10 steps to help protect the natural and cultural significance of places
Australian Heritage Commission, 2000
Australia's heritage, shaped by nature and history, is an inheritance passed from one generation to the next. Our heritage helps us to understand and tell stories about this land and its people.
A heritage place is a specific area or site, perhaps a large area such as a whole region or landscape, or a small are such as a feature or a building, which is valued by people for its natural and /or cultural heritage significance.
We protect heritage places because:
- they help strengthen personal and community identity
- we want to pass them on to future generations
- there are social, spiritual, ethical and legal obligations
Heritage places are often described as either natural or cultural heritage. In reality they often have a combination of natural, historic and Indigenous heritage significance. For example, the vast landscape of Kakadu contains important ecosystems, wonderful Aboriginal paintings and engravings, sites of great spiritual significance and interesting historic features. Understanding this complex heritage place means recognising all the different elements of significance.
In planning for the future, it is important to ensure that all elements of significance are protected. For example, most natural areas have significance to Indigenous people, but this significance may be less recognised and understood.
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