Heritage Is About Our Future As Much As The Past
Excerpt from ‘Heritage is about our future as much as the past’, by Stephanie Johnston, published in InDaily, Friday October 14, 2022:
“South Australia’s heritage is not so much about the past as it is about the future. Made up of what we have inherited from the past, heritage highlights what we continue to value and appreciate in the present, and what we decide to protect and pass on to future generations.
According to contemporary definitions, this heritage comprises:
- the tangible – our historical landscapes, towns, parks and gardens, streetscapes, buildings, monuments, museum collections, rock art, archaeological sites, shipwrecks, artefacts and archives;
- the natural – our natural landscapes, oceans, waterways and wetlands, the outback, forests, bushland, trees, plants, animals, birds, insects and fossils; and
- the intangible – our Aboriginal cultures and languages, sport, music, dance, crafts, technical skills, social and religious practices and multicultural traditions.
There is also continuing debate about whether we should be separating the cultural and the natural at all, as both Aboriginal and contemporary viewpoints come to regard nature and culture as being one and the same. Our natural and built environments, stories, lifestyles and shared memories nevertheless provide South Australians with a common language that enables us to communicate with each other on many levels, and to express ourselves in distinctive ways to the outside world.
In helping shape our identity, heritage becomes part of what we are and what we value, highlighting our history and priorities over time. It provides clues to the past and how the South Australian landscape has evolved through the ages. It helps us understand and explain why we are the way we are, and to determine where we want to go from here.
Heritage also plays an important role in our politics, society and world view, informing, influencing and inspiring public debate.”
Read the full article here.