Indigenous heritage showcased at global scientific symposium in Sydney


International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) will welcome the principal advisory body on cultural heritage to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee next week.

The International Council on Monuments and Sites for its 21st General Assembly and Scientific Symposium (ICOMOS GA 2023) will be held from 31 August to 9 September.

Six years in the making, the event will showcase ICC Sydney’s Legacy Program in action as it welcomes up to 1,500 archaeology, history, urban planning, architecture and academic specialists.

The GA2023 Scientific Symposium Schedule features an Indigenous Heritage Program presented across two days of conference sessions co-chaired by Dr Lyndon Ormond-Parker and Dr Diane Menzies.

“ICC Sydney strives to truly reconcile with First Nations Peoples through our business practices and the commitments we have made through our Reconciliation Action Plans,” said ICC Sydney CEO Geoff Donaghy.

“It is our hope through the activation of ICC Sydney’s industry leading Legacy Program and the inclusion of the comprehensive ICOMOS GA 2023 two-day Indigenous Heritage program, specialists in relevant fields will engage with First Nations heritage – helping to drive long lasting positive legacies in their practices following the event.”

Australia ICOMOS President, Professor Tracy Ireland, underscored the importance of ensuring value alignment in the process of selecting event partners for this significant global event.

“In a world grappling with the escalating challenges of climate change, health crises, inequality, political tensions, and the degradation of sacred sites, the imminent 21st General Assembly and Scientific Symposium of ICOMOS instils hope that we can collaboratively spark change in our perceptions of heritage and culture,” said Ireland.

“GA2023 will not only facilitate discussions around these critical matters, but also shed light on innovative global practices. The selection of ICC Sydney as our venue partner carries immense significance – the assurance of their team’s dedication to steering and facilitating event legacies of this nature is important for ICOMOS.”

The Arinex Group is managing ICOMOS GA2023, having worked with Australia ICOMOS since 2017.

“Throughout our six-year partnership with Australia ICOMOS and ICC Sydney, we’ve witnessed the powerful impact of collective efforts in championing cultural recognition and environmental consciousness,” said Arinex CEO Nicole Walker.

“Our collaboration has not only led to this momentous event but also coincided with Arinex achieving carbon neutral certification in 2022 and the more recent formation of our own Reconciliation Action Plan.

“This synergy with Australia ICOMOS and ICC Sydney magnifies our commitment to responsible event management and the enduring legacies that will echo far beyond GA2023.”