The historic towns of George Town, on the island of Penang, Malaysia was designated as a World Heritage site in mid 2008. Penang has been, since the late C18th, a cross roads for diverse trade, religions and cultures and is still well represented by Malay, Indian, Chinese, Archenese and several other cultures. George Town was established by Captain Francis Light of the British East India Co in the 1780’s.
George Town is a microcosm of living cultural harmony and also has a very significant collection of built heritage including streets of shop houses, temples, churches, mosques, godowns, Victorian public buildings and early C20th commercial buildings in the Art Deco and Modern styles. Revitalisation of the various precincts and neighbourhoods within and near George Town has followed the World Heritage listing and managing change is now a important strategy for conserving the universal values which justified its designation.
Penang cold stores
Penang cold stores
The Penang Heritage Trust (PHT), an NGO, is keen to promote good conservation of its historic George Town core and buffer zones and the local, state and national governments in Malaysia are supporting development of a local World Heritage Office with expertise to manage this very significant urban area.
AusHeritage has been invited by the Penang Heritage Trust to work on conservation strategies for World Heritage listed Penang Island. The PHT have asked that several AusHeritage members with relevant conservation and heritage management skills and experience come to Penang, to contribute to a series of heritage related presentations and to discuss with the local WHO unit the appropriate means and skills to manage their site.
Kapitan Keling mosque, Penang
This is an important opportunity for Australia to build upon its existing people to people relationships in Malaysia and for AusHeritage members to participate/ contribute to important technical exchange, institutional strengthening and community awareness strategies.
St John’s church, Penang