The shipwreck site of HMS Sirius is located east of Kingston Pier in Slaughter Bay, Norfolk Island. The vessel was wrecked in 1790 while trying to bring much-needed supplies to the convict settlement on the island. HMS Sirius is the largest single assemblage of material culture from the First Fleet voyage to Australia and its cultural heritage significance is recognised nationally.
In 1993, a Heritage Management Plan (HMP) was developed to guide decisions regarding the wreck’s conservation, as well as the preservation of the associated artefact and record collections. The main pressures facing HMS Sirius stem from environmental factors and the lack of resources available to contest this damage. Threats include mechanical, chemical and biological damage to the wreck, which could cause it to deteriorate over time.
In 2020, Cosmos Archaeology was commissioned to review the National and Commonwealth heritage values associated with HMS Sirius and its associated collections, and provide an assessment of the condition and integrity of the cultural fabric of the site.
An updated HMP was developed to replace the 1993 Management Plan, with the primary aim of monitoring and evaluating any incremental changes that may affect the site’s heritage values. This important document will help ensure that the values of HMS Sirius are protected, conserved and presented for future generations.