Australia ICOMOS E-Mail News No. 485

  1. Australia ICOMOS – Canberra Talks Series
  2. Saving Australia’s Heritage – MayDay call goes out
  3. Australia ICOMOS Canberra Talks – Members’ Feedback
  4. National Archaeology Week, 15 – 21 May 2011
  5. Inaugural International Conference on Shared Built Heritage, Cape Town, Africa, 3 – 8 July 2011
  6. International Preservation Trades Workshop 2011 – early registration deadline approaching
  7. Smart sign language interpretation
  8. Text, Illustration, Revival: Ancient drama from late antiquity to 1550 conference
  9. International Workshop on Architectural Conservation, September 2011, Greece
  10. New title – Guidance on the development of legislation and administration systems in the field of cultural heritage
  11. SITUATION VACANT Senior Project Officer, Secretariat to the Aboriginal Heritage Council, Department of Planning and Community Development, VIC
  12. SITUATION VACANT Rio Tinto Coal Australia invites EOIs for consulting Technical Advisors (Aboriginal Cultural Heritage)


1. Australia ICOMOS – Canberra Talks Series

How a canal town survived in the freeway age: Sam Chuk, Thailand

Perched on a once-busy canal, the timber shophouses of the town of Sam Chuk were gradually closed and left dormant as the late twentieth century rise of the motor car left the town behind. However, Sam Chuk’s unexpected revitalisation over the past ten years signaled the convergence of a successful community-led heritage project with the emergence of domestic heritage tourism among the growing Thai middle classes.

The recent award of a UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Award in 2009 was recognition of a coordinated community effort rooted in the reemergence of local skills and trades. Can Sam Chuk’s revitalisation provide lessons for preserving and revitalising community heritage?

Luke James was an intern and then consultant to UNESCO Bangkok, and recently completed a research project on Sam Chuk as part of a Masters of Cultural Heritage at Deakin University. He is currently a Heritage Officer in the Heritage Division of the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities.

Members and the public are welcome: Refreshments will be available appropriate to the topic of the talk! This is part of a series of talks organised by Australia ICOMOS.

Time & Date: 5.00-6.30 pm, Thursday 26 May 2011 – the talk will start at 5.30
Venue: Menzies Room, National Archives of Australia, East Block, Queen Victoria Terrace, Parkes (enter from Kings Avenue side)
RSVP: To Marilyn Truscott


2. Saving Australia’s Heritage – MayDay call goes out

Australia’s archives, galleries, libraries, museums and heritage places are gearing up for the national MayDay campaign in a bid to protect the nation’s heritage from avoidable disasters. The campaign – beginning 1 May 2011 – is organised by Blue Shield Australia.

Dr Jonathan Sweet, chair of Blue Shield Australia, said: “We are urging all people involved in cultural organisations to think disaster-preparedness during the month of May. People can get involved by taking at least one step to prepare for disaster response.”

“Bushfires and floods have been devastating for Australian communities but recent events in Japan are a reminder that disasters may have regional or global consequences. The tragic losses of life and cultural property emphasise the importance of disaster preparedness. Not enough of Australia’s cultural organisations have up-to-date disaster plans that will help to prevent the devastating loss of significant cultural property—putting at risk the things that embody the memories and values that help make up community identities.”

“MayDay is a campaign designed to encourage people to get to know their local fire-fighters and police in a bid to get pointers on safety and preparedness, to take time out to eliminate hazards such as blocked fire exits, improper storage of paints and solvents, or to update a neglected disaster plan.”

Dr Jonathan Sweet can be contacted on 0400 920 790

Find out more about the origins of MayDay (MayDay 2011 – Background Flyer) and what you can do to get involved (MayDay 2011 – General Flyer).

What is the Blue Shield?

The Blue Shield is the cultural equivalent of the Red Cross. It is the symbol specified in the 1954 Hague Convention for marking cultural sites to give them protection from attack in the event of armed conflict. It is also the name of an international committee set up in 1996 to work to protect the world’s cultural heritage threatened by wars and natural disasters.

