Culture and heritage

Heritage

Cultural Landscapes

All landscapes contain the imprint of human use. How should OEH manage the history and heritage of landscapes?

Our research illustrates people's attachment to landscape, studies the process of attachment itself and provides practical guidance to land managers in the conservation of community heritage. We are interdisciplinary in our practice, though emphasise history, memory and working with local families, communities and land managers. We advocate for a change in the management of landscapes from a site-based approach to a landscape approach.

   
 

Research projects

How do people form attachments to landscape? How are the values and meanings attributed to places by local people relevant to the conservation and management of national parks? This project, undertaken between 1999 and 2001, explores people's connections to the landscape of Towarri National Park in the upper Hunter Valley.

How can knowing the history of a protected area contribute to its effective management? This history project documents Aboriginal and settler Australian people's historical relationships with the Yuraygir National Park landscape. It illustrates how respect for community identity and sense of place are crucial in ensuring community support for protected areas.

How do you live in a landscape that no longer belongs to you? This 'cultural mapping' study shows how Aboriginal people in NSW 'possess' their local landscapes by imprinting them with their life stories, histories, memories and emotions. The setting for this project is the Aboriginal post-contact history of the lower north coast of NSW.

What pastoral heritage does NSW have? What does it mean to local communities? How should it be protected? This research project shows how pastoral heritage is the product of mutual histories of Aboriginal and settler Australians. It presents new ways of understanding the heritage of the pastoral industry, based on case studies in two national parks.

How should OEH manage the history and heritage of landscapes? This project studies cultural heritage at a landscape scale in the NSW park system, and links heritage items with each other and with their human and ecological history. The project developed a practical guide for the management of park landscapes.

  • Recreational history of national parks

How have people used national parks for recreational purposes in the past? What attachments been created in the context of leisure pursuits? What impacts have recreational park users had on the landscape? How do park managers strike a balance between recreation and conservation? This collection of seven essays prepared by history students, University of Sydney, seeks to answer these questions.

Selected papers

Elizabeth Moylan, Steve Brown and Chris Kelly 2009, 'Toward a cultural landscape atlas: representing all the landscape as cultural'. International Journal of Heritage Studies 15:5: 447-466.

Steve Brown 2008, 'Telling stories: managing cultural values at Yuraygir National Park, Australia', in Josep-Maria Mallarach (ed) Protected Landscapes and Cultural and Spiritual Values. IUCN, GTZ and Obra Social de Caixa Catalunya. Kasparek Verlag, Heidelberg, 38-50.

Steve Brown 2007, 'Landscaping heritage: toward an operational cultural landscape approach for protected areas in NSW'. Australasian Historical Archaeology 25: 33-42.

Rodney Harrison 2005, 'It will always be set in your heart': archaeology and community values at the former Dennawan Reserve, northwestern NSW, Australia', in N Agnew and J Bridgeland (eds.) Of the Past, For the Future: Integrating Archaeology and Conservation. Papers from the Fifth World Archaeological Congress (WAC 5). Getty Conservation Institute, Los Angeles, 94-101.

Denis Byrne 2002, 'An archaeology of attachment: cultural heritage and the post-contact', in Rodney Harrison and Christine Williamson (eds) After Captain Cook: The archaeology of the recent indigenous past in Australia, Sydney University Archaeological Methods Series 8. Archaeological Computing Laboratory, University of Sydney, 135-146.

Rodney Harrison 2002, 'Shared histories and the archaeology of the pastoral industry in Australia', in Rodney Harrison and Christine Williamson (eds) After Captain Cook: The archaeology of the recent indigenous past in Australia, Sydney University Archaeological Methods Series 8. Archaeological Computing Laboratory, University of Sydney, 37-58.

Page last updated: 10 June 2011