Public Talks

The museum hosts a regular series of FREE public lunchtime talks. The talks are held on the FIRST Tuesday of each month EXCEPT January from 12.00 midday until 1.00pm in the Royal Society Rooms at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.

Our next talk on Tuesday 2 April 2019 provides an opportunity to catch up on the progress of the restoration of river steamer Cartela with a presentation by the project manager of the Steam Ship Cartela Trust, Ross James. 

Since September 1912, the SS Cartela has been a significant part of Tasmania’s heritage.  From the day when Cartela slid down the slipway at Purdon and Featherstone’s yard in Battery Point and touched the waters of the River Derwent for the very first time, until today over one hundred years later, Cartela has carved out a remarkable record of community service, notoriety and achievement.

The roll of the River Steamers in the social and economic development of Tasmania, of which Cartela is the sole survivor, is for many, vastly under-recognised.  In the early 20th century, the major industries of timber-getting, sawmilling and fruit exports relied unconditionally on the capacity of the River Steamers to deliver the raw materials to the Port of Hobart. At the outbreak of the Great War, Cartela was leased by the Royal Australian Navy for use as an Examination vessel protecting the Port of Hobart. Most of Cartela's service until after World War II was spent operating passenger and cargo services between Hobart, Tasman Peninsula and ports on the D'Entrecasteaux Channel with a proportion of excursion activities up and down the River Derwent. As Tasmania’s economy matured, the role of the River Steamers had to evolve.  The most well known and now the sole remaining survivor, Cartela is now making a case to reserve her place in the Port of Hobart in the Twenty First century. 

Having been donated to the people of Tasmania via a charitable trust, the question needs to be asked, “Is there the will to raise the money to restore Cartela to her original specification for a continued presence working in the Port of Hobart?”

Ross James is the Project Manager for SteamShip Cartela Trust (established in March 2012). He has been associated with the restoration project since its inception in August 2011.  In this talk, Ross will cover the major highlights in Cartela’s colourful history, the projects aims, and progress to-date with the restoration program. 


Time: 12.00 – 1.00pm Tuesday 2 April 2019.

Place: ROYAL SOCIETY ROOMS, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, (Davey Street entrance).
Phone the Maritime Museum on 6234 1427 for more details.