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A short history of the ASOPA site

‘Unique’ ASOPA on market for 2010 lease

Grounds The old ASOPA site is about to be put on the market. Eighteen buildings are being refurbished by the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust and will be available for lease and occupation from early 2010. The Trust has called for expressions of interest to be submitted by 31 March, three weeks away.

 The Trust says the site is important as the location of “Australia’s only training institution established to train administrators and officers for Australia’s overseas territories.”

It recognises the unique contribution ASOPA made to Australia’s administration of Papua New Guinea and the “connection felt by former employees and students to the now defunct institution”.

The buildings are offered as fully refurbished commercial spaces and the Trust says the facility will suit one or two larger occupiers requiring facilities of 650-2,200m² or a number of smaller organisations occupying suites from 40m².

The Trust says uses will be sought that complement the institutional, character of the precinct, including education and training, studios, offices, cultural activities and visitor accommodation.

It is adamant these will interpret the former role of the site, including its period as ASOPA, although it does not explain how this will be achieved. Successful lessees will need to commit to public access to the site.

“The hutted interconnected pattern and built character of the precinct will be retained,” it says. “The tropical landscape character of the inner courtyard will be retained, but selective clearing will need to occur adjacent to buildings to protect the built fabric from water damage.”

The buildings will be retained and restored with finishes and colour schemes reflecting the original. The Trust instructs that “care be taken to avoid and minimise removal of original built fabric from the World War 2 barracks and original adaptation for ASOPA. New buildings are to be of a similar scale, form and material finishes.”

The Trust calls the site a rare surviving example of hutted World War 2 army buildings. Their standardised built form illustrates the lack of materials and labour of the time, as well as the requirement for rapid low cost construction to provide accommodation for defence forces in a national emergency.

Lease_Ad “The site is important as a physical reminder of the nationally unique ASOPA and of Australian engagement in the Pacific,” says the Trust.

“The buildings adapted for use by ASOPA provide a physical focus for the connection felt by former employees and students to the now defunct institution. The site has an association with a number of eminent Australians, including John Kerr, one of the early principals of ASOPA, and the noted poet, James Macauley.”

You can link to a comprehensive document here that includes plans of each of the old ASOPA buildings and plenty of detail about the history of the site.



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Diane Bohlen

Sounds like good news.

Martin Hadlow

...or home to a television company making "ASOPA operas"?

Rod Hard

Sounds like an ideal site for a "Jackson Wells Morris" corporate retreat!!!!!!..not far from "headquarters"???

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