Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

The Hon Tony Burke MP

Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities

A new celebration of our national heritage

Media release
10 December 2010

Federal Heritage Minister, Tony Burke, is urging all Australians to get involved in celebrating our nation's unique heritage by taking part in Australian Heritage Week, which will be held for the first time in 2011.

"Heritage is about the places and stories that make Australia special," Mr Burke said.

"It includes our amazing natural places, our rich Indigenous heritage and the diverse historic sites that together reflect our development as a nation.

"Our heritage contributes to our sense of place and to our community and personal wellbeing, it informs us about where we have come from and who we are, and is fundamental to our national identity," Mr Burke said.

"It is my great pleasure to announce the first Australian Heritage Week, a new annual celebration that will involve communities across the country in learning about and celebrating our country's diverse and precious heritage and reflecting on its importance to our future.

"The first Australian Heritage Week will run from Thursday 14 to Wednesday 20 April 2011, a time when many families have the time during school holidays to take part in events and explore our heritage places.

"I encourage everyone to become involved with activities in their local regions and communities. Events will include open days at local heritage places and exhibitions by museums, art galleries and libraries of significant heritage objects in their collections.

"Celebrations could also recognise the efforts of individuals and communities all around the country to protect and conserve our important heritage places.

"This is an opportunity for all Australians to come together to celebrate our shared and special heritage."

The Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities will be working with state and territory heritage agencies and community heritage organisations to put together a calendar of events that all Australians can take part in.

In the lead up to Australian Heritage Week 2011, information will be available from the department's website www.heritage.gov.au.