciliation of these two sets of objectives if consistent and focused
progress is to be made. 

I am uncertain of the status of any formal understanding between Parks Vic and
the Association. It is clear that the continued slow progress is in part
caused by the lack of any final arrangement so necessary if certainty, trust
and direction are to be established.

3. Where to from the Objectives?

From my perspective the direction forward is confused. What are we planning? 

Is it a business park with a maritime theme? 

A maritime precinct but no heritage boats or slipway? 

A retail complex with a light marine industry offering? 

Hospitality is important so what about a mix of restaurant, cafe and a
maritime museum?

The point is that there needs to be a focused theme that will create a
first-class attraction that will draw and hold visitors.

The Vision Statement by the Williamstown Maritime Association is an attempt to
gather together some of the thinking. It is a vision not a plan, and
significant consideration needs to be given to who are the intended visitors
come users of the space. What are there needs and aspirations, why would they
want to come to an industrial site? What will older people gain - nostalgia? 

The young have quite different needs - will parents' feelings of obligation to
educate and entertain their children be met? Perhaps a theme park will do it?
Its unlikely but if rental income is the prime objective then this may be the
way to go.

The point I am making is that there are elements just mentioned that have a
place on this site, but the degree of influence that will make a homogeneous
mix that works is a key question that needs urgent resolution. This needs to
be done in the context of the Focused Theme that becomes the prime development
strategy around which other supporting elements are planned.

Williamstown's basic spiritual character is a maritime culture, with railways
running second. The unique opportunity for this community and for this site is
to celebrate the place Williamstown had in the life of Melbourne and the

This site is unique, its survival gratifying and its potential almost
limitless. We are very, very lucky that this chance has been given to us. Our
inheritance is the next generation's inheritance and our duty is to maximise
the site's potential and allow the site to speak and tell the stories that
will inform and fascinate. To demean the site with low expectations and poor
use outcomes will be an indictment on this generation.

The location, the remains, the history, the place where men have trod for over
150 years demonstrates to me that the site's prime focus must be the
development of an outdoor Maritime Museum or you may prefer a Maritime
Heritage Park.

4. The Need for Heritage Sites

Before those who feel that this focus is not valid please listen to the

Heritage work is reinforced by the widely felt need to be aware of one's own
heritage. In the older areas of the world, where monuments and physical
remnants of the past are close at hand, no special effort may be needed to
create this awareness.  In newer countries of the world, the past is a scarce
commodity and some special efforts may be necessary to make it more available.

The world needs us to establish historica1 integrity in heritage work the same
as it needs to preserve endangered species. Variety is a survival
characteristic in culture as well as genetics. And people need to be able to
feel that in certain special places their heritage is being kept and looked
after by capable, dedicated custodians.

In a time of great and rapid change, outdoor museums and historic places offer
a kind of surrogate home town for people whose once familiar landscapes may
have been obliterated by progress or altered beyond recognition. I don't
believe this is anything like "escapism", and it will become "mere nostalgia"
only if we allow it to be.

People need to see the way their ancestors lived. They need to know how the
events of the past have had an influence on them, they need to see this free
from curatorial or journalistic editing. They care about more than
architecture or fine arts; they want to know about life styles, problems of
getting food, raising children, surviving illness and wars; they want to know
gossip and the motivations of our ancestors. Museums allow us to use the
hypothetical existence on display to better evaluate our own lives. This kind
of discovery fits people into their own time and their own society like
nothing else can.

It is well known that people learn more readily when they are involved.
Museums, especially outdoor museums which involve people through their senses,
have an excellent potential to teach. Objects offer a language everyone can

5. The Universal Function of Museums

In 1975 we had a major Inquiry into museums the results from which set a path
which has guided, much that has occurred since. It identified the universal
functions of museums. It included, of course, the four basic functions: to
collect, preserve, study and display. Rut it went further and expressed that
role in almost poetic terms:

Museums should satisfy curiosity and arouse curiosity.

