New History & Interpretation Centre

Last month Contact Group wrapped up another major project, the new $5 million dollar Cascades Female Factory History and Interpretation Centre in South Hobart.

The historic site was open as a jail between 1828 and 1856 and more than half of the 25, 000 female convicts brought to Australia had a connection with the Cascades Female Factory.

It was one of the longest operating female factories in Australia and was granted World Heritage listing in 2010, due to its ability to tell the female convict story.

The internationally recognised site is already a major Tasmanian tourist attraction, but this multi-million-dollar upgrade is expected to enhance the storytelling experience and visitation.

The new History and Interpretation Centre building at the Cascades Female Factory.

Contact Group was extremely proud to be involved in this iconic project, carrying out the design and construction of the lighting, power, data, security, CCTV and fire detection systems.

Between two and six Contact Group staff worked on site from August to January, with Project Manager Jade Dwyer commending his team for going above and beyond to get the project completed.

He said it was a really successful job but a difficult one, given the timeframe and the size constraints of the building.

“It was hard in the fact that it was a long, skinny building, about 50 metres long, so every trade was trying to work on top of each other,” Mr Dwyer said.

The main reception area of the Cascades Female Factory History and Interpretation Centre.

He said there were also challenges involved in working on a World Heritage listed site.

“You couldn’t dig down more than 400ml and obviously our cables have to be a minimum of 500ml from the top of the conduit, so they had to get an archaeologist in while we were digging to make sure we didn’t disturb any of the historical fabric,” Mr Dwyer said.

The Interpretation Centre includes dedicated spaces for exhibitions and for educational activities and features two Dali touchscreens and track lights that can be controlled individually.

The new lighting installed by Contact Group inside the History and Interpretation Centre.

Mr Dwyer said the project’s completion was a credit to his team, including Boran Stankovic, Daniel Grant, Sam Goldsmith, Daniel Conning and Frank Ruzicka.

“Like I said, it was quite stressful for the guys on site, they really did go above and beyond, they worked long days and weekends when they needed to, yeah they were all really fantastic,” he said.

The new Cascades Female Factory History and Interpretation Centre is expected to open in April.