The City of Clarence has a rich and varied history. The Council, though the Cultural History Advisory Committee, strives to invoke a sense of identity and place in the community through encouraging the participation of the community in the cultural history of Clarence in meaningful and relevant ways. The recognition, preservation and promotion of the cultural history of a community encourages a sense of pride and participation in that community’s cultural life. The conservation of cultural history includes not only the preservation of the old but also the need to acknowledge the evolution of the new. It is this balance between old and new that is the hallmark of a rich and productive culture. 


Policy and Planning

Cultural History Plan 2018 – 2023

Council’s Cultural History Plan 2018 – 2023 provides strategic direction for Council in the area of cultural history and associated activities and events, through emphasis on the stories that are important to the history and development of Clarence. A copy of the plan can be found on our publications page. 


Cultural History Advisory Committee

The Cultural History Advisory Committee was formed in 2009 to assist with implementation, monitoring and review of the strategies and actions contained within the Cultural History Plan.  The committee provides advice and makes recommendations to assist Council with the implementation of the plan.


Projects and Activities

Through the plan a number of projects have been undertaken over the years including staging several exhibitions telling stories that are of importance to Clarence’s history, a street names interpretation project at key locations through the city and a range of community events celebrating the history of Clarence.

History Publications

The Eastern Shore - A History of Clarence
The Eastern Shore - A History of Clarence cover

Published by Clarence City Council in September 2003.

Over two centuries of fascinating Tasmanian history unfolds in The Eastern Shore: A History of Clarence.

Written by leading historian Dr Alison Alexander and published by Clarence City Council, the 400 page hardback volume traces the history of Clarence from before the time of European settlement to the thriving city of 50,000 people that it is today.

Illustrated by more than 200 rare photographs, maps and historical documents, the book gives a unique insight into the lives of the people of Clarence for more than two centuries.

It includes material on Clarence before and after European settlement, the establishment of farming and small townships, periods of development and depression, two world wars, transport, the 1967 bushfires, the Tasman Bridge disaster, achieving city status, the fight against amalgamation and many sporting and cultural events.

Copies of the book are available from the Clarence City Council offices for $20.00 (discounted from $29.95).

Centenary of ANZAC: Service at Home and Abroad Centenary of ANZAC

2015 marked the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings and to mark the centenary, Clarence City Council curated a major exhibition which was held at the Rosny Barn.  Centenary of ANZAC: Service at Home and Abroad explored the sacrifices and wartime experiences of both the service men and women who served abroad, and  also the effects of the war on those left behind. The exhibition had a special focus on the men and women of Clarence during this difficult time which forged Australia’s future identity. Accompanying the exhibition was the associated booklet catalogue Centenary of ANZAC: Service at Home & Abroad(4196 kb)




What Would You Take What Would You Take booklet cover

'What Would You Take' was an interactive exhibition commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1967 'Black Tuesday' bushfires. In partnership with the Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery and the Tasmanian Fire Service, Clarence City Council developed this project which allowed the community to commemorate and reflect on the devastating impact of the 1967 fires. 

The following publication accompanied the exhibition, detailing local stories of the 1967 bushfires: 

What Would You Take booklet(4414 kb)


History Walks

There are several historical walks in the City of Clarence to explore. They can be found on our trails page. 

Tasman Bridge disaster

Clarence City Council undertook a major project in 2013 to commemorate the Tasman Bridge Disaster, culminating in a major exhibition and a commemorative artwork now installed at Montagu Bay Park. As part of this project, oral history interviews were recorded with a number of first hand witnesses to the events of January 5th, 1975. Read more ...


History Groups

Bellerive Historical Society Inc.

The Bellerive Historical Society Inc. has a growing collection of historic images and documents, and welcome the public to their history room at the old Bellerive Watch House, Wednesdays and Saturdays 10am to 3 pm. For more information visit the Bellerive Historical Society Facebook page, www.bellerivehistory.com or call Allan Smith on 0423812074.


Clarence Plains Historical Society

The Clarence Plains Historical Society has recently merged with Tranmere Clarence Plains Land and Coastcare Inc. The Landcare group and the Historical Society share a common interest in many of the projects in the Clarence Plains area. For more information visit the Tranmere Clarence Plains Land and Coast Care Facebook page.


Coal River Valley Historical Society Inc.

The Coal River Valley Historical Society Inc. are committed to researching and preserving the history of the area, including the historic township of Richmond. Since 2001, they have managed historic ‘Oak Lodge’ in Bridge Street Richmond.  For more information, visit www.coalriverhistory.org or email Lois Green el_green@bigpond.com.


Lindisfarne Historical Society

The Lindisfarne Historical Society was formed in 1992 and works to foster interest in local history. They have developed a collection of historic photographs and information about Lindisfarne and surrounds.  For more information call Philip Sweetingham on (03) 62479025 or email Peny O’Brien at penyob44@gmail.com


South Arm Peninsula Residents’ Association History Committee

The South Arm Peninsula Residents’ Association History Committee was formed in 2011 with the aim of collecting historical images, documents and oral history about the people and history of the South Arm peninsula. For more information call Pene Marshall (03) 6239 9809.


Further information 

For further information on the history of Clarence, contact our Arts and Cultural Development Coordinator on schoolhouse@ccc.tas.gov.au or on 6217 9606.