AusHeritage China Cultural Heritage Collaboration – November 2008

Australia and China to collaborated on cultural heritage preservation and management.

Heritage management experts from Australia and China met in Beijing, November 11-14, 2008 to share heritage conservation expertise and explore future collaborative possibilities. The nine member Australian heritage delegation represented the broad spectrum of cultural heritage management and practice.

Vinod Daniel, Chair of AusHeritage, Australia’s International Network for Heritage Services, said, “The challenges for preserving cultural heritage in today’s economic environment is enormous. Preserving the cultural past for future generations must be a high priority whether it is tangible heritage such as buildings or intangible heritage such as languages and practices”, He also added that it is important to note that the cultural sector is one of the largest employers and contributes significantly to most national economies.

AusHeritage has been active in South-East Asia where it has been working with ASEAN’s Committee on Culture and Information to prepare strategic plans for preserving that regions cultural heritage. AusHeritage also has very close working relationships with India. AusHeritage collaborated with the State Administration for Cultural Heritage and ICOMOS China for this visit and planned to further their close working relationship.

“A strategic partnership between Australian and Chinese heritage managers could combine the experiences of both countries to better tackle the enormous challenges of heritage preservation not only in Australia and China, but also in the region”, said Mr. Daniel. The Asia-Pacific region is huge both geographically and in terms of cultural diversity he added.”

In addition to the two day forum where senior heritage practioners from China and Australia shared expertise and discussed future collaborative possibilities, the delegation also visited a number of heritage sites around Beijing where significant conservation projects have been undertaken.

This visit was partially supported by the Australia China Council (Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia)

AusHeritage is Australia’s international network for cultural heritage services. The organisation’s members include Australian universities, national collecting institutions, State galleries, libraries and museums, private architectural firms and private and government conservation services./