Military remains, artefacts and landscapes are an integral part of national pasts and contemporary identity. They mark a people’s or a nation’s reaction to periods of perceived or actual threat and signal planning for their own security. They may also mark a nation or a people’s perceptions of the world around them.
The NSC on Fortifications & Military Heritage will include within its purview study of sites, landscapes, structures and artefacts associated with Imperial British, colonial and post-Federation defences, participation in past conflicts in, or involving Australia, in the Pacific and the south-east Asian region. It will focus on Australian heritage but be mindful of the wider regional and global context of conflict.
Australia has had an organised European military presence in the country since 1788. In the context of 19th Century settler society Australia this military presence, and Aboriginal reactions to it, link the process of colonialism inextricably to military activity and conflict sites and landscape. To some extent this could also be argued with our involvement in PNG as both a military power and colonial administrator. The NSC’s remit will also include consideration of military sites etc. within the broader context of our 19th and 20th Century colonial expansion and administration.
Some of the nation’s military remains should be protected for future generations and many sites are already recognised on local and National heritage listings. The NSC looks to encourage and support the preparation and of technical approaches to the identification, documentation and management of Australia’s significant conflict and military heritage. More information on different approaches etc., with examples, is provided in the linked pages and websites on our Resources page.