Museums should extend the front lines of knowledge, enable curious spectators
to visit these front lines and    understand how some of the battles to extend
knowledge are fought.

Museums should give play to the magic provided by the rare or unique object.

Museums should be both art-form and theatre, attempting to improve the quality
and variety of messages which that art-form is most fitted to send forth.

Museums should entertain people of all ages.

Museums can do all that - but outdoor museums and parks can do it even better.
They can present their information in a far more holistic unity of activities
and environment. They can offer a counterbalance to academic sterility (which
seems a real occupational hazard) and they can correct the hyperbole and
mythology about the past which is often perpetuated by careless writers. They
preserve vernacular objects, and move beyond the stereotype that museums are
churches for collectors. They offer living laboratories where people can touch
and taste and smell and participate in a way that would be unthinkable at the
nations architectural and. historic shrines. 

Outdoor museums and parks can do much to overcome the long-standing
deficiencies of traditional museums - they can better show processes and
context and concepts, and they are less susceptible to the artificial
compartmentalization of knowledge. In a time of diminishing resources they
give us workable examples of simpler life styles. 

Indeed, "the rise of the local and living history museums forms one of the
most vigorous cultural movements in Australia in recent times," and "the
nature of Australian history and its restively long democratic tradition
suggests that outdoor (folk ) museums might eventually occupy a role as
important as that occupied by natural history in our museums of the 19th
century." These last statements come from the Inquiry on Museums, which
praised the potential of outdoor museums. I think most of you will agree that
Sovereign Hill has reached that status.

Museums and parks, as guardians of our heritage do something else well. They
provide the warp and weft of a country's social, fabric. They provide a sense
of identity, along with the historical themes and images that offer a rallying
point for constructive citizenship. That's what we CAN DO, given adequate
resources and focus.

In the past living history museums have been criticised for simplifying and
distorting the past, and presenting historical and curatorial cliches at the
expense of deeper understanding - that we sacrifice scholarship to
entertainment. There is truth in this statement but this pitfall can be
avoided by us who must find and follow the advice of specialists who have
historical competence. The question of historical competence will need to be
top of mind, if the direction I am advocating is pursued. Any number of people
know a good bit about the past, but misrepresent or misconstrue that
information. What we will need are people who have a better than average
command of historical information, who can make thoughtful, well-informed
decisions on when and how that information should be used.

To sum up my case for a focussed use for this site I would like to quote from
Bill and Shirley Low, Americans who are highly skilled keepers of the past -

". . . we wish to state our credo that historic resources are a part of the
national heritage and that consequently they should be run for the benefit of
the public at large. We who work for historical agencies do not own the site.
We are trustees for them. They are ours to restore and. manage and Interpret
because earlier generations saved them for us; so we, in turn, have an
obligation to future generations who have an equal claim to that heritage. Our
trusteeship places upon us an ethical commitment to accuracy in restoration,
truth in interpretation, and protection for the next generation. The financial
support we receive from the public reinforces our obligation to the people. We
do not meet that obligation just by saving and restoring a historic site. Only
when the essential meaning of the site and of the people and events associated
with it is communicated to the visitor can we truly say that we have met out

6. Advancing the Dream into Reality

If you are with me so far, we need to consider how we could advance the dream
into reality. The concept, that has been suggested to me, that the advancement
of the site could occur through an evolutionary process, is in my view
fundamentally flawed.  Whatever the direction, an agreed written plan is
essential. It is a vital component in the formulae for success. Whether we are
building a shopping complex, a railway line or a boat we need a plan and time
lines. For  this site we need to:

Establish the core values and the resolution of fundamental imperatives;
factor in the results of a SWOT analysis; review and factor in the vision
statement taking into account the proposed core site use; respond to potential
visitor market research; and adjust Parks Vic and Williamstown Maritime
Association objectives to reflect the site's core use , so  a Site Management
Plan can be devised and publicly debated prior to its finalisation and

A Site Management Plan would include:


To be valid it must respond to the heritage opportunities, support
commercial/rental opportunities, be maintained and communicated effectively
and fulfill the expectation of ALL stakeholders.


