Australia to host major global cultural heritage event

18 November 2020

Australia will host heritage experts from around the world at the next global General Assembly of the Influential International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), drawing millions of dollars into the visitor economy.

Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley joined NSW Heritage Minister Don Harwin MLC and Australia ICOMOS today in announcing that Sydney will host the General Assembly and related Scientific Symposium in 2023.

ICOMOS has more than 10,000 members globally – architects, historians, planners, archaeologists and other specialists – and officially advises the World Heritage Committee and national governments about heritage issues.

Minister Ley welcomed the announcement that Australia would host the ICOMOS General Assembly and related Scientific Symposium.

“Australia is a global leader in heritage conservation, and our hosting the General Assembly aligns closely with our commitment to the management of 20 World Heritage properties – with more nominations on the way,” Minister Ley said.

“As an active member of the World Heritage Committee, and one of the first nations to adopt the World Heritage Convention, we are delighted to partner with the NSW Government and ICOMOS to bring this prestigious global gathering to Sydney.”

Australia ICOMOS President Helen Lardner welcomed strong government and corporate backing, which enabled Australia’s successful bid for 2023.

“The General Assembly theme: ‘Heritage Changes: Resilience – Responsibility – Rights – Relationships’ reflects the tumultuous changes taking place in the world, but also a positive message about the role of our heritage in supporting rapid recovery and inclusive approaches,” she said.

Delegates will visit iconic heritage sites including Sydney Opera House, Hyde Park Barracks, Luna Park, National Trust properties and the Greater Blue Mountains, which are being showcased on the world stage. Events and tours both pre and post the General Assembly offer opportunities for participants to visit many cities and regions across Australia, including many famous World Heritage properties.

“GA2023 will highlight stories and techniques for conserving important cultural sites and will make an important contribution to the re-emergence of Sydney and Australia more broadly as a leading cultural tourism destination,” Ms Lardner said.

The Sydney gathering will include the International Committee on Cultural Tourism, highlighting the importance of heritage as a driver of Australian tourism.