Public Events 

We invite the Sydney community to join us at free events during the ICOMOS 21st General Assembly and Scientific Symposium (GA2023) that will celebrate and explore our diverse cultural heritage. Delve into the world of heritage at the Heritage Exposition at Darling Harbour and a thought-provoking Heritage Lecture at the iconic Sydney Town Hall. These events provide a rare chance to discover and appreciate our rich cultural legacy.

Heritage Exposition at Darling Harbour

  • Dates: Tuesday 5 September – Saturday 9 September 2023
  • Time: 8.30am – 5.30pm daily
  • Location: International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney), Level 2
  • Audience: Open to the public
  • Cost: Free

Step into the GA2023 Heritage Exposition, a fascinating showcase of cultural heritage. This expansive exhibition, located on level 2 of ICC Sydney, invites you on a journey to discover Australia’s World Heritage properties, while also gaining insights into our professional heritage expertise and cultural heritage projects both locally and internationally.

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The Exposition will feature an impressive array of 40 exhibitors, three themed discussion spaces that highlight different facets of our heritage, and poster displays that shed light on pressing heritage issues.

As part of the Exposition, we are thrilled to introduce the Gadi Lounge—an inclusive indigenous-themed space for informal gatherings and reflection. The nearby Knowledge Café will be a focus for exchange of ideas; old and new, local and global, and the Heritage Hub will be the stage for talks, presentations and the launch of the newest edition of the book: World Heritage Sites of Australia.

With the support of Create NSW, a magnificent art piece will be created throughout the week, symbolising the fusion of Indigenous and delegate perspectives on heritage themes.

Guests will also have the opportunity to view architectural drawings and detailed models of Sydney’s beloved landmarks, along with inspiring photography of heritage sites. Embark on a virtual reality journey to Antarctica and discover what life was like for explorer Sir Edmund Hilary during his time at Scott Base.. And don’t miss the captivating exhibition of hand-drawn vernacular architecture, a testament to the ingenuity and craftsmanship of our ancestors.

The GA2023 Heritage Exposition is proudly supported by the Australian and NSW Governments. Don’t miss this extraordinary opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of our cultural heritage.

Heritage Trades Fair

  • Dates: Thursday 7 September – Saturday 9 September 2023
  • Time: 8.30am – 5.00pm daily
  • Location: International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney), forecourt
  • Audience: Open to the public
  • Cost: Free

The Heritage Trades Fair is to be held in conjunction with the Heritage Exposition and will promote traditional heritage trades and showcase trade skills rarely seen today, but essential to the repair of heritage buildings.

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Skilled tradespeople, including stonemasons, plasterers, carpenters and roofers will provide live demonstrations of their trade skills and be available to answer questions regarding the conservation of buildings. Carving skills, mortar mixing, wall pointing and roof leadwork will be demonstrated.

A focus of the Fair will be the construction of a drystone wall, a masonry jigsaw puzzle requiring unique construction skills.

Artisans will be available at the end of the week to demonstrate skills in carpentry, blacksmithing and other craft and traditional skills from earlier times.

Conservators will also be demonstrating the specialist techniques used in the repair and care of precious artefacts and objects.

Come and learn about caring for our precious heritage places and objects!

Heritage Lecture at Sydney Town Hall

  • Date: Monday 4 September 2023
  • Time: 6-8pm
  • Location: Town Hall
  • Theme: Living heritage – sites, objects, language, plants and sky
  • Audience: Open to the public
  • Cost: Free

Join us for a free public event that positions Australian Aboriginal heritage in a global context and learn more about the scope and interconnectedness of living cultural heritage in the southeast region of Australia.

Strategic Partners
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The southeast region of Aboriginal Australia encompasses New South Wales, Victoria, and the lower parts of South Australia. Long ancestral connections, and subsequent waves of colonisation and resistance bind communities in this region together. It is within this region that some of the world’s most significant sites exist, including what’s understood to be the oldest ceremonial burial, human-made structure, and astronomical observatory—a testament to the endurance of the world’s oldest living culture.

While the southeast region is home to a significant portion of both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians, it is often overlooked in terms of Aboriginal heritage and culture. Policies, procedures, and acts have at times hindered engagement with and maintenance of cultural activities. In response, communities within the region have developed unique methodologies that preserve ancestral knowledge while revitalising old connections.

Led by Jonathan Jones, a renowned Wiradyuri/Kamilaroi artist and researcher, this talk seeks to draw out living cultural knowledges and explore how southeast communities today are preserving and cherishing knowledge in the face of a highly colonised space.

Image: The Budj Bim Cultural Landscape is the first site in Australia to be inscribed on the World Heritage List exclusively for its testament to Indigenous cultural heritage. Photo: Tyson Lovett-Murray


Led by Jonathan Jones, a renowned Wiradyuri/Kamilaroi artist and researcher, this talk seeks to draw out living cultural knowledges and explore how southeast communities today are preserving and cherishing knowledge in the face of a highly colonised space.

Stay tuned for updates on further speakers who will join us for this insightful event.

Jonathan Jones

Host: Jonathan Jones is a Wiradyuri/Kamilaroi artist and researcher. Jones is a researcher at Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research, University of Technology Sydney.

Juanita Kelly-Mundine

Juanita Kelly-Mundine is a West Bundjalung woman engaged in cultural heritage conservation and protection of cultural property. Juanita is the First Nations Art Conservator at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Erin Rose

Erin Rose is Gunditjmara from South West Victoria and is a delegate of the Budj Bim Cultural Landscape World Heritage Area, one of the world’s oldest Aquaculture systems. Erin is the Budj Bim World Heritage Executive Officer at Gunditj Mirring Traditional Owners Aboriginal Cooperation overseeing the management and protection of the Budj Bim Cultural Landscape and its values.

Krystal De Napoli

Krystal De Napoli is a Gomeroi award-winning author, astrophysicist and science communicator devoted to the advocacy of Indigenous knowledges and equity in STEM. Krystal is co-author of Astronomy: Sky Country (2022), winner of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award People’s Choice Award (2023).

Zena Cumpston

Zena Cumpston is a Barkandji woman who works as a writer, researcher, artist and storyteller. Zena was a co-author of the 2021 State of the Environment Report, working across several chapters and recently co-authored the book 'Plants: past, present and future' as part of the First Knowledges series. She is particularly passionate about plants and the many ways they illuminate the ingenuity and scientific knowledge of her people.

Nathan Brennan

Nathan Brennan is a Gumbaynggirr, Bundjalung and Gamilaraay man. He is passionate about Aboriginal language revitalisation and teaching, Aboriginal led land and sea country management and threatened species management. He is part of the Ngiyambandigay Wajaarr Aboriginal Corporation, which has been developed to create opportunities for a holistic approach for Gumbaynggirr people to reacquire our land for the continuation of cultural practice, conservation, healing and social and economic development.