Blue Shield Committees around the globe comprise four international cultural heritage ‘pillar’ bodies:

  • International Council on Archives (ICA)
  • International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS)
  • International Council of Museums (ICOM)
  • International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA)

In Australia, these pillar bodies are represented respectively as follows: Council of Australasian Archives and Records Authorities (CAARA); Australia ICOMOS; ICOM Australia; Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA).

Other Inquiries:

Nancy Ladas

Blue Shield Secretariat – email
T: 0408 240 490
Visit the Blue Shield Australia website

Follow Blue Shield on Facebook and Twitter

Notes for editors:

  • The MayDay concept originated with the Society of American Archivists in 2006.
  • Blue Shield is the cultural equivalent of Red Cross, and works to protect the world’s cultural heritage threatened by wars and natural disasters.


3. Australia ICOMOS Canberra Talks – Members’ Feedback

Duncan MarshallCherry Blossoms in Japan (28 April 2011)

Duncan Marshall is a highly regarded heritage consultant and ICOMOS member. Duncan presented a captivating talk accompanied by a visual treat of photographs on the stunning and iconic cherry blossoms, or sakura, in Japan.

Duncan began his presentation with a solemn discussion on the recent and disastrous tsunami, which hit Japan’s north east coast on March 11 this year. At Rikuzentakata, one of the worst hit areas, one in ten people were killed and an estimated 90% of the city was destroyed. Despite the devastation of the tsunami, the residents of this province continued the traditional custom of celebrating the warmer weather and arrival of spring with a traditional hanami party. Hanami is the Japanese art of flower viewing, and parties with singing, drinking and music are held to enjoy the beauty of the flowers and celebrate the weather. Predominately these flower viewings are of the sakura (with over 200 cultivars), or sometimes the ume (plum blossoms).

There are also many famous places for the best sakura viewing including many impressive temple complexes, public gardens and memorials. A highly popular site for hanami parties is at the base of the World Heritage Listed Himeji-jo. The beautiful 17th Century castle provides a backdrop to the blooming sakura where people would picnic during the day and long into the night. Another site Duncan showed was the Genbaku Dome, the World Heritage Listed Hiroshima Peace Memorial. The vibrant hedge displays of flowers caused controversy over their appropriateness in making this solemn memorial ‘too pretty’.

The time of sakura means serious business in Japan with keen photographers eager to capture the blossoms at their best, and the hanami parties being so widely popular. This festival’s importance is highlighted by the weather bureau’s daily maps tracking the sakura as they come into bloom from south to north during Japan’s spring.

The cherry blossom is infused in the cultural life in Japan and is portrayed in many forms. For example it is stylised in fabrics and costume like the kimono, there is also sakura incense and even tea which ‘looks and sounds better than its tastes’! A contrast to the grey city streets, plastic bunches of the blossoms link urban reality with the green spaces, where the spring festival has continued for centuries.

Many poems have been written about the sakura, because of their short fleeting lifetime and ephemeral qualities, and Duncan shared a few translations, some originally written in the 9th Century. The talk was finished with this haiku from the famous 17th Century Japanese poet Matsuo Basho;

A lovely spring night
suddenly vanished while we
viewed cherry blossoms.

Sarah Webeck


4. National Archaeology Week, 15 – 21 May 2011

National Archaeology Week (NAW) is from 15 to 21 May 2011.

NAW aims to increase public awareness of Australian archaeology and the work of Australian archaeologists at home and abroad. It also promotes the importance of protecting Australia’s unique archaeological heritage.

A nationwide program of events and exhibitions is held in May each year, including public lectures, seminars, demonstration excavations and displays. Visit the NAW website for a full list of activities in your state/territory, take the Archaeology Quiz and learn some interesting facts about archaeologists working in Australia.


