Government House, Port Macquarie

Few people would be aware of the significance of Port Macquarie in Australia’s Colonial past. During the construction of a residential apartment block, evidence of the settlement’s Government House was discovered.

Dating from 1824, and built on land of the Birpai people, the building was both a symbol of Colonial expansion, authority and centre of administration in the town’s evolution from remote and isolated penal settlement, to convict depot and free settlement, to self-governing community.

We were commissioned to research, design and produce a permanent on-site display. The presentation combines artefacts uncovered during building excavations, along with orientation panels comparing the 19th century site to the discoveries made during 21st century construction works.

The display gives residents and visitors an appreciation of the significance of the region’s importance to the Australian colonies, and the coastal community’s continued development through time.