A sound workable structure melding Parks Vic., Community Lead Group, Local
government, management, volunteers, leaseholders, sponsors and benefactors .


Plan for seeding grants for potential visitor/ market research, and establish
management plan.

Plan for capital works programme - resolving key projects that would create
desire to visit and ensure a "critical mass" upon which the site can further

Plan for finance for special events, temporary exhibitions  both day and

Plan for recurrent expenses being satisfactorily met from operating revenues
and establish source to secure future project specific funds .


In which the overall site is well managed, in which excellent marketing and
communications is established to keep all stakeholders advised and where trust
and reassurance is built within the community and market place. Adherence to a
strong museological ethic is maintained and the old trouble spot of
commercialism verses heritage is managed with sensitivity.

As you can gather I have no problem with sound business methods,
commercialism, tourism, promotion and fiscal accountability being part of our
heritage business - in fact they are an essential. But I emphasise that the
measurement of history and heritage are ultimately intangible and
non-quantifiable. They are fragile. They require the same ethics as
environmental conservation. If "good business methods" begin to overwhelm
historical honesty or the preservation of historic fabric, then I submit that
those methods are no longer good ones for the business that I propose this
site to be in.


*  Conserve and interpret the heritage values of the site, and carry out
historic research on the site.

*  Establish the site as a place of public enjoyment and education

*  Provide public access and space for cultural events.

*  Revive the site by reintroducing maritime and other related industry,
trades and skills.

* Provide visitor support amenities such as, entertainment, education,
outlets, retail, offices and studios, craft and trade venues.

* Connect the site by water to other venues and to the city and provide a
night-time experience.

7. Background to These Requirements

l would now like to deal with a few matters in more detail which I hope will
interest you. I also hope that the following will give you a better
understanding of what I am proposing.

Before launching off into this detail I want you to think about just one
matter which in my mind was resolved 40 years ago when we acquired the
vice-regal steam yacht "Lady Hopetoun", for the then-embryonic Sydney Maritime
Museum. For most in 1965 it was virtually an impossible thought to preserve
and operate a steamboat that was worn out ... finished. From 1961 onwards when
we started the acquisition process it was no, no, no. There were a few
exceptions, people of influence who shared the vision. Behind the scene they
quietly helped and we had no doubt that the public, while ambivalent, were
prepared to give us a go. 

Others thought that a nice painting or the preservation of the main engine
would suffice. The end of the steam era was nigh. The skills, the visual
enjoyment the vessels intrinsic value were all in jeopardy. Was it to be  a
picture or the real thing. We finally won and thousands of people have enjoyed
the real experience of a living working steam yacht. How superior is the
interpretation in this form as against the viewing of a painting. 

You will understand what I am saying first hand when you have the opportunity
to sail on the James Craig. Its a thousand times better than gazing at her in
a photo. If you apply this supreme interpretative method to this site your
vision starts to match mine.

8. How Can we Start When we Don't Have Any Money?

Let me tell you it is not easy. Some of your people have already put in
dollars to try and start matters moving ahead. They are to be congratulated -
but its only the beginning. 

The first principal of fund raising is that those who want the funds must
first give. To keep coming back to the plan which must be in place, it must
contain inspiring ideas based on the museum ethic. 

It is clear to me that when the fund raising stage is reached the programme
must be realistic, directed towards capital works and possibly using the
medium of a Foundation. This will be the public fund raising face of the
enterprise. The fundraising chairman is usually a well-known, highly respected
person with excellent contacts in the areas that can produce the money. Most
campaigns run over a three-year period with most of the commitment provided
during the first 12 weeks. Tax deductibility is crucial.

