Historymatrix Index History in Common PHA(NSW) Site Map Blue Cedars Home

'Place Names of Heritage Value' policy:
The work of the NSW Heritage Council's History Advisory Panel.

The right of Bruce Baskerville to be identified as the moral rights author of this work is hereby asserted in accordance with the Copyright Amendment (Moral Rights) Act 2000 of the Commonwealth of Australia.

Australian National Placenames Survey
NSW/ACT Committee Meeting
10.00am, 9 June 2005, Macquarie University

Agenda item 2:
Work of the NSW Heritage Council's History Advisory Panel
on 'Place Names of Heritage Value' policy
Presented by Bruce Baskerville, Senior Heritage Officer

why is the Heritage Council interested in place names?

Place - Burra Charter definition includes a site, a building, a group of buildings, a landscape - all 'places' that are central to statutory heritage management in NSW and Australia. Generally, places that are 'below the bar' for GNB considerations.

  • correct name(s) for a heritage item,
  • reinstating older/earlier place names,
  • conservation planning documents using a variety of names for the same place, not always consistently,
  • inventing names for places that have not previously had a (known) name,
  • inventing or transferring names to a place that has no relationship to the name,
  • social values demonstrated by place names (eg shipwreck names becoming place names).
All difficult to consistently resolve in the absence of any policy guidance or direction.

Significance is the key issue

Significance = the key concept in heritage assessment and conservation

  • Process involves investigation - research into documentary, physical, oral, other evidence - comparisons with similar places,
  • Then making an assessment - does it have heritage values? - is it significant? - if so, at what level is it significant?- local or state or national?
  • Something needs to be of heritage significance before it can be placed on a heritage list - the level of significance determines the appropriate list, and also guides the conservation management of a place's significance.

Click to view the Heritage Council policy on place names with heritage vaslues.