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Teaching Heritage

Board of Studies NSW

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head Carol Liston

Associate Professor, School of Cultural Histories and Futures, University of Western Sydney Nepean

Heritage for me is very much about a sense of place, about the place where I live, about the places where I work, and the stories of the places in between. For me because heritage is about physical things, it’s about buildings, it’s about ruins, it’s about bits of archaeology hidden under the ground that we don’t know [are there], and about landscapes, these are very tangible things that we look at and, to understand them, we really need to know the stories of why they were created, the stories of what happened in those places and how the people who once lived there and worked there influenced their environment and their communities, because for me heritage is living with a tangible part of the past, but it’s also about deciding that it’s sufficiently important that we want to make it part of the future, not just part of the present.
Heritage and the preservation of buildings is really about stopping history, it’s about saying these places changed in the past and in the normal course of time change would mean disintegration and the resources being used for something else. What we’re saying is we want to stop that historical process of change because we value things in the physical fabric of those places, and what they can tell us now, and we value them enough as a message from the past to put the resources, both financial and intellectual, and emotionally into saying they’ve got to be there for the future.

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