While travelling in the Tasmanian Southern Midlands in 2009, Donald Ellsmore came upon the village of Bothwell and became interested in a seemingly abandoned property he was later told was ‘Grantham’. A little further north, he also visited the two proposed World Heritage sites, the Brickendon and Woolmers Estates.
In his role as Convener of the Association for Preservation Technology International (APT) Australia Chapter, Ellsmore invited other professionals to volunteer to provide input into the conservation of Grantham and to explore the Brickendon and Woolmers Estates.
Volunteers were to be just that—self‐funded and willing to share their time and expertise and to engage in informal professional dialogue and debate around conservation issues on‐site. This was the premise behind the “Longford Academy”.
They were to spend three days at Grantham analysing its condition and contributing to discussion on its conservation, before visiting Brickendon and Woolmers Estates over two days to view those sites and discuss conservation challenges with their managers there.
This is the report of that professional development activity: it has been developed from contributions by a number of the participants. It records the process of an innovative and sustainable approach to professional development, and documents the findings of that brief but concentrated effort, particularly in relation to Grantham.
Participants included people with conservation and related expertise from a wide range of relevant disciplines:
- Donald Ellsmore, Donald Ellsmore Pty Ltd
- Cheryl Leary, Quality Training Concepts Pty Ltd
- Benjamin Gall, Converge Heritage + Community Pty Ltd
- Peter Freeman, Peter Freeman Pty Ltd
- Jamie McAuley, Cathedral Stone
- Barrie Cooper, Westox Pty Ltd
- David Cooper, Westox Pty Ltd
- Pamela Hubert, Hubert Architects Pty Ltd
- Ben Cordell, contractor
- David Young, David Young Pty Ltd
- Geoff Ashley, Godden Mackay Logan
- Ian Boersma, Heritage Tasmania
- Linda Clark, National Trust Tasmania
- Deirdre Macdonald, Heritage Tasmania
- Damian Saunders, Manager Woolmers Estate
- Mary and Richard Ramsay, owners Grantham
- Richard and Louise Archer, owners Brickendon
- Jo Lyngcoln, Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and the Environment
- Guests: Bob Voss, builder and Chris Tassell, National Trust Tasmania
Most participants were involved for the five days of the activity, and some provided written contributions and images that have been drawn into this report. While not all participants directly contributed to this written record, all contributed to the success of this unique event in various ways.