Police Point, Portsea

Interpretation Planning, Design and Implementation

Mornington Peninsula Shire Council

Portsea, Victoria

Located next to the Point Nepean Quarantine Station, Police Park was once the site of a Police Barracks established to ensure the Quarantine boundary was strictly controlled. The former quarantine boundary is now marked with post and rail fencing. The ‘calling ground’ – a forty foot divide over which those in quarantine could shout their hopes and frustrations to friends and relatives on the ‘clean’ side of the fence – is brought to life with carefully placed sculptural elements and discrete signage.

This interpretation is part of an overall package of works for Mornington Peninsula Shire Council, which have included the restoration of early cottages and their gardens, the introduction of a car park and information shelter, path works and viewpoints, and a new route exploring the surrounding Moonah woodland. Work continues at Police Point to restore the former Quarantine Station’s Superintendent Cottage as a community facility as well as providing a venue for artistic events associated with one of the former cottages being dedicated for use by artists-in-residence.

Context has been involved with Police Point for a number of years, beginning with the preparation of a Conservation Management Plan in 2012, followed by the preparation of a landscape masterplan, heritage impact statements for a series of conservation and restoration works, and culminating in the planning, design and implementation of interpretive elements to celebrate a forgotten aspect of its history. The project was completed in 2016, and was recognised in the Mornington peninsula Heritage Awards 2016 in the category of ‘Excellence in Interpretive Signage’.