Philanthropic Trusts can be a source for specifics.

Memberships/special events and a major raffle should be considered

Local government, once they are locked into the project, can provide directly
from their budget seeding grant money to get matters moving. It should be
noted that 37,100 people pay rates in Hobson Bay City Council. At a $1 per
rate payer sufficient funds could be made available to produce the much needed
Development and Management plan. It should also be noted that Council is
spending this year $2.025 million on significant projects. Perhaps there is a
future opportunity from this source? Or, if Council is so inclined it could
apply the proceeds from their Cultural & Recreational rate to aid the need for
a seeding grant. The support of Council will also be critical if application
is being made for State or Commonwealth grants (which are often one for one).

In kind contribution is particularly pertinent to this site. The possibility
of running training schemes for disadvantaged youth is real. Already Council
officers have shown interest in the possibility of developing a scheme that
uses retired mentors to pass on skills to disadvantaged youth. The Hunter
Valley Training Company, funded by government and private enterprise carry out
training programmes that target heritage objects. They had an involvement with
the James Craig and steam locomotives.  And there is more to come. 

15 -19 year olds in the Western Metropolitan Region have a significantly
higher unemployment rate (22.5%) compared with the Victorian rate of 16.9% for
the same group. Employment prospects for young people have not improved
despite the boom of the 1990's. In fact research reveals that throughout the
1990's the proportion of 15 - 19 year olds "at risk" in the labour market
stabilised at over 15%.

1,557 youths are on youth allowance in this municipality. Recently our local
Echuca CVGT ran a "Youth at Risk" mentoring/skills development scheme for 12
disadvantaged youths. Five now have fulltime jobs, three have part time jobs
and two fell through the net. The scheme won four awards, was based on the
wine industry and was funded by Dept. Employment & Workplace Relations and
Dept of Justice (pilot schemes). The programme was innovative and I have no
doubt that similar schemes could be developed in this municipality for both
the proposed Williamstown Heritage Seaport and Steamrail. I can imagine that
that there would be a number of retired skilled tradesmen living in this
community who would jump at the chance to pass on their skills, enjoy the
company and progress the restoration of heritage objects - a win win for all.

Over the years I have run various job creation schemes within the heritage
context and all had satisfactory outcomes. This is another possibility for
future site input. Disengaged young people need to be valued, given hope, a
future, a place in community life and the opportunity to develop social
values. The heritage seaport can do this and the Victorian Learning and Skills
Commission are always on the lookout for sound ideas. 

Traditional sources for government funding are still available for community
based projects that have real, long lasting value. The Victorian Government
through Business Victoria has a Regional Infrastructure Development Fund and
Start up Funding Heritage Victoria has limited funding and the Community
Support Fund can provide opportunity.

From the Federal scene the Dept. of Tourism and Regional Development has
Regional Partnership Programmes.

I have just discovered the web site:  http://www.grants link.gov.au  This may
reveal more opportunities.

I cannot stress enough the fact that both the local municipality and Tourism
Vic. will need to be totally on side, as whoever is considering the provision
of a grant will refer to them, and this will require the promoters to have
clearly established the tourism advantages and the business advantages to the
local traders. There are 784 traders in Williamstown or 2,417 in the
Municipality. The advantages both financial and other must be clearly
enunciated to at least the Williamstown traders. They are a source of funds
and goods in kind. They should also be considered for the commercial
opportunities that will be on sight.

The service clubs also have a role to play in fund raising and support.

Later in the site's development I have no doubt, subject to the appropriate
security and collection management controls, the major museums will be able to
provide objects from their stored collections on loan for periods of time.
Temporary exhibitions, especially from the National Maritime Museum, would be
a possibility. 

