Australia is a continent with a settlement history dating back 60,000 years that culminates in an extensive network of Indigenous cultural landscapes. Despite the importance of these landscapes, Bashta explains that Indigenous cultural landscapes, like that of the Sunbury Rings, in the Victorian Heritage Register are under-represented demonstrating a disconnection between Indigenous cultures and systems and that of our Western planning structures. This paper analyses the current Victorian statutory planning processes to determine their ability to conserve cultural landscapes possessing Indigenous heritage values. The discussion includes consideration of Indigenous notions of Country as landscape, the impact of colonisation upon Indigenous heritage and the nature cultural landscape identification in Victoria as it pertains to Indigenous Country’s within Victoria’s urban planning process. The research focuses upon a Kulin Nation exemplar on Wadawurrung Country that involves several land use planning appeals and requests to protect The Three Sisters at Anakie from continued quarrying operations and the expansion of the existing commercial quarry that has been in operation for approximately 80 years. While a localised case study, it offers a timely exemplar to better assist our built environment disciplines and professional practises in understanding cultural landscapes that possess Indigenous values towards better reconciling and acknowledging our nation’s larger history, both pre- and postcolonisation, to ensure that Indigenous knowledge transfer and engagement is not negated or unduly mediated. The paper demonstrates that through an equitable use of the Victorian planning processes, we can better understand its ability to conserve cultural landscapes possessing rich Indigenous values.
The authors 2018
Proceedings of the 14th Australasian Urban History Planning History Conference 2018