Reconciling two settings: Responding to threats to social and scenic heritage values

Truscott, Marilyn C. (2005) Reconciling two settings: Responding to threats to social and scenic heritage values. In: 15th ICOMOS General Assembly and International Symposium: ‘Monuments and sites in their setting - conserving cultural heritage in changing townscapes and landscapes’, 17 – 21 oct 2005, Xi'an, China. [Conference or Workshop Item]


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Abstract (in English)

The community of Canberra, Australia’s national capital, has been asked for their views on the ‘Aboriginal Tent Embassy’. This land rights protest site, first established in 1972, has since grown into a large camp, standing vigil for reconciliation and an end to Indigenous third world living standards in a first world country. This ‘Aboriginal Embassy’ is heritage listed and sits within another listed heritage place, the ‘Parliament House Vista’, the centrepiece of the international winning design for the capital of Australia at its federation. The current consultation is an attempt by government and the managers of the Parliament setting to resolve various conflicts seen as triggered by the Tent Embassy: one as an eyesore in its formal surroundings and amongst solemn memorials; another the ongoing tension between the Aboriginal protestors and the local Indigenous community; and another, disagreement between heritage experts and urban planners. This paper outlines how these conflicts are, or are not, being resolved given the competing settings and heritage values of each place, and in the light of the 1999 amendments to the national heritage conservation standard, Australia ICOMOS’ Burra Charter that increased recognition of community heritage values. Are there lessons to be learnt that apply internationally?

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Truscott, Marilyn C.
Languages: English
Keywords: heritage sites; heritage values; legislation; management; setting; threats
Subjects: E. CONSERVATION AND RESTORATION > 07. Management
E. CONSERVATION AND RESTORATION > 11. Legal protection and Administration
Name of monument, town, site, museum: Canberra, Australia
ICOMOS Special Collection: Scientific Symposium (ICOMOS General Assemblies)
ICOMOS Special Collection Volume: 2005, 15th
Depositing User: Jose Garcia
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2010 18:52
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2023 16:25
References: 1. ABS 26/8/2005 The Health and Welfare of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. Report by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, No 4704.0 (!OpenDocument)

2. Australia ICOMOS 2000 The Burra Charter 1999 (The Australia ICOMOS Charter for Places of Cultural Significance)with associated Guidelines and Code on the Ethics of Co-existence. Australia ICOMOS Incorporated. (

3. Brisbane City Enterprises June 2003 ‘Review of the Future of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy, Canberra.’ A report for the Queanbeyan Regional Council of ATSIC by Brisbane City Enterprises Pty Ltd in association with the Mirii Centre, Ipswich. (

4. Dow, Coral 2000 Aboriginal Tent Embassy: Icon or Eyesore? Chronology 3 1999-2000 A Report by the Social Policy Group, Parliamentary Library, Parliament of Australia. (

5. Joint Standing Committee on National Capital and External Territories July 2004 A national capital, a place to live: Inquiry into the Role of the National Capital. (

6. NCA 2002 Consolidated National Capital Plan, incorporating amendments, updated February 2002. Plan for the National Capital Authority. (

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