Heritage is about the things from the past which
are valued enough today to save for tomorrow.

What Is Heritage?

Heritage is defined as “those things from the past which are valued enough today to save for the people of tomorrow“.

Heritage can be TANGIBLE, such as buildings, artefacts, places;
or INTANGIBLE such as stories, songs, memories or traditions.

We classify heritage for its VALUES  and SIGNIFICANCE.

Cultural heritage is assessed by its Historical, Aesthetic,
Scientific, Social
and/or Spiritual values.

Heritage can have World, National or State classification or local or personal value.

Heritage does not have to be OLD!


Use these pointers to assist your students in defining what has heritage value.

Ask your students what it means if something has ‘value’.
Principles or standards of behaviour; one’s judgement of what is important in life.

Ask your students to describe a heritage place and why it has ‘value’.
They may conjure up images of romantic mediaeval churches and castles in Europe, or historic Perth buildings such as the Barracks Arch or His Majesty’s Theatre. The past is all around us. Everywhere has a history and everywhere has a heritage. Even in relatively new cities such as Perth, we live our lives against a rich backdrop formed by historic buildings, landscapes and other physical survivals of our past. Your students will have individual ideas of which places have value. Buildings such as the Bankwest Tower and Central Park, although comparatively new, along with modern architectural icons such as the Bell Tower, have already become part of Perth’s heritage.

Now ask your students to consider a local place that has heritage value for them.
What places locally have special value for your students? Their heritage may include buildings, parks, farms, landscapes, archives and/or collections of objects.
Students can make a list of what is special about the places that have been chosen.
In your school/local community you have a unique cultural identity that defines how you are different from other schools. Discuss what is special about your place.

And objects/artefacts …?
What objects and artefacts such as family heirlooms – photographs, personal letters and documents – are valued by your students and their families? Invite parents/students to bring in objects and artefacts that have special significance for them. Personal heritage is often cherished, appreciated and shared with others.

Now consider the intangibles – the stories/ special occasions/memories…?
Our stories and our memories connect us with what we value from the past. Students can consider what intangible heritage has value for them by recalling the why some events/memories and stories are most important for them.