By Janine McEgan (Postgraduate in CHM)
I am undertaking a Directed Study as the last topic in my Graduate Diploma in Cultural Heritage Management. My industry partner is the City of Marion for whom I am researching the use of questionnaires to gather data from the community about heritage such that the local government can develop means to manage it.
This study is an extension of a practicum I did in 2010 for the Council in which I researched the migration trends since settlement in the area in 1839 and the subsequent cultural diversity which exists today. The Council’s Arts and Cultural Development Officer, Anita Mcdonald who is my contact person, is developing a Cultural Heritage framework and intends to utilise the information I gather to formulate a survey for the constituents of the district. These results will assist in her planning of the management of the local heritage.
I am primarily using the internet to find examples of questionnaires which are being elusive, to say the least! While a number of local councils have undertaken heritage surveys utilising local volunteers, few have conducted questionnaires. There are some examples in which heritage is included, but the questionnaires are searching for a broader range of data. Nevertheless, I will keep searching Australian council websites to see if any are hidden away! In Australia, NSW is the most advanced in the work having produced guidelines for heritage surveys, which have been used by the councils. Canada and Ireland are more prolific in sources but not responsive to emails about their results!
Until next time when I hope to have made further progress!