This leaves us with the government agency who are the custodians of the site
on behalf of all Victorians. My very limited knowledge indicates that Parks
Victoria have no real money or desire to alter funding priorities to put into
the site. Once we can provide government with a plan containing the elements
touched on in this talk, we hopefully will be in a position to convince
government that the proposal is a must-have addition to the city's cultural

The fundamental infrastructure of the site must be brought up to standard
within the heritage context. I am unaware of any civil or mechanical
engineering study done which indicates what works are required. This needs to
be established - particularly the wharves, seawall, slipways and building

Did I hear "not the slipways"?  I find the negative view toward re
establishing the slipways nonsensical. The whole place existed because its
location allowed vessels to be taken from the water and worked upon. If we can
have working heritage vessels why can't we have working slips? Yes there are
OH&S issues, cost issues, operational issues on the one hand, but what a
fantastic opportunity for the public to watch a vessel being slipped, planks
repaired and caulked and returned to the water. 

On the other hand, there is no doubt that one of the keys to the site is the
boats and small ships. If Melbourne is serious about keeping and maintaining a
heritage fleet both in community and private hands, a place needs to be
provided where slipping can meet the special needs of the fleet. The fact that
Parks Vic. indicated to the Dept. of Infrastructure that the large slipway
should not be included in the Department's current analysis on Victoria's
slipways and their users, should be of great concern to all those who have the
long-term view of our remaining heritage afloat. Parks Vic. view on this
matter should be tested. 

In England slipways are being revived for just the purpose described. Excess
capacity is rented out, the proceeds going to support the heritage work. The
management plan for the slipway can respond to EPA, visitor safety and
interpretation of the site. The slipway must be included in any fundamental
infrastructure upgrade. The cost of the site upgrade work should be a one-off
government funded project that will provide a significant extension to the
site's workable life. This one-off should be a treasury-funded payment
administered by Parks Vic.

9. Two Over-riding Matters in Fund-Raising

1) Successful fund-raising for heritage work does depend on the owners ( the
Victorian government) being seen to be contributing to the site in a financial
way. Prospective donors will not give if the government is not doing its fair

2) Secondly, the capital works budget, the operating budget, the marketing
budget and reinvestment must be on a realistic, achievable level. An operating
surplus must be achieved, and factors such as a gate take, rentals income,
concessions, need to be appropriated to the heritage managers. This important
point needs clarification. 

What are the financial expectations of the WMA and Parks Vic? The equity in
this matter demands serious consideration relative to the objectives.

Clearly the site does require appropriate commercial activities, but it is the
degree of physical influence that they have on the site that is of particular
importance. The outdoor museum aspects of the development should not be
intruded upon by commercial activities that for instance service the visitor
or provide services to outside customers. The key is to not mix the commercial
activities with the heritage interpretation unless the enterprise is offering
a genuine, authentic interpretation of a trade/skill etc. 

This will require exceptional planning as servicing activities, such as
catering, souvenir/gift sales, library/research, toilets etc will either need
to be on the perimeter of the site or disguised, otherwise the presentation
will deteriorate into a theme park with little or no cultural value.
Interestingly, the original Connell Wagner indicative development plan
responded to these issues, and would be a good starting point together with
the vision statement. 

Another issue that appears to need consideration is the mooring and display of
historic vessels. The site provides an appropriate opportunity to display
heritage vessels that meet an agreed criteria. This would have reference to
the site's core values. However, a place could be available for special
visiting vessels or vessels which may be quite modern but who have some
special social, technical or achievement feature. 

Museums should respond to contemporary issues especially if the issue adds to
the story being told. These berths would be of a temporary nature but those
vessels that are permanently on display and are privately-owned require
consideration that may see a small annual grant specifically tied to the
vessel's upkeep. This response recognises that vessel's value to the overall
presentation and aids the owner to maintain the vessel in museum presentation

The concept that all vessels on display would need to be in survey is not
appropriate. If this were the case only commercial heritage vessels would be
available for display and from my knowledge the number available would be very
small. This suggested policy would delete important vessels from the display.
Being in survey is no guarantee that the vessel will stay afloat. Certainly it
reduces the risk, but most owners of heritage vessels are good housekeepers. 

