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 goes into a heritage study?

The outcomes of any heritage investigation should be presented in a heritage study report. Your heritage study will be the basis of any funding submission, as well as being a resource document for any plan you develop for your heritage place.

While reports can vary considerably, they are usually divided into four main sections:

  1. introduction
  2. description of the heritage place (Step 1)
  3. the significance of the heritage place (Step 4)
  4. results and recommendations


  • the goal of the study
  • the boundaries of the heritage study area
  • who prepared the study.


  • the study area environment and history
  • the study methods used (such as community knowledge), and how much of the study area was covered by each method
  • what community consultation was undertaken
  • whether there are known gaps in the information
  • where the contributing information was found


  • identify the places that have significance, and
  • the criteria used to assess significance, and
  • statement of the significance of the place
  • More information about significance is further discussed in Step 4

Results and recommendations:

  • a succinct summary of the findings
  • what steps are proposed to protect heritage places

Having written your report, the last step is to decide how to use it.