Taree Police Station
Heritage Impact Statement
Aboriginal and Historical Archaeological Excavations
NSW Police Force
A new, state-of-the-art police station in Taree, New South Wales, stands on a site that has been used as a police and courthouse precinct since 1863. GML assisted the NSW Police Force with the redevelopment of the Taree Police Station, unearthed finds from its past, and leveraged the site’s long-standing history through engaging interpretation.
Taree Police Station is significant for its long and continuous association with the NSW Police Force and the maintenance, promotion and enforcement of law in Taree since 1863. The original 1880s Taree police station buildings were included in the heritage listing for the locally significant Taree Courthouse.
As part of a heritage assessment and impact statement comprising a comprehensive review of the station buildings and their feasibility for modern-day policing needs, GML supported the demolition of the police station buildings in order to ensure the continued occupation of the site by the NSW Police Force—a significant aspect of the place.
GML also assessed that there was potential for both Aboriginal and historical archaeological remains to survive beneath the surface and prepared archaeological research designs for the two archaeological excavation programs. We completed a program of archaeological test excavation with representatives from the Purfleet / Taree Local Aboriginal Land Council.
During historical archaeological excavations, GML archaeologists unearthed intact structural remains associated with the 1880s police station. The finds uncovered paint a vivid picture of police life in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. They also speak to the changing methods and technologies of policing over the decades.
Working with the project architects, we developed an engaging interpretive display drawing on the results and finds of the excavations. This interpretation helps tell the story of the site and its ongoing links to policing in Taree, showcased in the foyer of the twenty-first-century police station.