Darebin Heritage Study

The Darebin Heritage study is a comprehensive five-stage study covering both natural and cultural heritage.

Stage 1, completed in 2007 included a series of community workshops and fieldwork to identify places, precincts and historic archaeological sites of potential cultural significance across the City of Darebin. It set priorities, for full assessment.

Next, Stage 2 included research and writing of the Darebin Thematic Environmental History and assessment of the significance of more than 240 places, recommending around 150 for protection through the planning scheme, and another 30 for further assessment in Stage 3. An example was a heritage assessment of Edwardes Lake Park, a significant regional recreation area with native and exotic plantings, many recreation and sporting facilities, paths, and its namesake – a lake with dams, weirs and bridges.

Next, the pre-contact Aboriginal heritage of the City of Darebin was investigated, addressing Council’s responsibilities for the management of Aboriginal cultural heritage values in accordance with the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006. The study, lead by archaeologists from CHM, included review of cultural heritage sensitivity areas and an overview of the known Aboriginal cultural heritage places within the municipality.

Stage 3 focused on further assessments, followed by Stage 4 planning scheme implementation, with Context assisting Council to prepare the planning scheme amendment documentation and presenting at Panel.

Stage 5 focused on Darebin’s natural heritage – its biodiversity and geodiversity – creating a framework for the assessment, undertaking detailed studies and preparing a heritage plan to guide Council in implementing the results. Tony Faithful (Physsi Nature), Wakelin Associates and Practical Ecology combined with Context to deliver a comprehensive study and action plan.

The guidance of a steering committee of Council and Heritage Victoria staff and a reference group of community members with knowledge of Darebin and its history, ensured the success of the project, providing valuable assistance throughout the project including reviewing the key findings and recommendations.