5. Inaugural International Conference on Shared Built Heritage, Cape Town, Africa, 3 – 8 July 2011

Inaugural Conference on Shared Built Heritage
The Castle of Good Hope, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
(including a two-day tour of Western Cape sites
3 – 8 July 2011

A collaboration between the International Scientific Committee on Shared Built Heritage and ICOMOS South Africa


Further information can be found in the following:

The International Scientific Committee for Shared Built Heritage (ISC SBH) with ICOMOS South Africa have been planning a joint conference since the 2009 Scientific Council meeting held in Malta. It had been lead by ISC SBH Africa representative, Beverley Crouts-Knipe, who recently died suddenly. Both ISC SBH and ICOMOS South Africa are committed to continuing with the conference and to the memory of Beverley.

Conference themes are:

  1. Colonial Variances in Western Architecture
  2. Adaptation of Colonial Metropolitan Architecture to the Local Context
  3. Challenges facing the Heritage Resources Management of Shared Built Heritage: Socio-Cultural, Economic and Political

Specific attention will also be given to Fortifications, Cultural Landscapes, the tentative list nomination site and management issues.

Registration includes a two day study tour, which will be conducted as part of the conference: Cape Winelands Cultural Landscape (CWCL), Mamre Mission Station and Genandendal.

Further tour information is available on the ICOMOS South Africa website.

Please contact Sue Jackson-Stepowski (ISC Shared Built Heritage, Vice President) or via phone + 61 2 9798 4407 if you have any queries or seek further information.


6. International Preservation Trades Workshop 2011 – early registration deadline approaching

The deadline for early registration for one of the largest gatherings of preservation and traditional trades people and enthusiasts in the world is 1 June 2011. Don’t let this opportunity slip by to save money on your registration fees. The deadline for hotel registration to take advantage of discounted group rates is 1 July.

The 15th annual International Preservation Trades Workshop (IPTW) will be held 2-6 August 2011 on the campus of Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology, 750 E. King Street in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. This exciting event is being sponsored by the Preservation Trades Network, Inc., the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology’s Preservation Trades Technology Program.

IPTW 2011 will bring together hundreds of the best preservation and traditional trades crafts people, as well as preservation architects, preservation consultants, building trades contractors and others from the US, Canada, Europe and beyond, who are interested in learning more about preservation and traditional trades techniques, tools, materials and practices. For those who work in the preservation and traditional building trades, this is a gathering of their ‘tribe.’ For others, it offers a unique opportunity to see some of the finest crafts people at work and learn more about how historic building preservation is accomplished in construction.

More than 50 presentations and in-depth hands-on demonstrations will showcase the talents of some of the world’s best preservation and traditional crafts people in such diverse crafts as masonry restoration, slate, wood shingle and metal roofing, decorative painting, stained glass repair, timber framing, restoration carpentry and much more.

There will also be two-day in-depth pre-conference workshops in the Preservation and Repair of Porches and Painting Historic Buildings, a one-day Lead Safety for Renovation, Repair and Painting EPA certification course and a five-day course in timber framing.

Special pre-conference tours will include a trip to the Mercer Museum, Fonthill and the Moravian Pottery and Tile Works. Another tour will include a demonstration of a water powered vertical saw mill at Daniel Boone Homestead, a behind the scene tour of the Ball and Ball Hardware workshops and a tour of the Wharton Escherick home and studio.

The Slate Roofing Contractors Association of North America will also hold their annual meeting and workshops in conjunction with IPTW 2011.

A highlight of IPTW 2011 will be Donovan Rypkema’s keynote address which will document the important contribution to a local economy provided by the preservation trades, and also the role of historic preservation in comprehensive sustainable development.

Conference and workshop sessions are eligible for American Institute of Architects continuing education units.

Opportunities still exist for event sponsorships, product and service exhibitors, non-profit and educational exhibitors, demonstrators, and student scholarships.

Visit the IPTW website for more information and registration. Or email PTN with your questions.


