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Minister for the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts 2001-2004

The Hon Dr David Kemp, MP



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Media Release
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Dr David Kemp

18 February 2004

Australian Heritage Council Appointed

The Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, today announced the Chair and six members of the new Australian Heritage Council.

"I am very pleased to announce Mr Tom Harley is the new chair of the Australian Heritage Council for a three-year-term," Dr Kemp said.

"As the former Chair of the Australian Heritage Commission, Mr Harley has been pivotal in the transition to a new heritage regime for Australia, which has strengthened protection for our nationally important heritage places.

"I look forward to working with the Council to deliver the Australian Government's $52.6 million Distinctively Australian program which ensures that the places of national significance to all Australians are better protected and understood.

"The other six Council members are Mr Roger Beale AM, Ms Jane Lennon AM, Dr Denis Saunders, Mr Michael Kennedy, Dr Gaye Sculthorpe and Dr Richard Walley OAM. They are experts in natural, Indigenous and historic heritage and each brings a wealth of experience to the Council.

"Ms Lennon was a Commissioner on the former Australian Heritage Commission and has a long involvement with heritage conservation in National Parks, forests, coasts, goldfields, inner urban areas and museums as a Victorian public servant and as a member of numerous professional and community associations.

"Mr Beale is the Secretary of the Department of the Environment and Heritage and was a Commissioner on the former Australian Heritage Commission. Mr Beale's position will take effect from March 2004 following his retirement from the Australian Public Service.

"Dr Saunders was a Commissioner on the former Australian Heritage Commission and is a respected authority on nature conservation, biological diversity and landscape ecology.

"Mr Kennedy has worked as a professional environmental advocate since 1978 and was the Founding Director of the Australian office of Humane Society International. He has been particularly active in relation to biodiversity conservation.

"Dr Sculthorpe was a Commissioner on the former Australian Heritage Commission and formerly Head of the Department of Indigenous Cultures at Museum Victoria. She holds a PhD in Aboriginal Studies from La Trobe University and has worked extensively with Indigenous cultural heritage at local, state and national levels.

"Dr Walley is Director of Aboriginal Productions and Promotions and one of Australia's leading Aboriginal performers and writers. In 2000, Dr Walley was appointed as Chair of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Board and as a member of the Australia Council for a two-year term, a position he had held previously in 1992.

"We have entered a new era for heritage protection in Australia, with the Council replacing the Australian Heritage Commission as my principal advisor on specified manners relating to heritage places," Dr Kemp said.

The Council's main responsibilities will be to:

For more information on the Australian Heritage Council and the new heritage system visit the website at or call the Community Information Unit on 1800 803 772.

Commonwealth of Australia