- HONEST HISTORY - http://honesthistory.net.au/wp -

Lilley, Ian & Celmara Pocock: Australia’s problem with Aboriginal World Heritage

Ian Lilley & Celmara Pocock

Australia’s problem with Aboriginal World Heritage‘, The Conversation, 13 December 2018

Of 19 World Heritage sites across the country, including such wonders as the Great Barrier Reef and the Sydney Opera House, only two, Kakadu and Uluru-Kata Tjuta, recognise the values of “living” Aboriginal culture, alongside the breathtaking natural features in those areas …

None of Australia’s three sites inscribed purely for cultural values recognises Aboriginal people. They are the Sydney Opera House, the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne, and a multi-component listing of convict sites across the country including Port Arthur in Tasmania.

Aboriginal people rightly remain concerned, and often angry, that they were excluded from the original nominations of all of Australia’s World Heritage sites, natural, cultural and mixed. Yet they also remain deeply sceptical about the benefits of such listing …

All future heritage sites should canvass Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander involvement early in the nomination process, even those where there is no obvious Aboriginal link to the site.