Leading Museums, Museum Leaders

A Future for the Past

The Rum Hospital. Source: Sydney Living Museums.

A Future for the Past: a Symposium to mark the Bicentenary of the Rum Hospital, Museums & Galleries of NSW, 30 July 2016

A symposium that explores the building’s history, heritage, architecture and politics


Saturday 30 July, The Mint, 9:30am


The Rum Hospital is often referred to as Sydney’s first public–private partnership, and its history reveals much about Australia’s first city.

Completed in 1816, the Rum Hospital was built to manage the health of the convict workforce, and it remains an important hallmark of Sydney’s character, architecture and government. The project was part of Governor Lachlan Macquarie’s vision for an exemplary imperial administration.

On the 200th anniversary of the hospital, Sydney Living Museums invites you to join us at The Mint at 10 Macquarie Street for a symposium that explores the building’s history, heritage, architecture and politics. The daylong event at what was once the south wing of the hospital will explore three key phases of this significant site: 1816 and the health and architecture of the early colony; 1855 and the creation of the Sydney Mint, Sydney Hospital and NSW Parliament; 1976 and the rejuvenation of the south wing, the changing face of heritage activism and adaptive reuse.

Speakers include Director of Heritage and Collections at SLM, Ian Innes, medical historian Dr Peter Hobbins, award-winning architect Richard Francis-Jones, SLM Curator Dr Fiona Starr and NSW Government Architect Peter Poulet.

Find out more

Council of Australasian Museum Directors, c/o Ms Daryl Karp, Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House PO Box 3934 Manuka, Australian Capital Territory 2603 Australia, © CAMD 2021
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