7. Smart sign language interpretation

On 4 May 2011, the National Sports Museum helped launch a brand new smart phone service that offers Australian sign language (Auslan) translations of audio tours in museums, galleries and other exhibition environments. Auslan is the first language for Deaf Australians, so it’s important for exhibiting organisations to provide information in that language.

The National Sports Museum (NSM) worked with Australian Communication Exchange (ACE) to bring Smart Auslan to life. The NSM already offered a successful audio tour using more than 30 numbered stops – but the information contained therein was not accessible to Deaf and hearing impaired visitors.

Deaf visitors to the NSM can now use Smart Auslan in two ways. Either they borrow a pre-loaded handset from the NSM counter, or they download the application onto their own Android mobile phone in advance of their visit. There is no charge for either service. (Please note: the Smart Auslan application is not, as yet, available on i-phones. Android devices use a system that’s more open to creating the required technology.)

Once inside the NSM, Deaf and hearing impaired visitors simply point the handset at the Quick Response code located at each numbered tour stop. The handset then displays an Auslan sign language translation of the same text that can be heard by users of the audio recording.

The first Deaf users of Smart Auslan were amazed by its ease of use and ability to connect them to the full museum experience. The NSM and ACE hope you too will be interested in opening your doors wider for Deaf and hearing impaired communities.

If you are interested in making your displays accessible using Smart Auslan, please contact Mr Phil Rogers, ACE’s Marketing and External Communications Manager on (07) 3815 7616, or visit the Smart Auslan website for more information.

I would be happy to talk you through the process from the NSM’s perspective (phone (03) 9657 8855 or email me).

If you come to the NSM (Gate 3 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground), you are welcome to use the handset to see how it works. For opening hours and other information, go to the NSM website. Please note that admission is free for members of Museums Australia.I hope this is of interest to you as we widen accessibility further in Australia’s exhibiting organisations.

Margaret Birtley
General Manager, Heritage and Tourism
Melbourne Cricket Club

To read the NSM media release on the Smart Auslan project with the National Sports Museum, click here.


8. Text, Illustration, Revival: Ancient drama from late antiquity to 1550 conference

Text, Illustration, Revival: Ancient drama from late antiquity to 1550
13 – 15 July 2011
The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia

Organiser – The School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, The Faculty of Arts, The University of Melbourne

In 2011 the University of Melbourne­ will host an international conference with the title Text, Illustration, Revival: Ancient drama from late antiquity to 1550. Illustrated manuscripts of classical authors often transmitted an insight for much later readers into how ancient illustrators (and thus audiences) visualized these works, but also provided current reinterpretations of the texts. Both tendencies are best exemplified in a cycle of illustrations to the plays of Terence, which provides an almost unbroken continuum from the Carolingian era through to the dawn of the age of printing. But despite the fact that these illustrations represented the action on stage, even down to details of masks and props, there is no evidence at all that the plays were performed in the mediaeval period – they were simply literary texts, to be studied and at the most recited by a lector. Rather, revivals of the Classics on stage began in the Italian Renaissance, and the theoretical knowledge which critics gleaned from writers like Vitruvius were poured back into the illustrated tradition, providing an extraordinary amalgam of ancient and ‘modern’. This conference will explore the connections between text, illustration, and revival.

For further information, visit the conference website.


9. International Workshop on Architectural Conservation, September 2011, Greece

The “Romiri project” is a pilot international workshop for graduates and young professionals of Heritage Sciences. It will be held in September 2011 in Zakynthos, Greece, on the historic chapel of “Panagia Vlaherna”.

The main aim of this project is the comprehension of all the different tasks of a complete architectural conservation project. The Romiri project is structured on the basis of a complete project, giving the participants the opportunity to apply the theoretical skills in action.

The program of the workshop is structured as follows: Lectures, Laboratories (Technical exercises and Data processing), Field exercises, Discussions & Presentations, focused on the workshops case study. It will also include side activities as visits to other areas of the Island and one excursion to ancient Olympia.

