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This Week’s Highlight: Proposals for events at North Head Barracks

The Sydney Harbour Federation Trust brings to life the natural and cultural heritage of the unique places under its protection. Its lands are home to rare and endangered native flora and fauna and are places of enduring significance for First Nations peoples. They also feature remnants from Australia’s colonial past, including the nation’s first coastal defence fortifications.

Owing to their living history, many of the places have state, national, and world heritage status. The Harbour Trust employs conservation, remediation, and adaptive reuse as it strives to amplify the rich stories of our lands and ensure a legacy for all Australians. Its events program promotes a seasonal performance series including music and cultural and community festivals as well as conferences.

The Harbour Trust seeks request for proposals (RFPs) from qualified and experienced event organisers, cultural or performing arts organisations, or event management companies, to activate the Parade Ground in the Barracks Precinct in North Head Sanctuary, Manly. It encourages events with a focus on First Nations, cultural, heritage, and environmental experiences and will consider proposals for one year or up to three years.

The 74-hectare sanctuary rests on a natural ridge and the Barracks Precinct offers a rare and exciting opportunity to create unique and memorable experiences on one of Sydney’s most iconic sites. Its collection of Art Deco buildings occupies a significant place in Australia’s military history and its centrepiece, the Parade Ground, boasts a distinctive red gravel surface. The School of Artillery opened at North Head after WWII and military personnel lived and trained there from 1946 until 1998 when the school relocated to Puckapunyal, Victoria.

In recognition of the fragile environmental and important heritage values of North Head, the RFP limits large and medium events in the Barracks Precinct for specific periods of the year. This is provisionally from April to September with operational hours finishing at 9pm. The maximum number of medium and large events for 2024 is capped at two.


Characteristics of large events:

· visitation of up to 3000 people per event day

· duration of more than 3 days

· operations no later than 9pm

· road closures, traffic/pedestrian control required.

Characteristics of medium events:

· visitation of 500-2000 people per event day

· duration of 3 days or less

· operations no later than 9pm

· may have some restriction to public access.

The Harbour Trust will conduct an industry briefing at the Parade Ground for which attendance is recommended but not mandatory. Please see the AusTender RFP for details.

The closing time and date for responses is 2pm on Friday 25 August 2023.


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