Australian Heritage Council
National Heritage listing for HMS Sirius
25 October 2011
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The Australian Heritage Council has welcomed the inclusion of the shipwreck of HMS Sirius in the National Heritage List.
The official announcement was made yesterday, by Federal Heritage Minister, the Hon Tony Burke at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney.
Professor Carmen Lawrence, Chair of the Australian Heritage Council, said the Council was delighted that a place of such significance to Australia’s history is enshrined on the national heritage list.
“The shipwreck of HMS Sirius, in the waters off Norfolk Island, is of outstanding heritage value to the nation as it provides us with a direct and tangible link to one of the most defining moments in Australia’s history.
“The Sirius was the Flag Ship of the First Fleet that sailed from England to Australia in 1787-1788 and guided the fleet during its six month journey to Botany Bay.
“The shipwreck of HMS Sirius is the only known in situ remains of a vessel from the First Fleet.
“The remaining fabric of the Sirius and associated artefacts represent a “time capsule” of cultural life from the period leading up to 1790 and provide us with a unique opportunity to gain new insights into Australia’s early European history.
“It also represents one of the few located examples of an 18th century British warship. It is one of only two British naval ships from this period located in Australian waters.
“The Council is proud of its contribution to the national heritage listing of this very special link to our early colonial history.”
The shipwreck site and its associated relics have been protected from damage or disturbance under the Commonwealth Historic Shipwreck Act 1976 since 1984.
National heritage listing means the heritage values of the shipwreck of HMS Sirius are now protected under national environmental law.
The National Heritage List recognises, celebrates and protects our most valued natural, Indigenous and historic heritage sites.
Places listed in the National Heritage List are protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. For more information go to www.heritage.gov.au