The workshop is organized in agreement with the Hellenic Ministry of Culture, in collaboration with the University of York, and under the patronage of ICCROM.

Recent graduating students or young professional Architects (with specialization in Conservation), Conservators, Civil Engineers are welcome to apply. The number of participants is limited to eight (8).

Workshop dates: 15 September ‐ 15 October 2011

Application deadline: 16 May 2011

For further information, click here.


10. New title – Guidance on the development of legislation and administration systems in the field of cultural heritage

What laws should states enact to protect and promote their cultural heritage, and what administrative systems can they put in place to manage their cultural heritage policies most effectively? This revised and expanded guidance document aims to provide authoritative information on good practice in three primary areas: – the architectural heritage; – the archaeological heritage; and – the movable heritage. Consideration is given to integrated approaches to conservation, in particular those which take into account the global concept of sustainable development and the need for community involvement in formulating legal and institutional mechanisms. This publication is part of a series launched in 2000 on topics of general interest, based on experience acquired through pilot projects in different countries, and made available to all those involved in heritage in the member states of the Council of Europe.

For further information and to order, click here.


11. SITUATION VACANT Senior Project Officer, Secretariat to the Aboriginal Heritage Council, Department of Planning and Community Development, VIC

Senior Project Officer, Secretariat to the Aboriginal Heritage Council

  • $76,424 – $92,467 plus 9% super
  • Fixed term / Full time: Until 30 June 2012

Do you want to work with Victoria’s Traditional Owners in reviewing laws aimed at strengthening protection of Aboriginal cultural heritage?

The Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council was created under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 (Vic) (the Act). It is the first all Aboriginal Council created under Victorian law and is made up of eleven Traditional Owners from around the State. The Council is responsible for a number of functions including registering Aboriginal parties (RAPs) to exercise cultural heritage responsibilities in their local areas.

As part of the Secretariat team and working closely with Council members, the Senior Project Officer will facilitate Council’s participation in the Parliamentary Inquiry into the establishment and effectiveness of RAPs and the review of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006.

A good communicator and creative thinker, the Senior Project Officer will be experienced with legislation and will be suited to working in a small, dynamic team. The Senior Project Officer will also understand the issues relevant to Victorian Traditional Owners including cultural heritage management and native title as well as the broader challenges and opportunities for Aboriginal communities.

For further information about this role, click here. Applications close 22 May 2011.


12. SITUATION VACANT Rio Tinto Coal Australia invites EOIs for consulting Technical Advisors (Aboriginal Cultural Heritage)

Rio Tinto Coal Australia (RTCA) Pty Ltd, on behalf of Coal & Allied Pty Ltd and in consultation with the Coal & Allied Upper Hunter Valley Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Working Group, invites expressions of interest from qualified and experienced cultural heritage management practitioners as consulting Technical Advisors. RTCA engages consulting Technical Advisors on a project contract basis to assist with the conduct and reporting of Aboriginal cultural heritage investigations, management programs and the development of cultural heritage management plans for Coal & Allied’s coal mining operations and development project areas located in the Upper Hunter Valley, NSW.

For further information see the Rio Tinto Technical Advisors EOI advertisement.


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Disclaimer: Opinions expressed in the Australia ICOMOS Email News are not necessarily those of Australia ICOMOS Inc. or its Executive Committee. The text of Australia ICOMOS Email news is drawn from various sources including organizations other than Australia ICOMOS Inc. The Australia ICOMOS Email news serves solely as an information source and aims to present a wide range of opinions which may be of interest to readers. Articles submitted for inclusion may be edited.


Australia ICOMOS Secretariat
Georgia Meros, Secretariat Officer
Cultural Heritage Centre for Asia and the Pacific
Deakin University
221 Burwood Highway
Burwood VIC 3125
Telephone: (03) 9251 7131
Facsimile: (03) 9251 7158


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