Recently the Barcelona Charter was agreed to by the European community, my
view is it will be adopted throughout the world, similar to the charter for
the conservation and restoration of monuments and sites. The Barcelona Charter
for the Conservation and Restoration of Traditional Ships in Operation has the
intention of safeguarding traditional ships, whether as works of art, as
historical evidence, or for perpetuating traditional skills. The document goes
on to detail matters of preservation and restoration. I raise this because any
vessel that is accepted at the Williamstown Heritage Seaport should agree to
embrace the Charter - in this way quality control can be effected. For a copy
of the Barcelona Charter, see:  


10. What Could be included on the Site?

I have been asked by some what should be included on the site.  My simple
answer is that it depends on the historical research in the first instance.
There are two parts to the question - on the land and on the water. 

The heritage fleet presentation should provide opportunities for recreational
vessels, yachts, motor cruises, canoes, rowing and motor boats etc. Working
port vessels like the S.T. Wattle, fishing boats such as the couta fleet,
ferries such as Reemere. It may also be possible to think outside the circle
and to include H.M.A.S. Castlemaine and down the track, as land use pressure
continues around the Polly Woodside, her removal to Williamstown, if
technically possible. Clearly accurate reproductions such as the Enterprise
have an important place at the site and other naval possibilities exist.
Experiences on board by the public will add a dimension that for many will be
remembered for a lifetime. The sense of wonder will dominate as people work
ropes or shovel coal. Nothing can compare. 

The wharves will also require special treatment with the portrayal again
responding to historical research. 

I have no idea if a thorough research programme has been implemented for the
site. It certainly was a vessel servicing depot for the Harbor Trust in 1894.
But what went before?  When was the foreshore reclaimed? Where exactly was the
gas works and the old brewery? Perhaps the local historical society can
provide the answers to this and the activities that occurred throughout the
20th century. I visited the site on two or three occasions in its dying days
to seek help over the huge steel hawsers we were replacing on the Moama

Even then it was a fascinating place - the smells, the skills and knowledge.
Our frontline research is to understand this and interpret it. When this is
complete we will have a clearer picture for the way ahead. The site's
interpretation will only take up a part of what remains. Some educated guess
work may suggest the following as worthwhile elements for consideration.

1.   Seafarers' Hall of Fame

2.   Space for travelling and temporary exhibitions

3.   Space for mentoring "at risk" young people pursuing restoration and
     conservation work (with public viewing).

4.   Display of Bay skiffs and early small craft.

5.   Working shipwrights' workshop with early flat-belt driven machines

6.   Working ships blacksmith workshop - ditto

7.   Traditional sailmaker- working heritage display - modern activities
     behind the scene.

8.   Williamstown then and now  -  the gold rush and immigration.

9.   Orientation and education centre

10.  An entrance that excites and builds expectations

11.  Other support features would relate to a place for special events,
     library and research facility, curatorial and  conservation work
     shops (with public viewing), associated maritime trades school,
     marine training services etc.

12.  Head quarters for Classic Yacht Association, Australian Heritage Fleet
     Assoc. (proposed), heritage vessel owners societies, Maritime
     Heritage Association of Victoria.

13.  A working brass and cast iron foundry

14.  Rope walk with rigging, masts and spars

The trade type activities would be self-employed paying a modest rent. A list
of potential non-heritage business activities could be developed but much
depends on positioning, passing trade, access and would be subject to
expressions of interest and market value rents. Common to both segments would
be servicing facilities such as a themed restaurant/tavern (day & night
service) and snack bar. It is not inconceivable that themed overnight
accommodation could be developed on site. 

These commercial activities could be available to private entrepreneurs and
the application of rentals may be important to support museum work and the
ongoing maintenance of the site. Again, I cannot stress strongly enough that
the positioning of these possible activities is critical so as to retain the
site's heritage value and the fundamental need not to confuse the message to
the visitor.

