Two years ago, the people of Ballarat were asked to identify what they think about their city.
And they did. During community consultations as part of Ballarat Imagine, the people of Ballarat identified the things they value and enjoy most about Ballarat’s heritage.
As the City of Ballarat moves into the implementation of Today, Tomorrow, Together: The Ballarat Strategy (2015), now is the time to respond to the community’s clear message on Ballarat’s heritage by developing a new Heritage Plan to take the city into the future.
This plan will outline what the City of Ballarat and other stakeholders can do to achieve best practice care and use of Ballarat's heritage.
A preliminary paper, which was open to community feedback in 2016, started the process to deliver a new Heritage Plan for Ballarat for 2016 to 2030.
During October-November 2017 further community feedback was sought on the draft Our People, Culture and Place: A plan to sustain Ballarat's Heritage final plan.
This plan outlined what the City of Ballarat and others can do to get the best outcomes for Ballarat's heritage in the face of increasing and rapid change. It brings together findings from participatory workshops, background studies and input from expert and community consultation.
The final plan will deliver the City of Ballarat's commitment to develop a new heritage strategy using UNESCO’s Historic Urban Landscape approach (Council Plan 2013-2017 Review 15/16) as well as deliver a number of initiatives in the Ballarat Strategy (2015).
Recent community consultation is now being considered in the preparation of the final Heritage Plan which will go to Council for adoption in December 2017.
Ballarat’s heritage is both a rare legacy and living resource. If conserved and harnessed positively, it will underpin our city’s future.
However, Ballarat faces significant challenges that we need to respond to such as extensive population growth is projected for the city.
In addition, climate change and economic regeneration will continue to present new challenges.
In response to these challenges, the heritage plan outlines action in three key areas:
Celebrating and inspiring with Ballarat’s stories.
Managing change and safeguarding heritage.
Along with this document, the heritage plan includes a series of themed background papers and a supplementary manual designed for people implementing the heritage plan.
What is heritage?
‘Heritage' in the broadest sense, is that which is inherited. It is the tangible and intangible legacy that contributes to what makes Ballarat’s people, culture and place distinctive today, and what we value enough to hand on to others.
In many ways cultural heritage is the reworking of the past in the present. Ballarat’s heritage is natural (environmental), cultural and historical.
Use of the term ‘heritage’ in this plan
According to UNESCO’s Historic Urban Landscape approach, the term ‘heritage’ must be broad and inclusive. For example, it includes the things that make up Ballarat’s rich, living cultural landscape.
This includes our Aboriginal heritage, built heritage, intangible heritage (including the diverse groups of peoples’ heritage that make up our city today), and natural heritage (such as Ballarat’s landscape and environment).
It is for this reason that, in most cases, the preliminary paper does not refer to specific types of heritage. Each section is deliberately broad in order to capture the depth and diversity of Ballarat’s heritage legacy today. Unless a specific form of heritage is mentioned, it should be assumed that all forms of heritage are being referred to.
The community has told us Ballarat’s heritage is the most important aspect of their city they want to retain into the future.
But how do we do this when we have extensive change projected for the city? The City of Ballarat has developed a model for guiding change using a new global approach to heritage conservation which is purpose-built to address these challenges.
The key steps to achieve the vision are: New ways of knowing Ballarat; Incentives and regeneration; Regulatory framework; Interpreting Ballarat: Telling our stories; Historic collections and public assets.
The City of Ballarat achieves this through partnerships and collaboration, building our knowledge, applying people-centred approaches and making the most of Ballarat’s opportunities.