Multicultural heritage is about recognising diversity and difference. People from different cultural backgrounds may value the landscape quite differently to us, though we may not always appreciate this. The stories and traditions of different cultural groups are part of our heritage.
This cultural richness can open our hearts and minds to different ways of seeing and experiencing landscape. It can tell us something of the ways in which people adapt their traditions to different circumstances in a new country.
In the early 2000s the NPWS ran a series of studies on 'Multicultural landscapes'. You can download publications based on this research below.
What people have said
I think I'd go back to what I said earlier about people being important, people being central. I think for Macedonians of my parents' generation, people have to be in the picture somewhere. If you look at the ways people use national parks here, one of the biggest days on the calendar is going to the Royal National Park. It's a big community event. That's the highlight. The highlight is on the inward focus, the focus within the community, rather than going to observe nature, and that's part of the beauty of it—a large group of people getting together in nice surroundings … I don't think there's that priority of going somewhere to observe the physical environment. That's more foreign.
Novica Angelovski 2001, in The Multicultural Landscape: National Parks and the Macedonian Experience, NSW NPWS, 82
Documents to download
A multicultural landscape: national parks and the Macedonian experience
This book focuses on the significance of Royal National Park to Sydney's Macedonian community. Download a copy, or order from the Government Online Bookshop.
Moving landscapes - national parks and the Vietnamese experience
This book looks into Vietnamese-Australian understandings of natural and cultural landscapes, and use of national parks by people of this cultural background. Download a copy.
Page last updated: 14 June 2011