Acknowledgement of Places with Shared Heritage Values
A joint committee of the Victorian Heritage Council (VHC) and the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council (VAHC) commissioned Context (now GML Heritage) to undertake this pioneering project.
Its key aim was to recognise the Aboriginal history and significance of heritage places initially identified as having non-Aboriginal heritage values on the Victorian Heritage Register, through the augmentation of place understandings relating to Aboriginal heritage values.
Context (now GML Heritage) prepared a comprehensive historic thematic framework for Aboriginal heritage places generally in Victoria, nominating example places relating to each theme and sub-theme. Eleven case study places were chosen, and the team consulted with Traditional Owner community groups both ‘on Country’ and in a workshop environment to investigate Aboriginal heritage values for each place. The team also carried out extensive documentary research to revise and augment previous place histories. A large open-discussion workshop was held with heritage practitioners, Traditional Owner members, and government officers of Heritage Victoria, the Office of Aboriginal Affairs Victoria, the Heritage Council of Victoria and the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council. This was followed by a second targeted ‘in-house’ workshop with government officers.
The project outcomes included a thorough and innovative consultation methodology for integrating Aboriginal heritage values into the Victorian Heritage Register nominations and listed places, and provided qualified recommendations to assist in this process. Other outcomes focused on raising awareness generally about the project, and guiding the two Councils in expressing appropriate value associations. A final report was prepared revising Victorian Heritage Registry citations for each case study place, along with an extensive bibliography of sources that could be used into the future (including primary, secondary, grey literature and digital sources) relating to Aboriginal history in Victoria.