Yep, that's me in the top right corner, painstakingly excavating the back yard of a Court House built with convict labour in 1829, & exposing the cobbled floor of a long-forgotten stables complex pending drainage works scheduled by the local Council. That day, we openly invited & encouraged the local population to visit us to witness their heritage being unearthed, we recovered numerous & surprising artefacts for display in the local museum, we intricately mapped the entire site by hand down to the square millimetre for future reference, & we then retired back to our site foreman's house for well-earned beers knowing that we'd made a markable difference to the surrounding community. The photo above was taken a few years back when I was working as an archaeological consultant in Tasmania (voluntarily on this occasion, as I've done regularly since), carrying out legitimate heritage works benefiting local communities - this project ran whilst I was completing my Masters Degree in Cultural Heritage Management on the back of a Degree in Anthropology & Archaeology, & I relished every second of it!
So...where are we going with this, I hear you ask??
Well...quite amazingly, in yet another ill-conceived effort to convince the residents of Brisbane that he actually cares about the heritage values of Boggo Road Gaol (rather than the dollars it can generate), Cameron "Heritage Work" Sim claimed yesterday that, "Our Tour Guides are passionate about the significance of Boggo Road in Queensland’s history – when not taking tours or re-enacting they have been hard at work removing non-original material deposited from years of abuse." Apparently, Cameron "Heritage Work" Sim's staff have been painstakingly focusing their efforts, to such a large degree on "heritage work" within the gaol's walls, that an entire "blog" article needed to be written to document it on the Boggo Road Gaol Pty Ltd website, entitled "Heritage Work."
"Heritage Officer" Toby Martin, engaging in crucial "Heritage Work."
So...what critical, ground-breaking "heritage work" is going on at Boggo Road Gaol at the moment, driven by Cameron Sim & the staff of Boggo Road Gaol Pty Ltd?? Have a number of priceless artefacts been recovered from beneath the gaol's foundations?? Has a missing collection of prison documents & photographs been located within the walls of the gatehouse?? Have the cellblocks been stabilsied, single-handedly by the Boggo Road Gaol Pty Ltd Staff, to ensure their survival in perpetuity?? Nope...nothing of that calibre has occurred within the gaol's walls...however...
Cameron "Heritage Work" Sim's staff have been craftily utilising their copious free time not running tours or re-enactments, scouring the gaol in the hunt for stray Blu-Tack™ & cello-tape! That's right...your eyes deceive you not - the greatest threat to Boggo Road Gaol's future as a viable tourism venue, lies not in the Deed of License issued to a shonky commercial ghost tour operator, but in the alleged wads of Blu-Tack™ apparently plastered to the walls!
Ironically, very few spots of Blu-Tack™ & cello-tape exist around the gaol - from September 2011 until September 2012, the Boggo Road Gaol Historical Society held monthly "Clean-up Days" within the gaol's walls, during which the grime within the gaol was pressure-blasted, hosed & swept out. Of the few Blu-Tack™ marks that still exist on the walls of the gatehouse, many are attributable to warning signs posted by Department of Environment & Heritage staff through the 1990's when it was under State Government control, & the remainder are likely attributable to Ghost Tours Pty Ltd's operations & promotional posters posted between 1999 & the gaol's closure in 2005...more ironically, no mention is made in the above Boggo Road Gaol Pty Ltd "blog" to the contemporary graffiti easily identified on the cell walls of E-Wing, or candle-wax stains on the benches & floors, directly attributed to Ghost Tours Pty Ltd's "Haunted Sleepovers" during the same period. Even more ironically again, Cameron "Heritage Work" Sim claims in his "blog" that, "New signage throughout the Gaol is being fixed in place with easily removable adhesive tape and will routinely be checked and replaced as it ages."
Having been university-trained in heritage management, site preservation & conservation technique, & having worked for a number of years as a heritage professional, I can vouch with 100% accuracy that no adhesive tape is "easily removable," & no similar product would ever be recommended for adhering any signage...to any surface...in any heritage-listed site. That said, perhaps Cameron "Heritage Work" Sim could also examine the three laminated A4 signs he's adhered to the steel front gates of Boggo Road Gaol...with Blu-Tack™...advertising his tours:
Pray tell...what vandal Blu-Tacked those Boggo Road Gaol Pty Ltd signs
to the front gates of the gaol?!?
Ultimately, if Cameron "Heritage Work" Sim is keen on "removing non-original material deposited from years of abuse" at Boggo Road Gaol, I have a poignant word of advice to share with him as a qualified heritage professional - pack your bags & hit the road, as your statement above more than adequately describes your business's unpalatable presence at the gaol - non-original, & responsible for years of abuse.