11. Potential Visitors

So who are the potential visitors - the people we are proposing to do this
for? What are their perceptions of museums? They visit because curiosity is
the key reason for the visit - people come to learn. Acquisition of knowledge
is closely aligned to enjoyment. It must be a family destination and people
generally value a museum. Visitor segmentation studies suggest the following
categories of visitors:

1. Educated Enthusiast - Highly educated adults with children between 6 & 12
years, seeking both adult and child experiences.

2. Child Focused - Typically two adults with children between 6 & 12 years,
however with a lower educational attainment than the previous segmentation and
tending to be focused on the experience of the child in leisure time (rather
than the adult and child).

3. Young Social - Singles or couples in their early twenties without children,
many of whom seek sporting experiences and are often regarded as tourists.	

4. Young Cultural - Similar to segment three, young singles or couples without
children in their early twenties, however have a higher level of educational
attainment and seeking cultural events in preference to sporting ones.

5. Older Contemplative - Mature adults, with the majority over 50 years of
age, who are socially orientated and who prefer sporting events to cultural
ones and yet have a preference for the older style museums.

6. No Museum - People in this segment span all ages except 50+ years. They are
not highly educated and don't perceive museums to be fun places and typically
are more interested in sporting type activities.

7. Loners - People who are mature adults, the majority over 50 years of age,
but they are not social and are unlikely to visit museums in the future.

Segments one and two are probably our prime targets with occasional visits
from segments 3, 4 and 5. We must get to know every detail about these prime
target potential visitors. Our thinking must respond to their needs and wants
and I have no doubt that if we can successfully do this our work will produce
a living history museum that well truly stand the test of time.

You may have noticed that I have not - used the words "living history" through
out this talk. I have some difficulty with the term as it is somewhat
contradictory to my mind, but it does sum up succinctly the direction I
fervently believe this site should be headed.

Nowhere in Australia is there a maritime living history museum. Nowhere in
Australia is there a site that has the potential to activate our maritime past
to the depth that this site can. Set directly within one of Australia's most
famous and historic seaports, our opportunity, our inheritance provides a 21st
Century solution to interpret our forebears' 19th  and 20th  Century maritime

It is time to advance this project. The vision will have detractors but all I
ask is that the ideas in this talk be discussed, not dismissed. I know there
are many others with similar views and belief in the heritage seaport vision.
The economic and social benefits that will accrue to the advantage of the
Williamstown community and business community should not be underestimated. In
my view we need to bring onboard many other specialists who can contribute in
many specific ways. These volunteers need managing but their contribution will
be the key to initial momentum.

12. To  Sum Up

A focused future for our maritime past will come out of:

1. Resolve core values.

2. Reconcile Parks Vic and Associations objectives and working system.

3. Carry out historic research of site 

4 . Pursue SWOT analysis

5. Resolve future direction - site use

6. Develop management plan

7. Develop site plan

This will then activate the need for:

* Fund raising campaign

* Capital Works plan

* Marketing Plan 

* the development of a set of criteria to guide and control heritage tenants,
  land and afloat, and commercial tenants.

Continual government communication will be essential through this process.

Clearly a yearly operating budget will be required with projection out to five
years. Matters of staff, curatorial and interpretation costs and recurrent
expenditure and maintenance will require serious consideration. Rental income
will be an important component of the ongoing viability of the site. There is
no question in my mind that a gate charge will be necessary for that area
dedicated to the living history museum.

I will finish with a quote from David Gonski, ANZ Bank Director, that appeared
in The Age  22 September this year.

"There are many situations where you can do good in your society and if you do
it cleverly and well, then basically it can be a win-win, good for society and
good for you too."

Thank you for your attention - the challenge is before us. Thanks also to John
Fortier who mentored the outdoor museum enterprise in the late 70's early

W.A. Turner