Culture and heritage


The Heritage Division

The mission of the Heritage Division is "working with the community to know, value and care for our heritage".

Heritage is evidence of our history. Conserving our heritage helps us to understand our past, and to contribute to the lives of future generations. It gives us a sense of continuity and belonging to the place where we live.

What we do

The work of the Heritage Division includes:

  • working with communities to help them identify their important places and objects;
  • managing Aboriginal cultural heritage
  • providing guidance on how to look after heritage items;
  • approving changes to State heritage listed places under Heritage Council delegation
  • supporting community heritage projects through funding and advice;
  • maintaining the NSW Heritage Database, an online list of all statutory heritage items in NSW;
  • administering the State Heritage Register, which lists items of particular importance to the people of NSW; and
  • managing the underwater cultural heritage of NSW under the Commonwealth Historic Shipwrecks Act 1976 and Heritage Act 1977 (NSW).


The Heritage Division (formerly the NSW Heritage Branch and Heritage Office) is a part of the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage. Our staff have a range of specialist heritage backgrounds, including architecture, conservation, history, planning and Aboriginal cultural heritage. The Executive Director of the Heritage Division is Pauline McKenzie. The Chief Executive of the Office of Environment and Heritage reports directly to the Minister for Heritage in NSW, the Honourable Gabrielle Upton MP.

The work of the Heritage Division is guided by the Heritage Council of NSW, a body appointed by the Minister for Heritage in NSW, to reflect a cross-section of community, government and conservation expertise.

Our past historic building

The Heritage Division used to be located in the former King's School building located on the banks of the Parramatta River, Sydney. Find out more with the interpretation interactive tour. It includes "time fades" of the building and surrounding significant heritage sites to show you how each scene has changed over time.

Take the tour

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Page last updated: 30 January 2017