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Heritage Conservation

In a fast-changing world, our heritage provides a sense of identity.

Conserving our public spaces and heritage buildings provides a tangible record of the way we used to live. While many precincts benefit from a carefully considered, managed restoration and maintenance program, others are being repurposed into vibrant places that communities can appreciate and identify with anew.

The adaptive re-use of heritage buildings and even entire precincts has become one of the biggest property trends in Australia in recent years and Australian Heritage Specialists has been at its forefront.

Our collaborative multi-disciplinary approach, bringing together project management, heritage master planning and adaptive re-use and cultural heritage advice, has allowed us to work with developers to reimagine spaces in a wide range of exciting new ways.

By finding viable new uses for them, heritage buildings can be retained and maintained for the enjoyment and appreciation of generations to come. Examples of our innovative work in this field can be found here.

Our work in heritage conservation includes:

  • Heritage master planning
  • Heritage impact statements
  • Adaptive re-use and conservation advice
  • Historic paint scheme analysis
  • Exemption certificates and approvals
  • Landscape heritage

Management Plans
and Assessments

Identifying and recording the many places of historical significance within Australia to safeguard their legacy is extremely important.

Australian Heritage Specialists has conducted many heritage studies for local councils throughout Australia, as well as assisting with updates of council heritage registers and planning schemes.

Local heritage studies, cultural heritage assessments and field surveys, archival recording and conservation management plans are among our specialties. Our strong record in this area is reflected in numerous awards.

These include recognition by the National Trust Queensland Heritage Awards for our conservation management strategies, including work for Rockhampton City Council on five prominent places of state significance, including the Walter Reid Community Arts Centre, Rockhampton School of Arts, Archer Park Railway Station, Mt Morgan Railway and Mt Morgan’s former Commonwealth Bank. Click here to see more of our case studies.

We also have extensive expertise in projects of all sizes and complexity at mining sites, infrastructure developments, as well as residential and commercial sectors.

Expert in managing the requirements of stakeholders and authorities, our work meets the necessary legal and practice frameworks. These include the Burra Charter, which provides a nationally accepted standard for heritage conservation in Australia, the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Act, the Native Title Act, relevant State Heritage Acts and local planning instruments.

We specialise in:

  • Local heritage studies
  • Cultural heritage assessments
  • Cultural heritage field surveys
  • Statement of significance
  • Conservation management plans
  • Archival recording
  • Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and EPBC referrals

Expert Heritage Advice

Balancing development with the need to respect our cultural heritage requires a trusted and experienced team of consultants who can partner with you in developing effective solutions from the start of the project to its conclusion.

We work closely with a diverse range of organisations, both public and private, offering strategic cultural heritage advice.

Defined by law, detailed heritage strategies are required for places subject to statutory lists such as the Commonwealth Heritage List or State Heritage Register. Heritage strategies may also be needed at properties that were important at a particular time or to a group of people, and even those with intrinsic value due to their design by a prominent architect.

Strategies provide a blueprint for the management of a place’s heritage value, an outline of procedures to ensure those values are considered in any development planning or works, and a plan and budget for their long-term conservation.

As a respected consultancy and a leader in our field, it’s where our experience shines through.

We can supervise and help obtain approvals for works in heritage-listed areas and precincts, provide expert advice for planning courts and tribunals in Australia and New Zealand, and conduct independent assessments and peer reviews.

We also deliver cultural awareness training to companies through workshops involving Elders to promote awareness of their heritage and an understanding of Aboriginal protocols, as well as the issues facing contemporary Aboriginal people.

We can provide:

  • Heritage strategy and policy advice
  • Expert advice for court matters
  • Interpretive signage and displays
  • Cultural awareness training
  • Independent assessments and peer reviews
  • Expert witness for court appeals

Archaeological Services

Australian Heritage Specialists offers a comprehensive range of archaeological services and can undertake the most complex of projects.

Having guided hundreds of organisations through cultural heritage and archaeological issues at development sites throughout Australia, we are expert at navigating what can appear at first to be daunting process.

From desktop assessments to highlight any potential issues in the early planning to zone planning and Archaeological Management Plans (AMPs), we offer industry-leading analysis to develop cost-effective and ethical cultural heritage solutions to meet a statutory duty of care.

Ensuring that projects meet a cultural heritage duty of care is in fact, a key feature of the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act.

Our expertise includes cultural heritage field surveys, artefact analysis, archival recording, engagement with Traditional Owners, mapping of Indigenous cultural sites and landscapes, and Connection Reports to assist with Native Title claims.

This encompasses:

  • Historic, urban and landscape archaeology
  • Cultural heritage assessments
  • Cultural heritage duty of care
  • Zone planning and management plans
  • Cultural heritage field survey
  • Excavations

Aboriginal Heritage

Australian Heritage Specialists has extensive experience in issues of Indigenous cultural heritage and Native Title.

From the preparation of Cultural Heritage Management Plans, cultural mapping, and strategic advice relating to Native Title legislation, we have the skills to achieve positive cultural heritage outcomes.

Because of our extensive relationships, we can identify and facilitate negotiations with Traditional Land Owners, including assisting with Cultural Heritage Management Agreements (CHMAs) and Cultural Heritage Management Plans (CHMPs) Indigenous Land Use Agreements (ILUAs), for a broad array of projects.

The award-winning Bunya to the Bay eco-adventure, for example, which has become one of Australia’s most innovative outdoor learning experiences, illustrates our approach as well as the scope of projects we have worked showing close engagement with Aboriginal stakeholders.

Garnering a National Trust silver award, the Bunya to Bay program provides a multi-faceted, three-week challenge for Queensland high school students.

It follows the Brisbane River from its upper reaches down to Moreton Bay and traversing five local council areas and four traditional Aboriginal Countries, and few projects have achieved authentic partnerships with Traditional Custodians in such a positive way. Watch the video here.

Our expertise includes:

  • Indigenous consultation
  • Cultural Heritage Management Plans and Agreements (CHMP)
  • Cultural mapping
  • Indigenous Land Use Agreements (ILUA)
  • Native Title
  • Due diligence reports
  • Anthropology services+
  • Service Provision and employment of Cultural Heritage Workers

Cultural Awareness Training

Cultural awareness Training can help the members of your company understand the finer points of how cultural heritage can affect them on the work site.

We can tailor training to suit the needs of businesses and organisations of all sizes, as well as prepare Indigenous and historic audits and compliance manuals for government and corporate sectors.

Our workshops can also teach your organisation how to manage Aboriginal cultural heritage in order to comply with the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act.

We can also deliver cultural heritage ‘Toolbox Talks’ and ‘Take 5 Inductions’, which are simple but effective ways to get workplace teams communicating about cultural heritage considerations before any site works begin.

While not formal training, these talks are often conducted monthly and are brief discussions on relevant heritage issues used for reinforcing best workplace practices.

We can help with:

  • Audits and compliance manuals
  • Technical advisory to Aboriginal groups
  • Take 5 Inductions
  • Cultural heritage ‘Toolbox Talks

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