The cultures and the heritage of NSW
The whole of the NSW landscape, from Eden to Byron Bay and Sydney to Broken Hill, is a mosaic of cultural meaning. People are as much part of the landscape as the plants, natural resources and the animals. The attachment of people to the land and waters of NSW makes the whole environment special.
OEH has a responsibility to identify, care for and promote the cultures and the heritage of NSW. By protecting, preserving and maintaining the heritage and the significant cultures of the past and present, we provide future citizens of NSW, and our visitors, with the opportunity to learn from, enjoy and value the important aspects of our heritage, which include the:
- Aboriginal cultures and heritage of NSW
- culture and heritage values within NSW national parks and reserves.
OEH works in partnership with other government agencies and communities to renew and protect these aspects of our culture. For example, by learning from and assisting the Mutti Mutti community to develop and use new technology to identify and assess Aboriginal heritage in Yanga National Park.
The heritage places and cultural landscapes in NSW
Heritage places and landscapes are made up of living stories as well as connections to the past, which can include natural resources, objects, customs and traditions (and their contexts) that individuals and communities have inherited from the past and wish to conserve for current and future generations.
Natural elements of the environment, including what some may typically think of as 'natural resources', such as ponds, rivers, particular plants, clearings, soil types, the local wildlife and hills also have cultural meanings and values.
Bushwalking has become an important part of the way Macedonian communities engage with the environment and fishing is an important cultural activity for Vietnamese communities. The different cultural groups in NSW continue to invent their own future and one aspect of this is experimenting with new activities and viewpoints.
It is vital that this rich heritage is acknowledged and preserved, by both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people.
"NSW is Australia's most culturally diverse state. Over tens of thousands of years, people ranging from Aboriginal peoples to our most recent migrants have settled here from so many different parts of the world and have brought with them distinctive ways of viewing nature as well as different customary ways of enjoying being in outdoor environments."
Discover more about NSW's culture and heritage
Browse through this part of the website and get a snapshot of culture and heritage themes and ideas. Wander through, make connections of your own, and visit some of the national parks and reserves mentioned here.
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Page last updated: 21 May 2013