Protecting Heritage Places

10 steps to help protect the natural and cultural significance of places
Australian Heritage Commission, 2000

Step 3: What do you need to know? (continued)

What additional information is required?

To check whether you need additional information, you can ask the following questions.

  • What is the coverage of the geographic area of interest? Is this adequate? What else do you need?
  • Have you explored all possible sources of information such as documentary sources, field sources, maps and community knowledge? If not, what other sources are worth exploring?
  • Is there enough information on all heritage aspects of the place? If not, where could you collect more information?

Many people, including heritage specialists can help you to obtain information. For any study involving many heritage places, particularly those undertaken by local government or which relate to an industry development, you may need to get a consultant to undertake a desk-top study of what information is available and what information still needs to be collected.

Community members may be able to help observe, record and describe places in the field, do research, and identify, describe and share knowledge about places known to them.

Local government officers such as planners, heritage officers and librarians can help with research, coordination and advice.

Heritage specialists can help with project design, undertake the technical work involved in the project, or provide training to volunteers. Heritage specialists include professionals such as ecologists, zoologists, environmental historians, geomorphologists, geologists, soil scientists, Indigenous heritage officers or site officers, archaeologists, historians, anthropologists, community facilitators and social planners.

Advice on employing appropriately qualified and competent heritage specialists can be obtained from heritage organisations. Many of these organisations know of heritage specialists working in your area. For ethical reasons, organisations offering such lists usually are not willing to recommend one specialist over another, but they may be able to refer you to past examples of a person's work so that you can seek a reference.

Key organisations to contact are listed in the Resources section.