Tag Archives: Heritage Legislation

Cultural Heritage Practicum

Hello everyone!

As student of cultural Heritage Practicum, I am going to share with you part of my experiences with the Aboriginal Heritage Branch of the Aboriginal Affairs Reconciliation Division (AARD) of South Australia. It has been interesting since I am in contact with the real world involving management of cultural heritage sites and traditional owners living in the country, South Australia. The main function of the Branch is to improve the administration of the Aboriginal Heritage Act as well as to ensure understanding of and compliance with the Act.

Day 1: 27/04/09

Field trip to Northern Yake, Port Augusta and Leigh Creek

A field trip to Northern Yake, Port Augusta and Leigh Creek involving Peter Birt, heritage officer, and me was organised. The purpose to Northern Yake was to display information on the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1988 for Natural Resource Managers. During the meeting oriented by Peter Birt questions such as how to determine the importance of a site, how to get information from the central archive and the timeframe to get it, how to protect a site from damage as well as to determine responsibilities in case of rehabilitation of a site. Site damage and how to protect them in accordance with the Act was another issue presented by the managers as part of their attributions and concerns. Reluctance of Aboriginal people to cooperate with managers in identifying sites is another problem faced by the managers because traditional owners mistrust the Act. Further, Indigenous people do not identify sites because they think that they are not contextualized with archaeology. Tensions in the communities are another part of the problem as it does not allow them to perform any management action without their permission. However, the heritage officer explained that any action to be taken in a site must be done after consultation with AARD and in accordance with the Act besides acceptance of traditional owners. In summary, the meeting was useful as they could ask questions and get some explanations about the Act even though it is going through a revision process.

Day 2: 28/04/09

The second phase of our trip was a preliminary meeting with Andamooka people in Port Augusta to identify and register sites of importance for them. Wilfred Stragways traditional owner member of the local council had site of cultural importance which consisted in black oaks used to make boomerangs and water hole (contact site). The site is located in Angorichina. Site cards (A e B) to register and identify the sites were delivered to him and an explanation about how to use it was given by the heritage officer, and was stressed that contextualization of the sites were important to assess significance. For Wilfred Stragways, the site was of importance because his mother was born there and it was under threat of damage. Disclosure of information related with registered sites of Aboriginal people is done after consultation with people responsible for the area which is stipulated on the Act. The inclusion of these proceedings in the Act was to protect Aboriginal sites as the heritage officer explained.

Heritage of Space

Well things have been progressing quite nicely since the last time I posted here. My worldwide study of the protection of space heritage sites has now been reduced to looking at 14! On the plus side at least there are 14 nations that have online registers.

I’ve have searched all of the registers I could find, and if I can venture my personal opinion, the best one would probably be the one used by the USA, all the sites are split by category, or architect or location, whereas most other countries either have a LONG list of sites or only a keyword search engine which, unless you guess the right wording for the type of site you are looking for, makes my kind of searching rather difficult.

The downside that I have found is that most of the countries with large amounts of heritage sites, mainly the USA and UK, have not got complete records online, the USA hasn’t got around to digitising all of the paper ones, and the UK only has a handful of counties online. This means my worldwide search is now an incomplete search of a dozen countries….. Oh well, I suppose this is what happens.

Also out of the tens of millions of sites that can be found on all of these registers, the number of ones which have a space significance can be counted on one hand……. I get the feeling national governments do not place a high significance on these types of sites.


Heritage of Space

Hi all, my name is Olly and I am currently taking the ARCH 8508 Directed Studies class with Alice Gorman. For my project I have the chance to look into a “new” area of heritage management, the heritage of Space. What I have been asked to do is to identify what, if any, sites with “space significance” are currently listed on national heritage registers across the world.

So far I have been worried to discover that there are currently 192 independent nation sates in the world in 2009, and there are quite a few that I have never heard of! Unsurprisingly not all the countries speak English and it seems that quite a few have also shunned posting national laws on the internet where anyone can see them, which means that my world-wide study is going to have to be slightly limited in scope.

On the brighter side I have been able to find about 80 legislations on the internet in English and after reading all of them it’s surprising how similar they turn out to be. I also think I have heard every possible phrasing of the sentence “Sites of National Heritage Significance”

Now all I have left to do is search all the registers I can find on the internet, and try to work out what a site of Space Significance really is.