Heritage Tourism Workshop

FACET Panel Session

In partnership with the Heritage Council of WA, FACET delivered a successful half-day workshop to showcase and celebrate all things heritage.  The program included presentations on award-winning heritage tourism initiatives and experiences from the recent 2019 Heritage Tourism Awards.

Leigh Barrett from Heritage Perth shared the success the not-for-profit organisation has achieved in engaging the local community and visitors to Perth with the City’s heritage.  Their program of events raised awareness of the City’s heritage, hidden places and provided access to private properties, also  targeting non-traditional audiences and children.  Leigh summed up her presentation in encouraging people to ‘think outside the box!’.

Rebecca Johnston from the Gold Industry Group showcased their #Heartofgold app which aims to bring the State’s gold heritage to life.  They work to connect the gold industry with community and do this through education and heritage tourism gold experiences.  Rebecca explained the development process of the app and shared that the organisation is moving towards expanding to a National level which will see up to 40 gold experiences added to the program. 

Julian Donaldson, CEO of the National Trust of WA, shared the Trust’s new model and focus of telling stories to create authentic and enriching heritage tourism experiences for their properties across the State, that bring meaning and a sense of place to the location.  He touched on the high level of visitor interest in cultural, heritage and arts tourism and confirmed the Trust is working to engage with Aboriginal people to share their stories and connection to the heritage site.

MRA’s Sean Henriques, detailed the engagement and development process that delivered the award-winning Yagan Square precinct, which is quintessential WA through the use of materials, design, food offerings and events.  The brief was to reconnect the city and its people with the past and present, with Yagan Square being strategically positioned to become the City’s centre into the future.  The successful cultural engagement and development model now underpins all MRA projects and Sean explained that this is available for use by Local Government, planners and developers.    

Finally, Kate Ferguson, Curator & Creator of Gwalia’s Gold – its People and Places, walked us through the exhibition which celebrates the history of Gwalia and the people that worked there.  The exhibition also champions the local community and the Shire of Leonora, for their passion and foresight which has resulted in what can be experienced at Gwalia today.  Kate noted the economic benefit that is realised by the Shire from Gwalia as a tourism destination and looks forward to the next phase of conservation that will see the State Hotel, WA’s first hotel developed into a unique product offering.

The program finished with a panel session led by Heritage Council Chair Anne Arnold and generated good discussion around valuing our heritage assets and WA’s unique position with respect to heritage tourism product. 

FACET would like to thank Master of Ceremonies, Richard Offen who shared his passion and knowledge of heritage and event sponsors City of Perth and the Gold Industry Group. 

The workshop was held at the Heathcote Cultural Precinct and delegates were given an insight into the background of the site and an opportunity to view the current art exhibition at the gallery which also houses an array of products by local artisans. 

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