A state-of-the-art education centre built above the Cumberland Street Dig in The Rocks, Sydney is due for completion in November.

The Big Dig Archaeology Education Centre is part of the Sydney Harbour YHA complex, which will offer education programs and high quality group accommodation.

 “Groups frequently visit The Rocks as part of an excursion to Sydney, however their visit is often too short and lacking in a depth of experience. The Big Dig and Sydney Harbour YHA will provide the opportunity for groups to stay overnight in this heritage precinct, enabling The Rocks to become the focus of a study trip,” said Ross Lardner, Manager, The Big Dig and Sydney Harbour YHA.

An extensive archaeological dig on the site in 1994 and further recent excavations have resulted in the discovery of Australia’s only visible remains of a house belonging to a member of the First Fleet, and more than a million artefacts of daily life.

The Big Dig education courses, to be delivered by Sydney Learning Adventures from 2010, will focus on experiential learning and offer hands-on activities such as artefact handling and a simulated dig.

Four curriculum-based programs have been developed for primary and secondary students, focusing on developing historical skills and understandings by exploring the history of the site through its archaeology.

Located just 400 m from Circular Quay, Sydney Harbour YHA will comprise of 106 rooms including double, twin and multi-share four to six-bed rooms, all with an en-suite bathroom. Groups will benefit from a designated wing with catering facilities, dining and lounge rooms. The Education Centre can also be hired for lessons and educational activities.

The Education and Interpretation Officer for The Big Dig, Alison Frappell is developing the centre’s educational presence in Sydney. She has a background in heritage, museums, theatre and project management.

For further information on The Big Dig Archaeology Education Centre, contact Alison Frappell tel (02) 9261 1111 or email sydharbourgroups@yhansw.org.au.

For detailed information of the education programs offered in 2010, contact Sydney Learning Adventures tel (02) 9240 8552.