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Heritage Building Repair

Turning the Story Around

Kickstart Arts have been resident at St Johns Park since 2012, following a four year process of working towards getting a lease on the former Queens Orphan School.

For more than 12 years it has been our collective mission to repair and refurbish these buildings and to repurpose them into a place for community health and wellbeing. A place to promote creativity, friendship and a sense of personal agency and participation.

Behind the Cage

A journey through the derelict central part of the building that once housed staff of the orphanage. This area is not open to the public due to safety concerns.

Repairing the buildings to create a home for wellbeing.

Prevention is better than cure, and our mission and our programs are based on international contemporary thought and evidence about: 

Establishing the Creative Living Park is Kickstart Arts’ innovation, supported by all levels of government and local communities through investment, participation and collaboration on co-designed projects. 


Tasmania has a high level of poor health and preventable illness.

We continue to see increased demands on individuals, families, communities, health and care services, with the burden of ill health heaviest for those who experience disadvantage, stigma and discrimination. 


Global threats to health are real and affect us in Tasmania. Climate change is a big part of that. The actions we take now can mitigate the suffering that will befall the next generation if we fail to act. The Creative Living Park is a  place to come together, share resources, learn from each other and develop new ways of doing things that result in better health and wellbeing for now and for future generations. 


We are turning the story around because these buildings, once emblematic of an oppressive and harsh regime, are being transformed into places of trust, creative endeavour and collective action for health and wellbeing. 


It is proof that humans can be adaptive, we can change and that we are better together. 

The former Queens Orphan Schools were built by convict labour and designed by Colonial Architect John Lee Archer under orders from George Arthur who was Lieutenant-Governor of Van Diemen's Land from 1824 - 1836. The institution was part of the colonial convict system. Destitute, orphan and abandoned children were confined in cramped and cold living quarters under harsh discipline, with poor food, inadequate clothing and little education. The Orphan School operated from 1833 until it closed in 1879.


Very soon it will be reopened as a place for Culture, Health and Wellbeing. 

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