About us

Recent migrants and parks

How do different cultural groups perceive and experience Australia's natural environment? What are the needs and values of ethnic groups in relation to our national parks?

OEH's research explores the relationship between ethnicity and landscape and considers the multicultural dimension of heritage and park management. A challenge presented by the research is to integrate what we have learned into the on-ground management of national parks.

 The NSW park system provides spaces for a range of uses.  Macedonians gathering at Royal National Park to celebrate Christmas Fishing is very popular among visitors to the Georges River National Park

Research projects

How does cultural diversity shape people's understandings and use of the Georges River and nearby open spaces in Sydney's south west? Place-making in national parks (2013) focuses on the local experiences of Australians of Arabic and Vietnamese background in order to better understand how they experience the riverside environment of Georges River National Park. The research findings can support park managers from NSW NPWS and local government to run parks in ways which are inclusive and welcoming places for a range of people. The project was funded by an ARC Linkage grant, with the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and OEH as contributing partners.

How are understandings of national parks shaped by ethnicity? This case study (2000-2001) focuses on the Macedonian community in Sydney and what national parks mean to them. The project argued for new approaches to managing national parks to reflect culturally diverse uses and meanings.

What do the national parks of NSW mean to Vietnamese Australians in Sydney? In this study (2001-2002), Vietnamese Australian participants speak of what nature meant to them in Vietnam, their fondness of fishing, their fear of being lost or kidnapped in the Australian bush, and their thoughts about conservation.

  • Rethinking cultural heritage in Southeast Asia

The primary aim of this ARC Linkage Grant between The Australian National University (ANU) and OEH is to investigate the interface between indigenous/local people and nature conservation in protected areas in Southeast Asia.

Selected papers

Denis Byrne, Heather Goodall, Stephen Wearing and Allison Cadzow 2006, 'Enchanted Parklands', Australian Geographer 37(1): 103-115.

Goodall, H, Wearing, S, Byrne, D. and Cadzow, A. 2005, 'Making the city green: the creation of public greenspace in suburban Sydney, 1940 - 1992', State of Australia's Cities 2005, Brisbane, Conference Papers.

Goodall, H., Byrne, D., Wearing, S., Kijas, J. 2004, 'Recognising cultural diversity: the Georges River project in south-western Sydney', in Katz, E. and Cheney, H (eds.), Sustainability and Social Science, CSIRO, 2004.

Page last updated: 18 January 2013