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AHS working with Traditional Owners – The Spit


Master Plan for The Spit

AHS has extensive technical expertise in Indigenous cultural heritage matters and maintains well-established relationships with Traditional Owners. This made us uniquely qualified for a complex project at The Spit on the Gold Coast.

As a large master plan project, AHS were part of a large team of consultants. We were commissioned to undertake a Cultural Heritage Assessment (CHA) to guide the development of a Master Plan for The Spit alongside the Danggan Balun (Five Rivers) People, the Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning, Gold Coast City Council and the Gold Coast Waterways Authority.

The purpose of the Master Plan is to revitalise The Spit and increase its tourism and employment benefits to the Gold Coast community, while improving connections to the surrounding marine environment and ensuring that the area’s sustainability values are protected.

AHS works collaboratively with Traditional Owners

The Danggan Balun (Fiver Rivers) People worked in collaboration with AHS to assess cultural heritage requirements within the project area, as management of their cultural heritage is an important aspect of the Danggan Balun People’s cultural responsibilities to their traditional country.

An initial desktop assessment by AHS revealed a vast pre and post-settlement history of Aboriginal occupation within a rich tangible and intangible cultural landscape. These findings were used to identify areas of particular interest.

This was followed by a 13-day Cultural Heritage Survey (CHS) carried out by teams comprised of AHS archaeologists and Danggan Balun Cultural Heritage Officers. These teams surveyed the entirety of The Spit on foot with targeted inspections of areas considered to have the highest potential for tangible cultural heritage finds.

During the CHS our team also gained permission to record oral histories which would contribute to interpretation strategies and outcomes for the Master Plan.

Two days of consultations with the Traditional Owners then took place between AHS Principal Consultants Ann Wallin and Benjamin Gall and Elder Graham Dillon from the Ngarang-Wal People, the endorsed Elder and Senior Cultural Heritage Officer.

Cultural Heritage Officers David Dillon, Max Dillon and Glenn Laycock on The Spit


Delivering the Cultural Heritage Assessment

Our CHS findings were used to create the CHA which will guide The Spit Master Plan as well as any future Cultural Heritage Management Plan. Cultural heritage is a principal matter of importance for the Master Plan and AHS is proud to have been chosen to collaborate with the other project partners.

The CHA outlined engagement strategies and protocols, assessed tangible and intangible aspects of Aboriginal cultural heritage, adopted specific management outcomes relating to objects or areas of Aboriginal cultural heritage significance, and outlined recommendations and compliance strategies for the short, medium, and long term.

The project was completed in parallel to the overall Master Planning Study which was an extremely short timeframe for such activities. AHS completed the works on time and within budget, thanks in part to our existing relationships with the Traditional Owners, including Uncle Graham Dillon.

Pacific Ocean Estate lithograph depicting Bigg’s scrub, 1915 (SLQ 203717)


Contact us

To discover how we may be able to assist on your next project, contact us today here or phone (07) 3221 0000. You can also connect with us on LinkedIn.

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The Challenge

The Danggan Balun (Fiver Rivers) People worked in collaboration with AHS to assess cultural heritage requirements within the project area, as management of their cultural heritage is an important aspect of the Danggan Balun People’s cultural responsibilities to their traditional country.

An initial desktop assessment by AHS revealed a vast pre and post-settlement history of Aboriginal occupation within a rich tangible and intangible cultural landscape. These findings were used to identify areas of particular interest.

This was followed by a 13-day Cultural Heritage Survey (CHS) carried out by teams comprised of AHS archaeologists and Danggan Balun Cultural Heritage Officers. These teams surveyed the entirety of The Spit on foot with targeted inspections of areas considered to have the highest potential for tangible cultural heritage finds.

During the CHS our team also gained permission to record oral histories which would contribute to interpretation strategies and outcomes for the Master Plan.

Two days of consultations with the Traditional Owners then took place between AHS Principal Consultants Ann Wallin and Benjamin Gall and Elder Graham Dillon from the Ngarang-Wal People, the endorsed Elder and Senior Cultural Heritage Officer.



How we helped

Our CHS findings were used to create the CHA which will guide The Spit Master Plan as well as any future Cultural Heritage Management Plan. Cultural heritage is a principal matter of importance for the Master Plan and AHS is proud to have been chosen to collaborate with the other project partners.

The CHA outlined engagement strategies and protocols, assessed tangible and intangible aspects of Aboriginal cultural heritage, adopted specific management outcomes relating to objects or areas of Aboriginal cultural heritage significance, and outlined recommendations and compliance strategies for the short, medium, and long term.

The project was completed in parallel to the overall Master Planning Study which was an extremely short timeframe for such activities. AHS completed the works on time and within budget, thanks in part to our existing relationships with the Traditional Owners, including Uncle Graham Dillon.

Results

To discover how we may be able to assist on your next project, contact us today here or phone (07) 3221 0000. You can also connect with us on LinkedIn.

You might also like to read:

Case Study

Palings music mecca given new lease on life

Case Study

Saibai Church receives specialist advice

Case Study

Restoring Brisbane’s iconic Naldham House

Case Study

AHS protects Aboriginal Cultural Heritage across renewable energy sector

Case Study

AHS analyses iconic Queens Plaza façade

Case Study

History of Wynnum Seventh Day Adventist Church unlocked

Case Study

Extensive war history unearthed at Milman Hill Complex on Thursday Island

Case Study

AHS ensures cultural preservation of the Mt Coot-tha Kiosk and Lookout, unearthing a rich history at one of Brisbane’s premiere vantage points

Case Study

AHS helps to record and conserve Bega’s network of historic granite kerbs and gutters for our client Bega Valley Shire Council

Case Study

AHS delivered a Conservation Management Plan for the State heritage listed former Cairns Masonic Temple

Case Study

Delivering heritage services including an Archival Recording at the Coffs Harbour Forestry Building

Case Study

Conserving Willard’s Farm, one of the oldest surviving farms and residences within the Redlands on Brisbane’s Bayside

Case Study

AHS projects with Cairns Regional Council include a CMP for Mulgrave Shire Council Chambers

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Discovering the evolution of Queensland ambulance services at Charters Towers

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Contact Australian Heritage Specialists for a free consultation for your project from one of our award-winning consultants.